Water heating in line with 2011 energy efficiency regulations

With the advent of the new SANS10400 XA energy efficiency regulation is 2011, the sole use of electrical geysers to produce all your hot water requirements has become illegal.

The regulation states that 50% of hot water required needs to be produced by means other than electrical resistance (conventional geysers), and recommends heat pumps or solar as a means of heating water. Over the last couple of years this is what I have experienced after many, many questions and numerous applications.

Why do geysers use so much electricity?

Hot water contained in a tank starts growing ‘stuff’ when it drops below 55 degrees, so a geyser has to heat the water constantly to keep it above that temperature. Every time someone opens a hot water tap and uses a small amount of water, cold water enters the geyser and dilutes the water even further.

What are my options?

Our options for 50% of our hot water required are limited to:

  • Solar water heating
  • Heat pumps / exchangers
  • Gas geysers
  • Fully integrated heating system (covered separately)
  • ‘Assisted’ by electrical

It’s important to bear in mind that this will have a significant impact on your budget as hot water production is no longer as simple as sticking a cheap electric geyser in the roof. All of the alternative options currently require a much larger initial capital investment, when compared to a traditional geyser.

It’s also imperative that your supply pipes are insulated, this has never been common practice in South Africa but this is now legislated. So make sure your contractors are up to date.

For more information, please check out the additional posts about each option. Be sure to check out my conclusion, or check that out first and then just read what you need to!

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