Solar Water Heating Programme

Last updated: 7 February 2020
The Solar Water Heating Program (SWH program) is a government initiative with an initial goal to install 1 million solar water heaters by 2014. The SWH program is expected to save approximately 650MW of electrical demand. The deployment of solar water heater (“SWH”) systems was identified in the South African National Energy Efficiency Strategy of 2005 as integral to improving energy utilisation in South Africa. Following the closure of the previous programme delivery model, the Department of Energy (DoE) has subsequently initiated a strategic revision of the programme rollout methodology.

In pursuit of the 2030 SWH target contained in the National Development Plan, the national SWH programme envisages the procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of up to 1.25 million SWHs by 2019 in residential dwellings throughout South Africa.
In 2014, Government made the decision to stop the subsidisation of imported SWH systems in favour of local manufacturing to increase job creation, industrialisation and the socio-economic impact of the programme. The Department of Energy (DoE) is procuring SWH systems that meet the local production and content requirements as stipulated by the DTI and measured against the applicable SANS technical specifications (SATS 1286: 2011 in this case).
The South African Department of Energy (DoE) has cut the budget for its Solar Water Heater (SWH) programme from R394 million last year to zero in the 2018/19 financial year.

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