Collusion in solar industry, MPs told

2011-01-25 14:38
Houses in the poor community of Darling have been fitted with solar geysers. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Houses in the poor community of Darling have been fitted with solar geysers. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Not all is sunshine and light in the solar water heater industry, Parliament's economic development select committee heard on Tuesday.

There is a "lot of collusion between the different players" on prices, economic development department deputy director-general for electricity, nuclear and clean energy, Ompie Aphane, told members.

He said when power utility Eskom increased its solar water rebate in 2010, suppliers and distributors of solar water heating systems increased their prices too.

"Soon after the rebate was increased, as soon as Eskom announced that the rebate was going to be increased, so did the costs that the suppliers were charging.

"We are very convinced that at the import source... the costs are a lot less... And so you can read that there is something that is not adding up," Aphane said.

High cost


Eskom last year effectively doubled its subsidy rate for solar water heaters from about an average of R3 000 a system, to R6 000.

According to a document distributed among committee members, there were 108 accredited suppliers and 245 registered distributors of solar water heating systems in SA at the end of 2010.

Aphane said the current high cost of solar water heaters was among the reasons for the slow rollout of such systems across the country.

The majority of systems on offer - at "too high" prices, ranging from R9 000 to R35 000 each - were imported.

Responding to questions later in the briefing, Aphane said he was not in a position to "categorically" state collusion was taking place.

On progress toward the government's target of installing one million solar water heaters around the country by 2014, he said that by the end of last year, a cumulative total of 30 974 systems had been installed.

"We will exceed the threshold of 55 000 systems this financial year."

Electricity tariffs

Aphane said the government was looking at offering tax breaks to both companies and individuals who implemented energy efficiency schemes, including solar water heating.

This "carrot approach" was awaiting approval from the finance ministry, and the introduction of a reliable monitoring system.

Aphane said the projected doubling of electricity tariffs over the next three years would push many consumers toward installing solar heaters.

"As tariffs almost double, savings will increase, and therefore so will customer willingness to invest in solar water heaters."

He said there were currently an estimated 12 million households in SA. The government aimed to see between five and seven million of them fitted with solar heaters by 2019.
- SAPA
Read more on:    solar power
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Accountant - Cape Town

Western Cape
Quantum Recruitment

Area Manager - Retail

Western Cape
Evolve Personnel
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.