Perhaps the green option that has been around the longest, solar power offers a range of possibilities for augmenting or even powering your entire home. Picture: ANA Pics

As the globe spins towards a climate change tipping point, green tech is rising to bring hope to the world. New tech brings new challenges, however. 

In June 2018 a Tesla was seen bursting into flame on California’s iconic Santa Monica Boulevard, and recently Chinese electric car manufacturer NIO experienced tumbling stock prices due to similar problems.

With green solutions springing up everywhere, making the change is the new necessity, and doing it smartly (and safely) is the best way forward. Here industry specialists bring you top tips on making the green transition, starting with insurance.

Insurance

Understanding your insurance policy details, should be priority.

The goal of any insurance claim is to be fairly compensated. In the area of eco products there is one factor that stands out above all, and that’s compliance. Non-compliant installations are the biggest threat to peace of mind in the growing green industry but it’s an issue that is also easy to solve. The right certificate of proof is all that’s needed to ensure policies are watertight.

So how can this principle be applied to some of the bigger green investments, like an electric or hybrid car?

Electric and hybrid cars

“Electric vehicles are of course fundamentally different from the cars that we are used to,” says George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO. “With new models like Tesla, and the hybrids from manufacturers such as Porsche or Toyota, understanding the range of your vehicle is crucial.”

Hybrid or electric cars do not yet enjoy widespread fueling support, meaning longer journeys take a little planning.

“Electric or hybrid batteries are fundamentally different too,” continues Mienie. “They have an expiry date, and can only be replaced by the manufacturer. Charging your battery requires a specific outlet, it’s not possible to rely on a friendly jumpstart.”

Rainwater harvesting

Harvesting natural rainwater is a green area with massive potential, both for alleviating drought conditions and saving on water bills. Bianca Harmse, Marketing Director of JoJo water storage tanks, has the following advice:

“Ensuring your tank is installed on a level and smooth base is important,” says Harmse. “If you are going to use your tank for rain water harvesting, installing a pre-filtration unit is necessary.”

In the case of harvested water used for municipal backup, Harmse has a crucial tip.

“Make sure that you use a professional installer to assist with the installation,” says Harmse. “Your system will tie into the main water supply line meaning there are certain plumbing laws that need to be adhered to.”

Solar use

Perhaps the green option that has been around the longest, solar power offers a range of possibilities for augmenting or even powering your entire home.

“Solar power will only work well for you if done right,” says Dom Chennells, CFO of The Sola Group. “Make sure you appoint a reputable installer. Getting your system to perform optimally over a good life span, say 20 years, takes engineering expertise. Short cuts will cost you in the long-run.”  

He also advises home and business owners located in high lightening incidence areas to ensure that the lightning protection system is designed to fall within the allowed risk.