Solar geysers to be compulsory

Department of Minerals and Energy

Cape Town

Thu, 06 Mar 2008

Electric geysers will have to incorporate solar heating by 2010 in all new houses valued at over R750 000, or larger than 300 square meters, Parliament heard on Wednesday.

This would also apply to commercial buildings, hostels, resorts and shopping centers, the Department of Minerals and Energy told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy.

Additional geyser insulation was also required for such structures, said the department’s chief director for electricity, Ompi Aphane.

These regulations would be in place “no later than 2010”.

All electric geysers also had to be fitted with a switch enabling Eskom to remotely turn them off.

Department of Public Enterprises director general Portia Molefe said it was looking at replacing about two million electric geysers in the country with solar ones, which would save about 1300MW.

Aphane said that Eskom’s reserve margin – the difference between peak demand and operating capacity – would decrease to two percent around 2012, from around 5.9 percent at present, if nothing was done to reduce demand.

A month in the dark

“If a total blackout occurs it will take about a month to restore. You can imagine the economic consequences of that,” he said.

“Molefe said South Africa could learn lessons from the way Brazil dealt with its power crisis several years ago. Despite reducing demand by 25 percent the country’s economy had become more efficient.”

Sapa

PDC Solar Geysers
Susman Avenue, Blairgowrie
Johannesburg, Gauteng
South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)11 886 4661