Consumer Watch

Glenda Thompson

Cosumer watch

Thanks to our wonderful August sponsor from Rest Assured and Cloud Nine for anchoring the show this month!  They really are the Kings and Queens of a good night’s sleep and you can find them at the following retailers around the North Coast:  Bed Boyz, Hirsch’s and Sleep King.  All of them have fantastic winter specials on their beds, so pop down to one of those stores this weekend to find the bed of your dreams!

We have had so many people complaining about the price of electricity so I called the KwaDukuza Municipality to find out what was going on.  I spoke to Siyabonga, who was very helpful and he explained that the July bills for consumers were high because they covered a 40 day period.  He assured me that our July/August bills would not be nearly as high.  I was delighted to have found someone in the know and if you would like to query your bill, give him a ring on 032 437 5500.

THE QUESTION IS … SHOULDN’T WE BE GOING SOLAR??
Many of us are looking at alternate power sources, such as solar panels, in an attempt to reduce household electricity consumption.  We had a chat to one of the top Property Entrepreneurs in the Region, Grant Gavin, about going solar and this is what he told us:

“There is a growing trend of households introducing energy-efficient elements to curb their energy usage and overall cost of running the home. A study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed that apart from a safe neighbourhood, the factor that influenced home-buying decisions the most was a home’s energy efficiency.”

There are a few pros and cons that homeowners should consider before they go ahead with adding solar panels to their home:

Pro – Reduce utility bill

It goes without saying that using power generated from the sun will reduce the amount of electricity used from the main power grid – and ultimately reduce the household’s utility bill. In most cases, solar panel systems save between 50% and 75% of an electricity bill. The money saved can go towards paying the solar panels off or other household expenses.

Con – The upfront cost

Even though solar panels have become more affordable over the years, the initial upfront cost of installation can be expensive, and it could take some time for the system to pay itself off – typically around seven years.

Pro – Increases value of the home

Energy-efficient elements add value to a home, and a large percentage of the initial outlay of such elements is recouped when the property is sold. “According to the NAHB, approximately 61% of homebuyers would be prepared to pay an additional R50 000 to R100 000 on a home that had features which would reduce utility costs.

And of course, the biggest Pro – a reduction in our Carbon Footprint!  Considering the reality of Global Warming, we all need to take responsibility for keeping our planet safe for future generations.
Listen to our next Consumer Watch show on Radio Life and Style this Friday at 12.30.  Let me know if you would like to include anything on the show.  We love your feedback!

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