Load shedding and increasing electricity tariffs paint a bleak picture for homeowners who are reliant on the South African grid. The upside, however, is that these issues are forcing many to go green, downsize or seek self-sustainable homes with energy-saving alternatives and greener living solutions.
A growing number of homeowners are seriously considering ways to get off the electricity grid. This puts the electricity supplier at risk of losing customers. Currently, however, the cost of investing in a solar and green solution remains high and “probably unaffordable for most South Africans”, says Herschel Jawitz, chief executive Jawitz Properties.
“The irony is that South Africa has an ideal climate for solar energy with hot summers and mild winters. “In reality, more and more people will most likely find ways to use less electricity, which will impact on Eskom’s revenue and ability to invest in supplying cheaper electricity. The real issue is competition. South Africa needs more than one supplier.
Monopolies are never good for the consumer.” Brett John Petzer, founder of the Green Housing Company that assists homeowners and businesses to find green solutions for their homes and buildings, says water scarcity and electricity issues are a worldwide phenomenon.
He says his clients call him in to do a complete green audit, but because the costs to get completely off the grid range from R250 000 to R450 000, many do it in stages.