POWER SUPPLY: City To Help Home Owners
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed a new plan by the City Council to help home owners buy and install solar water heaters and pay for them through their rates accounts.
“This is exactly what we need,” said Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber. “We are particularly pleased that the plan will support local industry and create jobs.”
In terms of the plan the City has called on local firms which manufacture and install solar water heaters to come forward and offer their services.
A key feature of the scheme is that home owners will not have to find the money to pay in advance for their solar water heaters as was the case with the Eskom subsidy plan.
Mr Peter Haylett, Chairman of the Chamber’s Industrial Focus Portfolio Committee, congratulated the City on the plan. “The mass roll-out of solar water heaters will actually cost the city some of their income from electricity sales but there is no doubt that it will benefit us all in the long term.”
He said the plan would relieve pressure on the electricity grid, save money for consumers, create local jobs and reduce the City’s carbon footprint. “It is an imaginative scheme and it sets an example for the rest of the country. We would like to see schemes like this introduced in every other town and city.”
He believed it would make solar water heaters cheaper as volumes increased and economies of scale came into operation. This would happen while electricity prices continued to rise so the savings for consumers would grow every year.
Mr Haylett said the next step would be to review city regulations on the use of gas. “Gas for cooking and heating has the potential to smooth out the evening peak demand period when all the warnings go up on our TV screens. Peaking power is the most expensive electricity generated and that is where we should look for more savings. The City should do everything possible to encourage the use of gas.”
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