Monthly Archives

December 2016

Homeowners tips to avoid unnecessary electricity bills

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

Alan Matthews from EPHS spoke to Insurance Chat on 21 December, 2016. He discussed top tips on how to avoid unnecessarily high electricity bills.

“Electricity costs are still on the rise, and Energy Partners’ research indicates that there will be above inflation increases in tariffs for at least the next three years.

With that in mind, homeowners should start to adopt an energy saving mind-set at every available opportunity,” he says. The first step, should be to switch off the geyser for the duration of the time spent away from home.

Homeowners should ensure that all ‘phantom energy users’ are unplugged. “TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and various other electronics use energy even when not turned on.”

There is also an opportunity to save energy outside the home by setting the pool pump to run for a shorter period each day.

Homeowners should also use this time to consider options that will save energy and reduce electricity costs throughout the year. If you have not done so already, something to consider for 2017 is the installation of heat pumps. Used in conjunction with a solar heating solution, this has the potential to drastically reduce total electricity spend.

The initial cost of such a system could be justified over time. Our integrated home energy systems is a full solution, designed to reduce a home’s monthly electricity spend by around 70%. With a carefully planned and designed solution, the cost of the system’s installation could easily be recovered in five years.

Read the full article here.

 

 

SABC Digital News – Saving electricity during the festive season

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

On December 21, 2016, Alan Matthews (head of Energy Partners Home Solutions) discussed how holiday makers can save money on their electricity bills by switching off all appliances when leaving the house. Listen in on the interview to learn energy saving ideas which can be implemented throughout the entire year. We hope to make consumers more aware of their day-to-day energy consumption and give you more insight on energy saving.

Do not just change your mind-set over festive seasons but also for the future, as South Africans should brace themselves for a possible inflation increase in electricity tariffs over the next three years.

Energy Forecast Online – Going 50% off-grid is better than 100%

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Our marketing manager, Cala van der Westhuizen, spoke to Energy Forecast Online on December 5th, 2016. Van der Westhuizen spoke about alternative energy solutions and how these alternatives are becoming increasingly affordable, however, powering a home completely from renewable sources is still prohibitively expensive. To read the full article, read here.

South Africa is likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next eight years, with some conservative estimates placing the rise in tariffs at between 6% and 8% year-on-year.

This figure could be as high as 13% if carbon taxes are imposed, and even higher should the 300% increase over the past three years be any indication.

This news is driving some consumers to seriously consider taking their homes completely off-grid.

Van der Westhuizen notes however that smaller scale solutions could provide significantly more benefits than a fully off-grid option.

Achieving the optimal 60% to 70% electricity independence, according to Van der Westhuizen, starts with replacing some of the home’s heaviest electricity users with more efficient solutions.

“When it comes to lighting, LEDs are great replacements for traditional downlights, as they save far more electricity in the long run. Geysers account for as much as half of the electricity bill in many households, with large unnecessary energy wastage. This can be mitigated by a highly efficient heat pump or, in certain cases, solar geysers. Even these simple, affordable solutions can make a big difference,” he says.

Van der Westhuizen states that the next step is to install solar PV panels and a battery or inverter system. He notes that these are extremely effective in generating and storing energy.

“Energy Partners Home Solutions’ integrated home energy systems is a full solution, designed to reduce a home’s monthly electricity spend by around 70%. With a carefully planned and designed solution, the cost of the system’s installation could easily be recovered in five years,” he adds.


 

If you are interested in saving energy, please contact us.

Businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

“There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants,” Loubser continues.

Other cases involve possible clerical errors, says Loubser. “We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing.”

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. “In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month,” she says.

Loubser states that businesses need to know how to raise the issue of electricity tariffs with their local municipalities.

“The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application.”

Loubser adds however that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. “The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company’s electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under,” says Loubser.

Energy Partners provides billing analysis to its clients, as part of their energy management programmes.

“One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in Kwa Zulu Natal that saved R 2.6 million only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs,” Loubser explains.


 

If you are interested in an energy solution for your business, contact Energy Partners here.