Eskom helps homes save power

2012-05-13 13:05

Pretoria - Eskom will in the next few weeks issue tenders worth more than R500m to contractors for installing energy-saving equipment in homes across the country.

The value of the work is estimated at up to R2 000 per house, but it will cost homeowners nothing. The contractors' accounts will be settled by Eskom.

A R500m trial run has effected a 80MW saving on the national power grid during peak periods.

On Friday Andrew Etzinger, head of demand management at Eskom, told Sake24 that the new tenders will be considerably larger than those of the trial, but the Eskom board still has to determine the exact amount.

He said that in February Eskom had appointed four contractors for the trial programme – namely Ellies, LDM Energy, Karebo Systems and i4SBF.

These contractors install, at the request of homeowners, time switches for geysers, energy-saving showerheads and – where owners have not yet converted to them – energy-saving bulbs for both ordinary and sunken lighting.

He has the showerheads in his own home and South Africans need not fear that they will be shivering or struggling to wash properly with them, says Etzinger. They save warm water and therefore electricity, but "the level of convenience is the same".

Some of the contractors also offer time switches for swimming pool pumps, but for those a tariff is payable in places.

Etzinger says it's part of Eskom’s programme to manage electricity demand. This progamme has been in place since 2004 but is now gaining momentum.

It's aimed at relieving the pressure on the national grid, especially during peak periods. The time switches on geysers will therefore be set not to be able to switch on between six and eight o’clock, both in the mornings and in the evenings. The homeowner will be unable to change this setting.

He says the installations will also reduce the homeowner's electricity account and in addition lower everyone's carbon footprint.

The new bulbs use up 85% less electricity and the showerhead saves 20%, say some of the contractors on Eskom's web page.

According to Etzinger the target was to spend R500m towards lowering electricity demand by 100MW during peak periods.

Although the programme terminates only at the end of June, a saving of 80MW has already been achieved. If the cost of constructing new power stations is taken into account, this is an excellent return on Eskom’s investment, he says.

The contractors' agreements with Eskom guarantee their work for three years.

Etzinger says Eskom wants to involve more contractors in the new tenders. Black empowerment groups, women and the youth will receive preference.

V Information and contact details of current contractors are available at: or Eskom’s call centre on 0860eskom (0860 37566).

 - Sake24

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  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-05-13 13:44

    Whew, i almost thought another series of major powercuts was iminent...

  • fred.vandermerwe - 2012-05-13 15:01

    Hahaha what a joke this is going to be... Anyone wants to bet that some politici-anc has his finger in the till already....

  • valcooperRSA - 2012-05-13 16:04

    Where do we apply for this wonderful power saving scheme or do some of us not qualify

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-14 01:56

      Wonder why the people with swimming pools must pay? Most pool owners are white I think. A better option is to have different rates for different times of day. Why should I do my washing at night if I pay the same for the power. Municipalities are charged three different rates per day. Off-Peak, Standard and Peak. We as consumers are most propably paying Peak rate to make up for those that gets everything for free. So, in reality if you don't use power in peak time you don't get value for your money. On a maximum demand system(After 22:00 till 05:00) the municipality pays a flat rate(Nearly free).

  • mrp721 - 2012-05-13 18:40

    This will cost homeowners nothing - oh don't fall for it, trust me you gonna end up paying for it one way or another..

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-14 01:58

      Don't allow anyone onto your property. Just check the rise in burglaries again.

  • Mark - 2012-05-13 20:05

    How about a reasonably priced subsidized solar geyser for a start, I do not necessarily want free stuff ...

  • Hans Heydra - 2012-05-13 20:14

    Eskom is the only business where the more you use the more you pay... If I treated my customers that way I'd be out of business. Eskom you at not fooling anyone I've paid for that already. In the last four years I've paid out over 1.2 mill to Eskom over normal price inflation on my bussiness account. For 1.2 mill I could have employed a whole whack of staff. You have cost this country more than you have provided. Another thing why should companies pay more for electricity in winter? It's not like we can turn off our production just because it's winter. I hope someday we have three or four power providers you will befall the same fate as Telkom. Just my 2c....

  • Wikus Gouws - 2012-05-14 08:03

    How about us who installed cfl bulbs and geyser timers at our expense? Will we be re-imbursed? Would love to install a solar geyser too, but prices are inflated due to the demand created by Eskom

  • errol.wagner - 2012-05-14 08:30


      Kamogelo - 2012-05-14 15:51

      Forget it. You will not get it "global energy crunch phase 1". Out of all the challanges that our country is facing, my biggest worry is water. then I can start thinking about primary energy. You know, everyone makes a good point that this sucks... but moving forward as South Africans, the main question we should be asking ourselves is; What is it that I can do to contribute in solving these challanges?

      Konstabel - 2012-05-14 20:47

      @kamogelo - Well said. We all know who is to blame for this crisis but blame does not make the problem go away. What all South Africans need to do now is find solutuions. And yes it will cost us but if we have another power crisis or as Kamogelo says a water crisis it will cost us much, much more.

  • PeterRichardWarren - 2012-05-14 15:53

    I would like to question whether time switches on geysers save energy. What energy is lost has to be made up and it really does not seem to make much difference whether is is replaced immediately or later. Eskom would o show me the numbers. What time switches can do is spread the load and that may well reduce the amount of generating capacity we need.

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-15 07:24

      If you use the energy in off peak time you pay and the municipality gets it for free, BIG difference.

  • Hans-joachim - 2012-05-22 13:50

    Its the 1994 government who is running Eskom in a way which is "REACTIVE" and not the way they should govern, namely "PROACTIVE" ESKOM should be able to supply sufficient electricity to its consumers, and then should still have vast reserves. But running on a shoe string is pathetic. More and more electrification without adequate backup is laughable, but arent there many many more issues in this country which are laughable ? The little bit of power which I am consuming you still want to reduce !!!! Hahaha ....ADIO AFRICA,

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