Fowles warned that the 2008 DoE mandate to Eskom to install 1-million SWH systems under a conditional grant had been terminated and that the DoE had instead assumed responsibility for implementing the National Solar Water Heater Programme (NSWHP).
Subsequent to terminating the mandate, the DoE reported at the National NSWHP Workshop for municipalities on 4 September 2015 that roughly 400 000 of the1-million mandated SWHs had been installed in residential areas since 2004.
It said these installations had failed to lower demand as they had been focused on areas of low consumption. The installations were also found to contain predominantly imported components and the installation work was sub-standard. This the department ascribed to a lack of training.
The DoE also said verification of the number and locations of the SWH installations is unreliable as no monitoring had been done. Similarly, maintenance work on installed heaters had been neglected, causing households without electric water heating systems to heat water with kettles, hot plates or wood fires.