Eskom has new funds for solar geysers

Eskom has an allocation of R45m a month to spend on solar-geyser and heat-pump rebates. This will last for seven months.

A media report recently warned that that money was fast running out to fund rebates. But Eskom’s media desk assures Moneyweb that rebates will continue to be paid,and there are no plans to reduce or scrap them.

Funds of R328m had originally been allocated for rebates for the current financial year. However,Eskom has already spent R450m with seven months remaining till year-end. It has received an allocation of R45m a month which will last till the financial year-end in March next year. This amount may not be exceeded.

Eskom says there is a possibility to obtain additional funding if it can resolve “governance,quality and sustainability issues”.

From June this year,Eskom announced changes to its rebate scheme. The new scheme provides for greater rebates for geysers manufactured with at least 80% local content. However,some “complexities” have arisen over how to determine the extent to which local content is used.

Until October 1,rebates will be granted at the higher,local-content rate. Thus,if you have your eye on an imported geyser,it would make sense to buy it before October.

A summary of the existing rebates follows:

Low Pressure

TypeSize

Maximum Rebate

  

Excl. VAT

Incl. VAT

Imported50-99l

R 2,399

R 2,735

Imported100l and higher

R 3,094

R 3,527

80% local content50-99l

R 2,879

R 3,282

80% local content100l and higher

R 3,713

R 4,233

High Pressure

TypeSize

Maximum Rebate

  

Excl. VAT

Incl. VAT

Imported100-149l

R 2,877

R 3,280

Imported150-249l

R 3,898

R 4,443

Imported250-300l

R 6,553

R 7,470

80% local content100-149l

R 3,453

R 3,936

80% local content150-249l

R 4,677

R 5,332

80% local content250-300l

R 7,863

R 8,964

Eskom introduced its rebate programme in 2008 to encourage consumers to use less electricity. In most households,water heating comprises the biggest component of the electricity bill.

But the programme has not gone as well as hoped. In a recent presentation,Eskom highlighted some of the problems that have plagued its programme:

  • Electricity savings are low in relation to cost. Solar geysers and other energy-saving products like heat pumps are expensive. Even with the rebates it can be difficult for consumers to make a convincing financial case to buy a solar geyser.
  • Quality of installations ranges from very good to poor. There are many suppliers of solar geysers,but not all of them are competent to install them. It is not uncommon for suppliers to leave customers with holes in their roofs,unconnected pipes and poorly-secured or leaky geysers. It is difficult for Eskom to ensure that all of its accredited suppliers employ competent plumbers and electricians.
  • Irregular claims. Eskom has partnered with auditors Deloitte to help with the rebate process,but this has not eliminated irregular claims for rebates. Problems include:no installations,false documentation and missing suppliers.

 

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