Green Living, sustainability

Energy efficient water heating

Chris Koch

The electrical element geyser is the most energy hungry appliance in the home, and can account for up to 50% of the average household’s energy costs. Eskom recommends switching to an energy efficient water heating technology by replacing your geyser with a solar water heating system or water heating pump with funding assistance through their rebate programmes for the homeowner. They offered the following advice on implementing these alternative 'green' technologies... Look to the sun Solar water heating systems employ the clean, abundant power of the sun to heat the water in your home. Best of all, the sun will never send you a bill for its daily contribution. This year has seen the proliferation of solar installations in South Africa, and with the industry now being well established and suppliers having enjoyed nearly five years of Eskom-rebate support, systems, installations and workmanship are now at its best ever. The time to buy rebated solar is right now. When you decide to switch to solar, refer to Eskom’s website for all the information you need: how to size your system, which system is best for which region in South Africa, how the different types work, where to find a supplier, supplier contact details, prices, rebates and systems available. Pump up your savings Water heating pumps work on the same principle as air-conditioners, but instead of discharging hot air into the atmosphere like an air-conditioner, water heating pumps compress the air, warm it up and use it to heat water. Most importantly, by virtue of their operation, water heating pumps produce three units of thermal energy for every unit of electrical energy and, in some instances, can save up to 67% on water heating costs. Remember… Both solar and water heating pump technologies have huge energy and cost saving benefits, and can be installed as hybrid systems. The choice as to which one is better ultimately depends on available funds, the savings you would like to achieve and the payback period you would feel comfortable with. Switch and save Earning a rebate from Eskom is quick and easy. Buy a solar water heating system at your closest accredited supplier, pay the full price upfront, and claim your rebate from Eskom after the purchase. Rebates are paid within eight weeks from the date of receipt of your claim provided all the required information was supplied. Even better, selected suppliers offer you the rebate upfront and handle the claim from Eskom on your behalf. By switching you can save up to 70% on your water heating bill. Buy a water heating pump at an accredited supplier near you and the price you pay is already rebated. No claiming is required on your part. This switch can save up to 67% on your water heating bill. Call the Eskom Customer Contact Centre at 08600-ESKOM (37566) or visit for detailed information on these and other rebate programmes which will ultimately cut the costs of water heating in your home.