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Super Contributor
After the newest fiasco I decided to have high pressure solar geysers installed. The Escom approved ones cost around R21000 of which one can claim back about R3500 after 6-12 months and a lot of paperwork. At R300 juice per geyser per month it would take more or less 5 years to pay back. There is however other players out there that will charge about R8000 for ISO and CEA approved units. Using only the tubes without a geyser costs about R4000 which is then hooked onto existing geyser. Works out to about R12000 for 2 units installed with guarantee. Payback is then calculated between 18 - 24 months. On life cycle of 15 years its about a R100 k capital saving calculated at current rates. Much more saving if increases are added. If one looks at the pricing structures of Eskom approved suppliers currently it looks like they are not trying to make it feasible as an alternative. Have anyone else looked at these alternatives?
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Gas would be your best bet me think, R 5000.00 for the unit
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Super Contributor
Hennie. Piped gas would be the cheapest (Not Available). I have 4 gas geysers in a lodge where there is no electricity available. The big cylinders costs about a R1000 bucks for a refill. Very heavy to handle. Units are noisy and temperamental. Theres a lot of inherent risk to gas. Have anyone noticed that after the drop in crude oil price the petroleum gas (a byproduct) price has actually increased.
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Regular Contributor
Hi, I installed a solar geyser about a year ago, and it works really well. It's not a high pressure one though, but that doesn't seem to be a problem. It's one of the evacuated tubes kind, and is very efficient. Has got a 1.5kW backup element in it. 210l and cost R9500. I hardly switch the element on. If you have a sunny day, the water will still be hot the next morning. Well insulated.
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Oil from hemp (biofuel) has been touted as a good energy source. It would be safer than gas i think. Should government not allow hemp to be grown
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Super Contributor
and our youngsters and come to think of it not so young,could live in a smoking haze here after.no taxes on hemp!
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Various countries such as Canada allow growing of hemp. The industrial variety has a low drug ingredient in it - dont think it is used for smoking
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Super Contributor
Knowing our people probably try to smoke both varieties.Really only kidding,sounds like a good idea.i.e. for fuel i mean!
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Im considering switching to prepaid to save. On a few occations now the inspector failed to take a reading on the meter, as a result they took the average reading for my area, and the bill was twice as much. I confronted them and they corrected it, now this month they charged me for two months.... They are really a klomp skelms.
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Start by converting all yr lights to CFL's, then step up the pace by re-wiring certain light circuits to Photovoltaic panels, moving on to a solar geyser - go for a glycol heat exchanger rather than a vacuum system(integrity of the vacuum is important over time), then harvest yr rainwater in a 10,000l tamk & feed it into yr mains with a pressure activated submersible pump (connect downstream of yr meter & watch yr municipality scratch their heads as you use 30% of yr usual water, bearing in mind that yr sewerage is charged as a % of the water used, your bill falls across the board)lastly, if by now yr neighbours haven't had you committed to Groen Dakkies, install a domestic Bio-Digetsr from AGAMA & generate enough gas to cook on for 4 hrs a day with only the contributions from a family of 4 as feed stock. This is a sunken under ground unit & has no smell & all the water that flows post the digestion process is great for yr garden & lawns - (Hey Buurman, why is yr lawn so green? Ja nee swaar, I irrigate from my loo, boet - LOL)You connect all yr water - Shower, bath, baisin, sewerage & washing machine into it. Basically you just dig a hole & connect yr existing sewer line to the unit.Total cost of my retrofit was R1,200 for the bulbs, transformers etc; R2,395 for the solar panels & deep-cycle battery; R15,746 for the rainwater harvesting system; R18,645 for 3 geyser solar heater; R9,000 for the bio-digester & about R500 for fittings etc. I did all the labour myself with my trusted "Horticultural assistant" - it took about 2 years to do it all. So I say - BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE... Forget payback periods, just do it !!!
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Super Contributor
Bruberi: Who can I talk to to do these things? Any website address maybe?
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Super Contributor
Bruberi. Please consider submitting an article or two about your designs, ideas and experiences to the website i started after an discussion on the forum www.greendiy.co.za . Articles and fotos can be emailed to [email protected] Full credit will be given to anyone published material. I ask all forumites also to submit relavant material.
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Just a matter of interest, do u use corrugated plate heat exchangers for typpical domestic water heating, or is it mainly shell and tube type?
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Regular Contributor
I installed a Solar Geyser about 24 months ago. Cost approx R16k and I have not noticed a significant change in monthly electricity bills. In order to achieve maximum efficiency I believe the following should be considered: Night use of hot water essentially consumes all the solar-heated water. Cold water is then heated during the night using the standard built in element anyway - partly negating the solar benefit. I am about to run tests switching off the electrical supply or installing a device which limits (via timer) electricity usage by solar geyser.
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I instaled a simple timer electronic switch into my DB for geyser (guess a bigger uglier pool timer switch could work just as well if the DB is hidden). Runs max 2 hours per day and heats all the water I need. Cost about R600-00 and paid it self off in 2 months. Since then electricity is down about 45% from previous usage. Like was mentioned, converting/installing a Solar unit cost about R12K and payback over 5 years Did not make sense to me then. However am looking at alternatives for future price increases in electricity. Have a decent PV system and add to it when funds allow to grow unit size. Eventually want to be about 20% reliant on Eskom.
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Valued Contributor
I have three geysers in my house and swapped all three .. cost a fortune, eskom paid me the rebate quick.quick and my elec bill went down by about 60% .. pay off will take a while, but over the life of the geysers saves a smallish fortune ..
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A possible plan for free lighting: Fit a second battery to your car, when u come home from work, plug your car into ur home to power low wattage lighting. and repeat the cycle?
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Ordinary 12V battery not good for deep cycle discharge. Will kill it and likey your own car battery very quickly if over usage on battery power exceeds certain level. Will need a deep cycle/long life battery and Lugging a battery in and out the car could take its toll.
If you gonna do it then rather fit a jack of sorts into car and install battery in boot or wherever (wired to alternator or parralel to car battery). When you get home plug the cable into 12V jack and you up and running. Problem is you have to understand battery connections, voltage sharing across parralel batteries and ensure you drive enough to charge both your own and long life battery. If not you might get that "click click click" sound one morning whenyou are in a rush....
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Super Contributor
Well, living in the "world-class african city", the fixed component of my electricity bill i.e. a service charge, demand side management levy and VAT comes to 38% of the total and if VAT on the actual electrical charge is incl. accounts for 45% of the total. All-in comes to 88c/kWh as opposed to Eskom's 33c/kWh ave. tariff mentioned in the media. Should enough consumers adopt the electricity saving devices mentioned here, councils will be forced to hike these admin fees and/or property taxes to protect their revenue streams and to subsidise the non-payers and the poor. Either way, you are going to pay for cadre deployment, AA and BEE - the ANC's surefire way to roll back poverty and create a better life for all...
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Ja the plan is to fit similar setup as some 4X4's use for running two batteries, just park next to your connection point in the garage and lights on!
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