Well, we decided to take the plunge and start our "Go Green" projects.
After a lot of debate, (as you may have seen in other posts on the forum), the Green label is going to be used, in this instance, as the excuse for trying to save some cash on a monthly basis. Hopefully our actions will help relieve a minuscule amount of pressure on the national resources, but in true efrican spirit, we're watching our own back pockets first.
My aim is not to save a pre-defined amount of cash on a monthly basis, but rather to save an amount of kW and Liters. At least in a few years time I will be able to look back and put a 'current day' value to the savings resulting from the investments back in 2010.
Project # 1
So project # 1 is a solar geyser. Unfortunately we can't have a complete outside unit on the North facing side of the house, as there are no load bearing walls or beams in the area to support it. So we are opting to have the North facing panel, with a small pump to move the hot water from the panel to the existing geyser.
A control panel in the hallway will allow us to see the temperatures, set the times for using the electric element, etc. The panel and the geyser have probes wired to the control panel.
I have the exact kW usage for the last 12 months, so I think we can safely use that to determine an average to use as a comparison.
My aim is to introduce each of the Green Projects one at a time, leaving 2 weeks or more between each so that we can get a reasonable idea of the kW or Liter savings.
We have visitors from GP coming in a few days, so installation won't be until sometime just after 6 October.
My projection of the cost recovery, including interest on the amount borrowed from the bond account, paid back at my estimation of savings, is 24 months.
If I find the workmanship impressive I will post some pics and details of the installer.
Project # 2
This will be the second item that we'll be able to get a measurable kW result from. In the next few weeks we will be having our fibreglass pool relined. Once done, I intend to purchase a floatron pool ioniser device. This is a solar powered ioniser that reduces the amount of chlorine and other chemicals required in the pool between 60 - 80 % ( monthly saving on this ) as well as reduces the amount of time that the pool pump needs to run each day ( big saving here ).
Although there are some locally made options, the floatron appears to be the only one that is solar powered, and has a lot of unsolicited positive feedback on forums worldwide.
The cost recovery, again taking into account the interest on the 'loan', and the payback equal to the estimated savings, makes this a 12 month recovery.
Naturally, with all these projects, and unless there are any major system failures, the savings continue endlessly after the initial payback.
This won't actually generate any savings, but could be considered green as it is using natural resources.
As part of the pool re-lining process, I am going to have an additional inlet installed. The end of the pool is close to the vertical beam supporting the flat carport roof of the entertainment area, so am going to add some irrigation pipe coils and divert some of the water returning from the pump / filter, via the coils, back to the new inlet. As the pump only needs to run 3 or 4 hours a day ( due to the floatron device in Project #2 ) it can do this from 10:30 to 14:30 when the coils get the most direct sunlight.
We have a flat ( complete with tenant ) that has a 50 liter vertical gravity feed geyser. It is not in a position to be equipped with a solar panel ( at least not without additional expense that does not make it justifiable ) so will be fitting a timer switch to the db.
I am looking to add a separate electricity meter to the flat's db so that I can accurately see the amount of power this consumes.
Once I have that data, I will activate the timer switch and experiment with settings to find the best saving for the circumstances ( 1 tenant, single, home all day, only showers in afternoon, etc )
Will keep you updated with any developments and hope to be able to give some meaningful feedback.