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Solar geysers: cold hard cash and long hot showers
With great power comes a great electricity bill. And a great electricity bill is something that none of us can afford. So many of us will do almost anything to reduce living expenses each month; but a solar geyser is a big investment. Is it really worth it?
Let's look at the realities of owning a solar geyser.
Solar geysers: here's how you benefit
- You save money: Exactly how much money depends on a few factors; the kind of solar geyser you buy, the size of your family and your consumption habits and the location of your home. Reports of actual savings vary from 20% per month to 60%. There is no question that you will save money over the long term with a solar geyser. Conservatively, Eskom estimates that it takes 4.5 years to pay off the solar geyser. After that, you can enjoy your long hot showers without guilt.
- You do your bit for the planet: South Africans are a power hungry nation and our coal-based power sources are not kind to the environment. Future generations will wonder what took us all so long to make the switch to sunshine power.
- You will add to the value of your home: The lifespan of a solar geyser ranges from 10 – 25 years (possibly even more). A solar geyser is a major selling point in these tough economic times.
- You are guaranteed a hot shower/bath: For some it is a luxury, for some it is a non-negotiable daily right.
How much confidence do you really have in Eskom?
Consider our current power crisis. It was literally a state of emergency at one point and there are no guarantees that it won't get worse before the situation stabilizes. Depending on what area you live in, you might already have been forced to go without electricity for vast periods.
Who could forget Eskom's legendary R36 million staff parties in 2012? Surely, this isn't the kind of company we want to give our hard-earned money to.
Solar geysers: some important info
- Eskom maintains a good guide to choosing the solar geyser for your needs. You'll need to ensure that the provider is SABS accredited and that they are listed with the Eskom rebate program.
- Solar geysers require regular maintenance to maximise their life span. Budget for a service every 6 months, costing in the region of R600. Although it isn't essential (some owners merely hose down their panels every month or so), it will help your unit function optimally.
- For some consumers a heat pump is a better choice. A heat pump is a small unit that looks like an air-conditioning unit that heats water using ambient air. Eskom does not offer rebates on heat pumps as of February 2014.
- Some companies are able to convert your current geyser into a solar geyser for even more savings.

Solar powered home improvements aren't just for hippies and do-gooders, anyone with a keen eye for a good bottom line will appreciate a solar powered geyser. With solar power comes reduced electricity bills, good environmental karma and the knowledge that you will be guaranteed a warm shower or bath no matter what disaster should befall Eskom.