Last Thursday, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) approved Eskom’s application for a 9.6% increase in electricity tariffs to become effective from 1 April 2022. While lower than the initial increase of 20.5% that Eskom proposed – the current increase will still place additional financial pressure on consumers. The cost of water is also expected to rise between 6-10% on 1 July 2022.
In addition, on Thursday 27 January 2022, Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago hiked the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points to 4%, an act to curb the upward trajectory of inflation, but one that adds pressure on consumers.
South African businesses and consumers are focusing their attention on eco-friendly appliances to save on the increasing cost of utilities.
“Eco-friendly appliances are increasing in popularity for many South Africans that are looking for ways to ease the burden on their budgets,” says Rajan Gungiah, Beko Regional Marketing Director for sub-Saharan Africa. The cost benefits of these appliances reduce expenses after the first use.
Gungiah says that as an example, a washing machine with a A+++*** energy rating can save up to 22% on electricity compared to washing machine with an A+ rating. A dishwasher with an A++ rating can save 11% in comparison to dishwasher with an A+.
“Contrary to popular belief using a dishwasher is more economical than washing dishes by hand. Using a dishwasher saves about 57 litres of water per load. Washing a load of dishes by hand uses about 66 litres of water, the same amount being cleaned in a dishwasher uses only 9.5 litres,” says Gungiah.
The interest in eco-friendly appliances extends beyond saving water and electricity, it’s also a sign of the rising awareness of businesses and consumers to lessen their impact on the environment.
“Many leading appliance manufacturers are actively using innovation and technology to ensure that the products they offer meet not just the consumers’ need for energy and water efficiency but also for a quest to lessen their environmental footprint,” says Gungiah. Eco-friendly appliances also provide additional benefits that consumers are looking for, such as lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing their carbon footprint because they emit fewer harmful gases.
South African businesses and consumers can rely on the Standards and Labelling (S&L) programme implemented by the Department of Energy (DoE) to determine whether or not the appliance they are about to purchase uses energy efficiently. In 2018, the DoE made it easier for South Africans to identify eco-friendly appliances by updating their label criteria for this segment and by launching the Appliance Energy Calculator Mobile App.
“The App allows consumers to insert the price of the appliance and the annual electricity consumption rate of the appliance (this information can be found on the label), and the App will then work out the estimated running cost and the amount of power the appliance uses,” says Gungiah.
“It is vital that appliance manufacturers commit to innovations that are eco-friendly, serving the environment, but also promoting healthy living and convenience for consumers at large,” he says.
Beko recently ranked 20th on The Real Leaders Top 200 Impact Companies of 2022, a testimony to the company’s sustainability mission and its belief that “healthy living is only possible on a healthy planet”. Beko’s product line uses recycled materials, bio-composites and detergent saving technologies for sustainable living.
The Real Leaders 200 Top Impact Companies Award recognises organisations making a positive social or environmental impact across a well-respected impact brands of various sizes and from a variety of industries.
The labelling protocol provides a seven-colour code including the energy grade which vary from A+++ to D, A++ to E, A+ to F and A to G. A+++ is the most efficient energy use option. The labels can also provide addition information including water usage and noise levels.
Appliance Energy Calculator Mobile App can assist consumers who are purchasing washer-dryer combinations, washing machines, tumble dryers, electric ovens, fridge-freezer combinations, freezers, geysers, fridges, dishwashers and air-conditioners to calculate the amount of power the appliance is using.