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Energy Partners in the Press

Engineering News: Robben Island’s renewables makeover part of bigger going-green strategy

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

To improve the sustainability of tourism in South Africa, the Department of Tourism has included renewable-energy technology in the retrofitting of key tourist attractions and State-owned destinations in the pilot phase of a Tourism Incentive Programme (TIP), which will be carried out over the next three years.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom announced during his Budget speech in March that Robben Island, one of the world’s top tourist attractions, would soon generate its power from renewable-energy sources.

The island will be a pilot site for the Department of Tourism’s roll-out of renewable energy retrofitment to botanical gardens, South African National Parks (SANParks) facilities and World Heritage Sites in the country, he said, adding that the installation of renewable-energy sources such as solar power on the island would take place during the current financial year.

 

Click HERE to read the full article on Engineering News.

EWN: Eskom argues for ‘larger than usual’ tariff increase

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Eskom is arguing a case for a larger than usual tariff increase, saying it’s trying to balance the books in the wake of three heavy spending years.

The parastatal has to ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for permission to increase electricity tariffs.

Last year, it wanted to put up the price by 20% but Nersa sent it packing with a 5,2% increase.

Eskom argues it’s pumped more than R66 billion into infrastructure and it needs to start recouping that money.

The parastatal has presented its case for a tariff increase to Nersa, explaining its latest application is to try and make back the money that has been spent to keep the lights on over the past three financial years.

The state-owned enterprise (SOE) is also trying to allay fears of a major price shock with some anticipating a 30% tariff increase.

 

Click HERE to read the full article on ewn.co.za.

Property24: How much you’ll save with alternative energy solutions

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A larger installation, which includes a solar photovoltaic system, heat pump, energy storage and energy management system can shrink the home’s total monthly energy costs by up to 80%, says Van der Westhuizen.

Eskom has recently submitted a new application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to raise electricity prices by 30%, which may mean that South Africans could see substantial hikes in their monthly electricity costs before the end of 2018.

“The increases that South Africans have already seen in the price of electricity over recent years have consistently outpaced the rate of inflation. With an even higher price increase now under discussion, it is becoming vital for homeowners to consider alternative sources of electricity to power their homes. Unlike coal-fired power, alternative energy solutions have become exponentially more affordable and accessible to consumers.”

According to van der Westhuizen, the average home’s electricity spend can be reduced considerably through the use of innovative energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions.

“Homeowners can use their own discretion as to how much they want to save and invest in energy efficiency, but most will find that even small changes could make a noticeable difference. Simple measures like replacing the home’s regular light bulbs with energy efficient LED lighting can already cut the average household’s monthly electricity bill by as much as 30%. More advanced options like replacing the conventional geyser with a heat pump and hot water storage solution can reduce the home’s reliance on the national grid by up to 50%.”

Van der Westhuizen says that a larger installation, which includes a solar photovoltaic system, heat pump, energy storage and energy management system can shrink the home’s total monthly energy costs by up to 80%.

To read the full article, click here.

SACS Invests In Renewable Energy System

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South Africa College High School (SACS) in Cape Town has made a commitment to clean energy by installing a solar system at its Rosedale Boarding House. The solar system was installed by Energy Partners Home Solutions, part of the PSG group of companies.

Barry van Selm, Deputy Headmaster at SACS explains that installing a solar system at the school was an easy choice. “SACS has become very aware of its carbon footprint, so a renewable energy option was important to us. In the past five years we have also seen huge increases in electricity tariffs so we needed to find a sustainable way of bringing those costs down.”

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, schools like SACS, with boarding houses and plenty of activity over weekends and holidays, are the perfect place to install solar systems as these types of properties consume most of their energy during the day’s peak solar hours, and can therefore maximise the financial benefits of a renewable energy solution.

He says that the Energy Partners team achieved some interesting results while still working within the parameters that were set by SACS as well as regulatory requirements.

Van der Westhuizen explains that the Energy Partners’ team started off with an in-depth analysis into the requirements of the boarding house. “This involved taking the generation capacity that regulations would permit the team to install, into consideration.”

“According to our findings, we could install a 25 kilowatt inverter at the boarding house, which is the maximum size allowed under NRS regulations for the specific infrastructure of the site. With the actual solar array we had a bit more leeway, so we installed 30.88kWp of multicrystalline solar panels.”

This enables the system to produce at the converter’s maximum level for as long as possible during peak hours and also produce excess power that the school will be able to possibly sell back to the City of Cape Town, says van der Westhuizen.

Van Selm says that as part of the system, the school received a tracking tool that allows them to monitor the system in real time. “Being able to track the system’s energy production is very interesting and allows us to see the results. Our first electrical bill has not arrived yet, but based on what we have seen from the monitoring tool, our use of electricity from the grid has been cut by about one third which amounts to a saving of around R75 000 at the current electricity tariffs.”

“We are very excited about the results we have seen so far and looking forward to reducing our carbon footprint and electricity bills even further in the near future,” Van Selm concludes.

Energy saving technologies will help consumers prepare for massive electricity price hikes in 2018

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ePorperty News has receintly published this article on energy saving technologies that will help consumers prepare for upcoming electricity price hikes.

 

The latest ruling by the Constitutional Court, allowing Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to claw back additional tariffs from consumers could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South Africans.

However there is hope for homeowners to considerably reduce the impact of future increases.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies, who says this latest development is expected to place consumers under even more financial pressure.

“The good news is that alternative energy generation has never been more affordable and accessible to homeowners.”

According to Van der Westhuizen, property owners can reduce their electricity costs by as much as 80% with the right combination of energy saving technologies.

“Homeowners can use their own discretion as to how much they want to save and invest in energy efficiency, but most will find that even small changes could make a noticeable difference.”

Van der Westhuizen points to the available technologies that could offer homeowners the biggest long term cost savings.

 

What homeowners need to install

 

Van der Westhuizen says that replacing the home’s light bulbs with energy efficient lighting is the first place to start. “After that, replacing your home’s geyser with a heat pump, and a highly insulated hot water storage system, cuts the home’s electricity costs by an estimated 50%. The complete heating solution costs around R35, 000 for the average home.”

Next, he says that a solar photovoltaic (PV) system can provide up to 30% of an average home’s energy. “While this type of system costs upward of R80 000, it is hugely beneficial in the long term and must be viewed as an investment. Before embarking on this, it is important to understand whether the home’s rooftop has been designed to accommodate the optimal number of panels.”

Lastly, homeowners can choose a completely integrated system, according to Van der Westhuizen. “A hybrid inverter and battery, such as Energy Partners’ own ICON Home Energy Hub, enables property owners to integrate power from their solar PV panels, the national grid and batteries. It also incorporates a mobile app to track energy usage and savings in real time.”

 

Funding options for home generation

 

Van der Westhuizen also points out that while the capital required for home generation has decreased substantially in recent years, the upfront cost of a new system can still be prohibitively expensive for many homeowners.

Energy Partners took this into account when we were looking into the affordability of our ICON Energy Hub, which is an all-in-one solution for storing and using solar energy in the home, he states. “As a result, Energy Partners developed its own financing options for the system.”

Energy Partners is an approved credit provider under the National Credit Act (NCA) and offer the financing for homeowners, he says. “Our standard terms are prime + 2.5%, financed over five years, with a 10% upfront deposit. We have also developed a long term lease model, where the client can simply lease the system from us instead of having to pay for it upfront.”

Energy Partners recently launched its Smart Living Solutions initiative in partnership with Nedbank this year. This enables qualifying Nedbank clients to invest in energy saving products for their homes as part of their existing home loans.

“Alternative energy has become a good long-term investment with great financial benefits, and innovative financing options have made this option available to even more homeowners,” Van der Westhuizen concludes.

Please click here to read the original article.

Energy efficiency home upgrades to save you money

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

Property24 recently asked Energy Partners Home Solutions’ Head of Marketing and Sales, Cala van der Westhuizen, a few tips on energy efficiency home upgrades.

Energy-efficiency has become a global trend and designers are constantly presenting homeowners with visions of what high-tech, energy-efficient homes should look like.

The good news is that state-of-the-art energy saving solutions are available in South Africa, and in spite of perceptions, creating ultra-modern living spaces is affordable.

Whether designing and building a new house, upgrading a regular home or renovating a ‘fixer upper’, homeowners today have an incredible opportunity to implement great energy saving solutions.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares tips…

New water heating solutions 

A geyser is responsible for over half of a home’s energy bill and the modern alternative is to install a heat pump, which uses about a third of the total energy.

In conjunction with a highly insulated hot water storage system, this solution cuts the home’s electricity costs by an estimated 50%.

A complete heating solution costs around R35 000 for the average home. 

 

Rethinking lighting

Highly efficient LED lighting typically requires a tenth of the energy and has a longer lifespan than regular bulbs.

Constructing a new home or making major renovations is also an opportunity to allow more natural light into the building.

The home’s orientation, larger windows, glass doors and skylights all reduce the need for unnecessarily turning lights on throughout the day.  

 

Insulate everything

Insulation is a cost-efficient measure with the biggest impact on reducing energy consumption.

Double-brick walls with insulation in between, and well-insulated ceilings and floors are vital. Double glazing also reduces heat loss through large glass surfaces like windows and sliding doors.  

Door and window frames are often overlooked sources of heat loss, and wooden frames are the most beneficial in terms of reducing heat transfer between the inside and outside of the home.

 

Heating and cooling the home

If you’re looking for a cheap way to heat up your living spaces, modern fireplaces are a great option.

Conventional underfloor heating that uses closed circuit water-based systems and heat pumps is also one of the most efficient ways to heat a well-insulated home. 

For cooling, a new inverter air-conditioner never uses more energy than required to maintain the desired temperature. 

 

Home energy models through software 

Software modelling is commonplace in the commercial sector, and recently it has become more accessible to homeowners. It takes all the energy ins and outs into account, from heat radiating through windows and ceilings to the energy required for air-conditioning and heating water.

One case study in Hermanus saw Greenplan Consultants creating a virtual model of the home incorporating every possible variable, from the benefits of installing louvres, to the amount of heat removed by natural ventilation.

In the end, the consultant was able to increase the cooling efficiency of the home’s natural ventilation by 10%, and reduce the amount of energy needed for heating by a further 10%.

 

Solar panels and architectural considerations 

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a basic grid tied inverter that provides around 30% of an average home’s energy costs upward of R80 000. We often advise architects and developers on the easiest way to ensure that the roof is compliant, even if a system will not be installed from the start.

For a home to be able to accommodate the best possible solar array, the roof should be able to bear an additional load of at least 15kg per square metre.

Choosing the correct service provider is important too. There are many solar companies that do not have the experience, capabilities or intent to deliver a long-term and sustainable partnership to clients.

 

Batteries and home automation 

Finally, adding a hybrid inverter and battery provides the most energy savings. The inverter enables you to integrate power from the solar PV panels, the grid and batteries.


 

Read the article on Property24 by clicking here.

6 Ways To Slash Your Electricity Bill This Winter

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments
Property24 has published these 6 tips, click here to read the original article.

 

Even in a relatively warm country like South Africa, electricity usage skyrockets when winter comes around each year. In addition to this, electricity costs are still on the rise.

Luckily, there are quick, long-term energy saving solutions that homeowners can implement as we go into winter.

Homeowners can use their own discretion as to how much they want to save and invest in energy efficiency, but most will find that even small changes could make a noticeable difference this season.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares tips on how homeowners can save electricity this winter.

 

1  Mind the lights

LED Lights

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with highly efficient LED lighting. These typically require a tenth of the energy needed to power conventional bulbs.

Learning to better manage lighting can have a measurable effect on a household’s electricity spend. This is especially evident during winter, when the sun rises later and sets earlier.

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with highly efficient LED lighting. These typically require a tenth of the energy needed to power conventional bulbs.

Secondly, it is important to remember to only keep the lights on in the rooms that you use.

For those who are so inclined, take efficient lighting even further with intelligent circuits that automatically switch off lights in unused rooms.

2  Insulation is key

Double Glazing Windows

For the homeowner with money to invest, double glazing for windows and sliding doors is the next step.

Insulation is a low-cost measure with the biggest impact on reducing energy consumption.

Make sure that the home’s ceilings are properly insulated, and seal cracks or gaps in windowsills and door frames. For the homeowner with money to invest, double glazing for windows and sliding doors is the next step.

 

3  Heating water

Water heating accounts for over half of the average home’s electricity spend.

During winter, the amount of energy needed to heat water increases since regular geysers are not efficient at keeping heat from escaping.

Insulate exposed hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and turn down the geyser’s maximum temperature to 60 degrees celsius (from 50 degrees celsius in summer). This still provides enough hot water for the home, while using less energy.

You can stretch your savings even further by investing in a heat pump and hot water storage system. The system uses about a third of the total energy that would be used with a conventional geyser, and loses less than 3 degrees celsius during a 24-hour cycle even if placed outside.

The system can cut the home’s electricity costs by an estimated 50%.

 

4  Heating the home

Heaters account for a substantial portion of the home’s electricity spend. One of the quickest remedies is to replace all conventional heaters with wall heaters.

In a properly insulated home, these use significantly less energy while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Installing a modern fireplace is also one of the best ways to quickly and cheaply heat a home.

 

5  Don’t forget your laundry

Laundry

It is best to view a dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Try to only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an energy efficient dryer.

A tumble dryer is often a lifesaver during winter, especially in areas with winter rainfall. However, running a dryer for two hours a day, five days a week adds another R240 to the average Pretoria or Cape Town home’s monthly electricity bill.

It is best to view a dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Try to only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an energy efficient dryer.

 

 

 

6  Go all out

ICON

A homeowner can opt for a complete integrated solution, like Energy Partners Home Solutions’ ICON Home Energy Hub and photovoltaic (PV) system. This can reduce a home’s yearly electricity costs by as much as 80%.

Finally, a homeowner can opt for a complete integrated solution, like Energy Partners Home Solutions’ ICON Home Energy Hub and photovoltaic (PV) system. This can reduce a home’s yearly electricity costs by as much as 80%.

While a complete system could cost upwards of R80 000, there are financing options available to bring these systems within the reach of qualifying homeowners.

With each passing winter becoming more and more expensive, homeowners need to adopt an energy-saving mindset at every available opportunity.