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Winter’s Burst Geysers Provide Options for Solar Upgrades

26 July 2011 Aon South Africa
Mandy Barrett of Aon South Africa

Mandy Barrett of Aon South Africa

The latest run of bitterly cold weather in Gauteng has seen a significant increase in the number of insurance claims for burst geysers, and the really cold months of July and early August are still to come. Given the drive towards sustainability and solar water heating, this is a perfect opportunity for clients to consider replacing their traditional electrical geyser with a solar-heated, environmentally-friendly alternative.

Mandy Barrett of Aon South Africa says that insurers such as Santam are offering clients the opportunity to replace their damaged geysers with solar options, allowing the client to pay in the difference between the insurance pay out and the cost of the solar system. “The balance payable by the client could even be recouped through the Eskom rebate programme, which refunds the client around 25% of the entire cost for a solar water heating system,” explains Mandy.

“This really puts quality solar water heating within the reach of Aon’s personal insurance clients and is a worthy and important drive towards lessening one’s electricity demand while making a positive impact on the environment. Long term, the client also gets to save a significant amount on their monthly utility bill, with up to 40% saving on their household electricity costs. Given the recent sharp increases in the cost of electricity, it’s a great option for consumers to take control of their costs, as well as use their energy resources more efficiently,” explains Mandy.

The cost of electricity, which has increased significantly in the past 2 years, will continue to rise at a further 25% a year for the next three years and will have a marked negative impact on consumer’s personal budgets.

“Consumers should give serious consideration to this option when replacing their geysers and discuss their options with their broker. There is a tangible, financial benefit along with the self-sufficiency that comes with renewable solar energy.

Calculations show that a homeowner currently paying R800 per month for their electricity, can save R18500 over a three-year period with a 40% reduction on their electricity usage through solar water heating,” adds Mandy.

Once installed, remember to add your solar asset to your building insurance cover. “Your new solar water heating system adds to the replacement value of your property so make sure you list it under your Homeowners insurance which covers the bricks and mortar, structure and fixtures of your home.

“A well-conceived insurance program gives you peace of mind knowing that your hard earned assets are safeguarded in the event of a loss and, most importantly, that you’re paying the right price for the right amount of cover. Remember to update your policy with your broker every time you add to your home’s value through improvements and additions, or annually,” concludes Mandy.

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