TIPS FOR GOING SOLAR
With reference to a recent article in
( Protect your piggy bank this winter – go solar, 28 March edition) I want to relate my experience with a solar geyser installation, a 200l, f lat-plate Solarmax, which was installed exactly two years ago in Milnerton, Cape Town. The total cost was about R19 000, less a rebate of some R6 000. 1. It works f ine. 2. Between about mid-October and now, end-March, the electricity to the geyser is switched off. 3. During the cooler months the power comes on for about 1 ½-2 hours in the afternoon. 4. Three people have been living in the
dwelling for the past four years. 5. Total electricity consumption during
the last 24 months was 9 250kW/h. 6. Total consumption the previous 24 months was 10 800kW/h, ie prior to installation. During the two years since installation we saved about 1 550kWh, or 14% of the total previous consumption – this works out to some R2 100, or R87 a month.
7. The total money saving is sometimes quite exaggerated, it depends entirely how much people consume. The more hot water is used, the more savings, but only during the summer months, as from now until October the geyser needs the extra boost of daily electric power. 9. In retrospect, I still recommend a solar geyser installation but the amortisation is much longer than most suppliers would have us believe – in our case it will be a maximum of 150 months, depending on how much the kW/h price increases. Thought this might be useful to some readers. Pretoria East, one has to f irst navigate traffic to Hatfield, park, then take the train to Pretoria Central, and then on to Johannesburg. It’s too hard and too time consuming, so they drive. Until the Gautrain accesses Pretoria East directly from Centurion, bypassing Central and Hatfield, it will lose money. Of course let us not forget this failure to service the Gautrain’s biggest market was raised prior to construction, and ignored. Thank you for input on the story. If you watched the Finweek: Money Matters show on Friday, you would have heard Ian Ollis (Democratic Alliance spokesperson on transport in Gauteng) point out that the Gautrain is going to have to be incredibly careful around cannibalising or competing with Metrorail routes. Gautrain spokesperson Barbera Jensen indicated on the show that the Gautrain was to investigate pre-feasibility studies in and around Centurion and Pretoria. Routes are only one part of the problem, as members of staff here at Finweek have realised. Nearly a quarter of our employees travel from Pretoria to Sandton each day on the train and their biggest challenge is the parking on the Pretoria side.