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Call to make solar geyser plan public

Category Energy Saving

The Department of Energy has said it will release details of how it will run the solar water heater rebate programme towards the end of the month.

The comes after the solar water heater industry's appeal for information about how the department plans to run the programme which Eskom is to hand over to it at the end of the month.

The industry said in a letter to the department that information was "desperately needed to restore confidence and a period of calm" in the solar water heater installation industry.

The Sustainable Energy Society of SA wrote to the energy department on Friday, appealing for details of the handover and for a three-month phase-out period from Eskom, but has not yet had a reply.

The industry feared there would be a gap between Eskom's ceasing the programme and the energy department's taking over, which it said could lead to job losses and company closures.

Energy spokesman Johannes Mokoban said: "The department will release the details about the solar water heater programme transition process once all the details have been finalised towards the end of this month."

DA spokesman on energy Lance Greyling said yesterday he would write to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to confirm that her department had plans in place to ensure a smooth transition of the programme from Eskom to the department.

Greyling said Eskom's handing over of the solar water programme to the department must not be allowed to affect the industry negatively.

"We need a proper government plan for solar water heaters that can urgently reduce demand to the grid and provide certainty to the industry so that it can flourish and provide much-needed jobs."

The government's energy-saving target required 10 000 gigawatt hours to be replaced by power from renewable sources. The energy department believed 23% could be achieved by solar water heating.

Members of the public who want to make use of the solar water heater rebate programme while it is with Eskom will have to have heaters installed by January 31.

Author: IOL

Submitted 16 Jan 15 / Views 2199