R3 more energy-guzzling light bulbs

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Parliament - Consumers will pay R3 more for fluorescent light bulbs which use up more energy, the Minister of Finance announced during his budget speech on Wednesday.

The minister said that government would introduce a charge of about R3 per bulb on energy intensive light bulbs as a step to encouraging energy efficiency and reducing harmful emissions.

Government's energy efficiency roll out plan, which started in February last year, includes encouraging the use of the Candescent Fluorescent Light bulbs.

The public have been urged to exchange their energy inefficient bulbs for the energy efficient ones.

Last year, South Africa was sent into a crisis when government had to introduce rolling black outs to alleviate the pressure on the country' electricity grid caused by a higher than expected demand in electricity and low reserve margins.

Government, in a bid to handle the electricity crisis, launched the National Electricity Management Plan and called on all citizens, businesses and other organisations to come together and work towards finding solutions to the current power crisis.

Large electricity consumers, such as businesses, agreed to decrease their consumption by 10 percent. This lead to some industries, especially the mining sector, being put under strain.

South African households were urged to conserve energy in the home by switching off geysers during the day, showering instead of bathing, using microwaves instead of ovens among others.

Eskom is currently building the Kusile Power Station in Mpumalanga, which is said to be the second most advanced coal-fired power plant project after the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo.

According to Eskom, the station will consist of six units each rated at approximately 800 MW installed capacity giving a total of 4800 MW.