In the past, these rebates were only available to homeowners who replaced their geysers with water heating pumps. In other words, the rebates only applied to retrofits. Under the extension, developers of new houses and complexes, hotels with single geysers, guest houses and lodges now benefit.
According to Eskom, heating water in homes and small hospitality complexes can account for up to 40 percent of the average monthly electricity bill. This is due largely to the fact that conventional geysers are energy hungry and use an average of three units of electricity to yield three units of energy to heat water. Water heating pumps on the other hand, only use one unit of electrical energy to yield the same amount of energy as conventional geysers. This means that water heating pumps can potentially use up to 67 percent less energy than conventional geysers.
There are two types of heat pumps, namely the integrated type and the split type. Integrated heat pumps are self-contained (the tank and heat pump are one unit); split heat pumps feature a separate tank and separate heat pump.
Heat pumps use the reverse cycle of a refrigeration plant to heat water. In effect, heat pumps transfer heat from a source such as air or water to the water which is to be heated. As in other refrigeration equipment, the heat pump system employs an evaporator, a compressor, a condenser, refrigerant gas and an expansion valve within a closed circuit.
Systems vary in size from small domestic heat pumps to large commercial and industrial systems capable of heating and storing thousands of litres of water. The size of the heat pump required depends on the amount of hot water needed, the average ambient air, municipal water temperatures, humidity and space constraints.
Apart from the obvious efficiency and cost savings, a number of additional benefits stem from utilising heat pumps. Benefits include amongst others, a reduction in carbon output, boiler tanks last longer due to the lack of chemical interactions between the element and other metals and the cooling cycle of heat pumps can also be utilised to cool buildings.
Says Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager, Integrated Demand Management, Eskom: “We are happy to now offer new property owners the choice of water heating pumps over conventional geysers, thereby adding momentum to the energy efficiency rebate programme.”
Under the rebate, water heating pumps with a tank size of 100 to 300 litres are discounted by R3 668 and those between 301 and 500 litres by R4 320. Conditions do apply though. The rebate will only be available on water heating pumps installed in units already occupied by new owners. Developers, therefore, do not qualify for rebates on water heating pump installations in units that are unoccupied.
Proof of occupancy must be submitted to an Eskom accredited water heating pump supplier in order to qualify for the rebate. Proof of occupancy entails the following:
• An occupational certificate per unit
• Plumbing COC or the number
• Electrical COC or the number
• The occupant’s / owner’s ID copy and completed claim form
Funding for larger industrial and commercial heat pump projects can be accessed through Eskom’s Energy Services Company (ESCo) funding process. Detailed information and a complete list of Eskom accredited water heating pump suppliers are available at www.eskom.co.za/idm.