22 May 2008
Eskom is offering home owners rebates of 15 to 20% on the cost of installing solar water-heating systems through its Solar Rebate Programme, enabling homeowners to save from about R1 860 up to R4 900 on the cost of a solar water-heating system.
According to Eskom Demand Side Management GM Andrew Etzinger, typically installed systems can range between R14 000 and R33 000, depending on the make and size of the geyser, type of roof as well as overall complexity of installation.
“The solar rebate programme has been developed to ensure consumers not only obtain systems at a discount, but to encourage people to buy quality systems,” he said.
“For this reason, the programme applies only to systems that have been tested by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). Some systems have also been awarded the SABS mark which is an assurance of high quality and safeguard.”
Promoting renewable energy
The Eskom Solar Rebate Programme enables consumers to buy solar water heating systems from accredited suppliers and claim a portion of the cost back, as part of Eskom’s commitment to promoting the use of renewable energy.
The requirements for receiving the rebate includes that the system must be SABS-approved and incorporate a functioning timer, and must also be installed by an Eskom-approved installer, while a valid claim for the rebate must be submitted, using forms provided by the installer, said Etzinger.
Subsidies on solar water-heating units will vary among accredited suppliers and different systems, based on the amount of energy these systems can displace.
Etzinger said by buying systems bearing the SABS mark, property owners had assurances about quality and durability.
“All accredited suppliers on the programme will have their installations monitored to promote good operation of the systems and adherence to standards,” he said. “Our requirement that the system be installed only by an accredited installer further guarantees peace of mind.”
Similar initiatives worldwide
For a homeowner to receive a rebate, a completed rebate claim application is need to be submitted to Eskom Deloitte, who have undertaken to settle complete and valid claims within an eight-week period.
Etzinger said Eskom had contracted Deloitte to manage the process of supplier application, accreditation and rebate management, while claim application forms would be provided to the customers by the installer of the system.
“Eskom will monitor the programme carefully so that suppliers can cope with the expected increased demand,” he said.
He stressed that homeowners must remain aware that rebates would be paid only for the installation of systems listed as part of the programme and installed by a registered installer.
“Rebate programmes such as this one have been running successfully around the world for years and Eskom is optimistic that we can achieve similar benefits in South Africa,” Etzinger said.
Eskom’s Demand Side Management website or its Help Desk (011-8004744) provides detailed information about the programme, accredited suppliers, their geographical location, applicable rebates and the process to follow.