A popular joke doing the rounds at present is "What did South Africans use before candles? Electricity". Whatever Eskom are up to with their load-shedding, one thing that you don't need to worry about at Phillipskop is hot water. The self-catering cottages have all had their solar geysers fitted. As long as the sun is shining there is more than enough hot water to go around. Mike Moody (Solartech Overberg) and his team have done a great job at fitting the solar plates and attaching the geysers. And as our water supply all comes directly off the mountain, we have now minimal costs involved with heating our water.
There are many reasons for going the solar hot water route:
- Economic: it is estimated that around 40-50% of the electricity bill for any house comes through heating the water, solar powered heating can reduce this by up to 70%.
- Ethical: we should all be concerned about climate change and by using the sun's natural and renewable energy, we slow down the rate that the planet is being harmed by other means of electricity generation.
- Eskom: you are no longer wholly dependent for hot water upon the vagaries of Eskom's load-shedding schedule. Furthermore, you are helping the country as a whole by reducing the demand on Eskom's limited capacity.
But in case you are worried about what happens in winter or when the sun does not choose to shine, all the geysers in the self-catering cottages have electrical back-up which will ensure that the water temperature is topped up should it need to be (providing reason 3 is not in play). Not that that is looking necessary at the moment. With temperatures of over 80°C in the geyser by late afternoon, it not only saves on electricity bills for showers but if you fill the kettle straight from the tap, your cup of tea will be ready in just a few seconds. Unfortunately, we are still reliant on Eskom for other electrical needs, but we should see these as opportunities to take a break and unwind at Phillipskop. Think of it as a chance to take part in an activity that does not require electricity: a braai, a candlelit dinner, stargazing or an early bed.