Fed-up Hilton residents look to gas power

2010-04-28 00:00

HILTON residents have started looking for alternatives to their unreliable electricity supply.

For the past two weeks, they residents have experienced almost daily power outages — one lasting as long as 26 hours.

Fed up with thefrequent power cuts, hundreds of residents are considering sources such as gas and solar power.

Hilton Gas Worx’s Ina Smith said about 100 people have visited the store daily since the beginning of the power cuts.

The residents are “not only purchasing lighting and cooking accessories to prepare for power cuts, but are also making inquiries about more permanent solutions, particularly for gas hot water and gas stoves”, Smith said.

She said gas is a far more reliable as an alternative to electricity. “It is an excellent alternative, giving you instant power at the push of a button or the turn of a knob” she added.

Some households have made complete changeovers from electricity to gas, a change that Smith said is perfectly safe.

“Today’s appliances all come with safety features ensuring that you have no mishaps — from flame failure to child-proof knobs. The old-fashioned gas stoves, where you have to light a burner at the back of the oven are a thing of the past. Today’s appliances are as sleek and slick as their electrical counterparts,” she said.

Besides the advantage of heat on demand, switching from electricity to gas can also save money. According to Smith, gas negates expensive geyser heating bills. “You only pay for what you use,” she said.

She said she had experienced the money-saving perks of gas first hand. “When I moved into my present home we had a full electric stove. When we replaced it with a full gas stove, our electricity bill dropped by R250,” she said.

A gas cylinder costs about R280 and can fuel a stove for up to eight months. Some gas dealers offer door-to-door gas deliveries.

Meanwhile, Msunduzi’s process manager for electricity, Maxwell Mthembu, said Hilton’s electricity troubles should now be a thing of the past.

“We are not expecting any further problems as we now have two electricity lines readily available instead of just one. They are working and healthy,” he said.

Mthembu said that as long as the lines aren’t cut or damaged by falling trees or other unforeseen circumstances, a steady supply of electricity should be available to Hilton residents.

But while Hilton residents have experienced a measure of relief from power cuts, those living in Chase Valley have not been as fortunate.

In the past week, the sububrg has been affected by two power outages.

Mthembu said that often the fixing an electricity fault in one street or house disrupts the electricity supply to the area.

This, he said, was the case in Chase Valley.

“We are aware of the problem,” said Mthembu. “The issue has been rectified and we are monitoring it.”

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