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Take part in our solar survey

Selected Energy and the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) are conducting a survey into why people adopted solar as an alternative energy source in the past, and what will most effectively influence those still considering solar. If you complete the survey - which should take less than 10 minutes - you will be contributing to our efforts to make South Africa a more responsible user of energy. Click the link below to participate, and pass it on to anyone else you believe would want to contribute.  

News update

More (solar) power to the people of Limpopo South Africa will soon have the capacity to provide approximately 58 megawatts of solar energy to 8 000 households in Limpopo.

Solar making an impact throughout Africa!

The largest solar power plant in Africa will be built in Ghana, the British company behind the plan said on Tuesday.Source of much of the world's cocoa and an increasingly significant oil producer, Ghana's new drive to exploit the sun's energy is predicted to create hundreds of jobs and increase the country's electricity capacity by 6%, as well as cutting emissions.

Engineering News reports on Eskom's rebate reduction:

15 April 2011 - "State-owned power utility Eskom has confirmed that it would reduce the rebate level on its solar water heater (SWH) programme, which falls within energy efficiency initiatives in the Integrated Demand Management (IDM) unit.

SWH supplier Selected Energy, which installs Solahart products, on Wednesday urged potential SWH customers to place orders for a system before the current favourable rebate was lowered by the end of April.

“Only solar water heaters that have been installed before April 29, 2011 - with valid and complete claims that must be received by May 13, 2011 - will qualify for the old rebate,” said Selected Energy."

To read the rest of the Engineering News article, click here.

Breaking news: Eskom announces reduction in rebates

Eskom announced on 12 April 2011 that rebates on solar water heaters will be reduced before the end of the month. Only solar water heaters that have been installed before 29 April 2011 (with valid and complete claims that must be received by 13 May 2011) will qualify for the old rebate. Depending on the system, the reduction will be as much as R5 000 – R6 000.

Selected Energy urges consumers to consider placing an order for a solar water heater before the reduction is implemented.

Click on the letter below, by Eskom’s Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager (Integrated Demand Management), for more information on this matter.

SWH rebate letter signed 120411.pdf 

Solar water heating industry has its own ombudsman

SESSA has appointed Colin Bain as its ombudsman for the solar water heating industry. Selected Energy welcomes Mr. Bain and looks forward to his tenure as ombudsman. "We feel that with an immature market and many inexperienced sellers and installers the consumer can use some protection. This appointment together with other recent steps has gone a long way to transform SESSA into a credible industry body," said Seleceted Energy's managing director Jim Hickey.

A series of unfortunate events

The winter is quickly approaching and one cannot help to wonder whether South Africans are yet again going to experience the dark and dismal winter nights of 2008. Will the seasonal increase in electricity demand be met? Especially when one considers the series of unfortunate events that recently struck Eskom. published an article on the realities facing Eskom, and it paints a gloomy picture on the situation. To read the article, click here.

SWH rebate update: Eskom

From 1 January 2008 to 22 March 2011 28 711 low-pressure solar water heaters were subsidised and only 18 358 high-pressure systems, according to the Eskom Solar Water Heating Programme weekly administrative dash board 22/03/2011.

Fun Run Sunday

Selected Energy is one of the sponsors of the inaugural Birchwood Hotel Family Fun Run, taking place on Sunday 3 April 2011. This family get together promises to be filled with entertainment and fun activities for the whole family. Families are invited to enjoy a picnic in the garden, so remember to bring a blanket and umbrella. The Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre is situated on Viewpoint Road Bartlett in Boksburg. For more information on the event, click here.

Selected Energy installed 64 Kf302 Solahart solar water heaters and one centralised commercial Heat Store system on the Birchwood estate in 2010. The installation will supply 212 suites with 100 litres of hot water each. Click here for more information on this commercial installation.

Well done South Africa!

South Africans saved 350 megawatts of electricity during Earth Hour on Saturday, according to an article on News24. Eskom added that this is enough to power Bloemfontein for a whole day.

Buyers prefer green houses

The Sunday Tribune reports that bond originator OOBA found that 49% of house buyers now rate green features as an important consideration when buying a house. A solar water heater is the easiest way to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

A new sustainable housing calculator developed

Cordaid, Standard Bank, the National Department of Human Settlements and the Sustainable Neighbourhoods group at the Sustainability Institute has created a sustainable housing calculator, according to the article, ‘Why Going Green Makes Cents’ in the March edition of SA Affordable Housing.

The calculator will help government officials and professionals in the building sector to measure sustainable interventions in settlements. You can read the complete article here.

SA needs an energy mindset change

Selected Energy previously reported on its website that deputy president Kgalema Motlante is championing energy efficiency as the easiest way to reduce the demand for electricity. South Africans have grown used to artificially low electricity prices. This has made them complacent and apathetic towards saving electricity and lowering their energy costs. It has been reported that the energy savings that are achievable by solar water heaters is equal to the output of a new generation coal power station like Medupi. Read more on Business Day’s site.

Refit tariffs to be reduced

Sake 24 and Daily News 24 today reports that the Refit tariffs (the tariff at which Eskom will buy electricity that is returned to the grid) for solar and wind power will be lowered by 25% and 40% respectively.  This sends mixed signals about government’s commitment to renewable energy. The question is whether NERSA is doing the right thing by making sure renewable energy suppliers are not milking the national treasury with exorbitant prices for their energy or is Eskom and big coal’s interests being protected? Click here to vote in our poll on the topic. 

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