16 January 2012
South African financial services group Standard Bank is urging its short-term insurance customers wanting to replace faulty or burst electric geysers to do so with solar-powered ones, which will help them cut down on electricity usage and save on energy costs.
According to a statement this week, Standard Bank says that traditional electric geysers are responsible for up to 50% of a household’s monthly electricity bill, though homeowners are cautious about moving to solar energy because of the costs involved.
“We understand this hesitation, but also wish to support the drive towards using the nation’s sunshine to reduce demands on our power stations,” said Standard Bank Insurance Services MD Denise Shaw. “To assist customers, we have therefore decided to offer an additional service to our homeowner policy holders.”
In the event that policy holders have to claim for a burst or faulty electric geyser, they may be offered the opportunity to use the claim payment to make an initial payment on a solar system instead of getting a new electric geyser.
Using registered suppliers
The first step in the process would be contacting a supplier registered with the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (Sessa), who would examine what the policy owner requires and then suggest a suitable solar solution.
Each insurance company will specify its own technical specifications for the solar solution to adhere to.
“The claim payment that would have been used to source and install a new electric geyser will act as a deposit on the system and the homeowner will thereafter be able to use the savings accrued on water heating to help pay off the balance on a monthly basis,” Shaw said. “On an R800 per month electricity bill, these savings could be up to R 4 320 a year.”
She further added that the new solar installation would be added to the homeowner’s policy. Full coverage on the solar panels and other apparatus involved would then be in place.
“We feel that by offering this option we will be making a contribution to reducing electricity demand, contributing towards combating climate change and help alleviate the greenhouse gas emissions that are generated by coal burning power stations.”
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