Solar power is one of the most effective renewable energy sources available. By implementing it in water heating, we can target one of the most power-intensive household activities for maximum power saving effect.
To actively encourage and promote the widespread implementation of solar water heating, Eskom has rolled out a large-scale solar water heating programme. This programme will assist you when buying an SABS tested solar water heater to replace your conventional geyser.
In addition to the rebate that you will receive upon installation of solar water heating, many insurance companies are now allowing you to put your claim value towards a solar system or are offering solar water heaters as replacement in the event of a burst geyser.
Any South African citizen can apply for a discount on the purchase of a solar water heating system through Eskom’s rebate programme for the homeowner; to qualify for a rebate, homeowners must purchase an SABS-approved system from an installer accredited with Eskom’s rebate programme.
The ‘low pressure’ rebate programme is being wound down in favour of a contractual route in which a ‘mass roll out’ of SWH’s will be undertaken in designated areas. Under the rebate programme the areas for installation are decided by the installer and are not pre-determined by the Department of Energy, Eskom or the Municipality. Under the contracts programme, the DOE and municipalities will identify areas within which system installations are to be undertaken. The contract programme is expected to commence in June 2013.
As part of the low pressure rebate winding down process, participating installers will have until the end of May 2013 to install 250 low pressure SWH’s in homes with electric geysers. It is very important to note that a strict process is to be followed when applying for, and installing, the Solar Water Heaters. The process may be summarised as follows:
- Participating installers approach home owners to establish interest in having a Solar Water Heater installed
- A list of homes on which SWH are to be installed is submitted to Eskom’s Solar Water Heating department
All approved installations are to be completed by 31 May 2013 and all claims must reach Deloitte offices by 14 June 2013 at 5PM. Claim forms must be addressed to: Eskom SWH Rebate Programme – LP Geyser replacement programme. GPS coordinates of installed systems must be included on the rebate claim forms.
The Department of Energy and Eskom reserve the right to amend the SWH programme rules from time to time as is deemed necessary.
The high pressure SWH rebate programme will remain unchanged until further notice.
"When you install your solar water heater you will receive a rebate from ESKOM. We are using an international best practice model for rebates where you pay the full installation price and claim back the rebate amount from the facilitating auditors."
To claim your rebate, all you need to do is submit a claim form; provided to you by your registered supplier/installer. Note that in order to claim a rebate you must install a registered system and use a registered installer.
Both you and the supplier must complete the claim form and it must be signed off by a qualified electrician. You submit your claim to the programme facilitating auditors that oversee the payments. You can either post it or drop it in designated drop-boxes at Deloitte offices. You will receive your rebate within 8 weeks of receipt of your completed claim.You can read more on how the rebate system works here.
How the rebate is calculated:
Each system tested by the SABS receives a system rating (Q-factor), which indicates the kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity it is expected to save on a typical day (as determined by the SABS test). All solar water heating systems included in the programme have a SABS thermal test report indicating the system’s ability to produce hot water. The rebate is calculated based on these test results – but it also takes into account the affordability of systems and attempts to provide consumers with a five year payback period.
The (rebate formulae) calculation factors in the prime interest rate and projected electricity tariff increases. This formula allows one to compare same-sized systems to each other – based on consumption assumptions. Please note that the rebate value will be reduced at the start of each new year, based on market influences.