Eskom recently initiated a pilot programme in Fourways, Johannesburg to manage remotely household electricity consumption through smart meters, with plans to expand the initiative nationwide.
The move was discussed during Eskom’s recent state of the system briefing, where electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa made it clear that the government’s goal is to curb energy consumption by encouraging households to turn off geysers when not in use (as they account for half of our household energy usage).
This comes shortly after a recent survey was able to confirm that we don’t have to switch our geysers off to secure significant energy savings in South Africa. By simply lowering the set-point temperature of our geysers using smart geyser devices, we could save up to 1GWh without any of the compromise associated with switching the geyser off.
At present, our insurance industry holds the key to making smart geyser technology more accessible to everyone. Insurers are already re-installing more than 10 000 new geysers a month when they burst or require repairs. Installing a smart geyser device during this process only incurs a marginal fee, making the transition to transformative water heating technology well within our reach.
With the real-time monitoring capabilities of these smart devices, insurers can leverage the technology to gain invaluable insights into the condition and performance of insured properties. This is because smart geyser devices provide data for more accurate risk assessments and proactive measures to prevent potential claims.
For instance, insurers can receive alerts for abnormal usage patterns, indicative of possible leaks or malfunctions. Armed with this information, insurers can intervene quickly before significant damage occurs, reducing claim payouts and safeguarding policyholders’ assets.
Over the last two years, the use of smart geyser devices has seen a 90% reduction in consequential water-damage claims for Nedbank Insurance. Their clients are also enjoying, on average, a 30% reduction in their household geyser energy usage.
It’s a smart choice that benefits everyone. There’s no need to turn our geysers off when Ramokgopa should be driving the adoption of smart geyser devices in South African homes instead.
CEO: Sensor Networks