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Home Advice Energy Efficient Water Heating Solution Comparison – 2023

Energy Efficient Water Heating Solution Comparison – 2023

Energy Efficient Water Heating Solutions harvest the sun’s rays and ambient temperatures to produce hot water is far less expensive than using grid-supplied power and a green, sustainable way to ensure you have hot water on demand.

We are extremely lucky to live in a country that has the perfect climate for solar power production and use it for water heating systems.

Various water heater options are available to help reduce your carbon footprint and save money on electricity. Not all of them are solar-powered, but they are far more energy efficient than the conventional electric geyser.

Option 1

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Thermosyphon Solar Geysers

Solar Geyser Price: From R 18,092.54

Installation Cost: From R 6600.00

Thermosyphon Solar Geysers use the convection and conduction process to move water through the solar collector. Hot water has a lower density than cold water, allowing the hot water to move up into the geyser and the higher-density cold water to move down into the solar collector.

This solution has no moving parts, which makes this solution extremely efficient with little to no maintenance.

They are usually installed in homes where there is no existing electric geyser. Both the geyser and solar collector are installed on top of the roof.

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Thermosyphon Solar Geyser
Solar geyser installation is available only in Cape Town and Gauteng.

No Moving Parts

UPS Icon

No Maintenance

Load Shedding Unit Icon

Mid Range Affordability

Built-In Load Shedding Kit

Option 2

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Retrofit Solar Geysers

Retrofit Solar Geyser
Solar geyser installation is available only in Cape Town and Gauteng.

Retrofit Solar Geyser Price: From R 13,450.30

Installation Cost: From R 6600.00

Also known as a Solar Geyser Conversion Kit, this kit will enable you to convert an existing electric geyser into a solar geyser. You can benefit from heating your water with solar power by installing a few valves, a pump and a solar collector.

Because this is a pumped system, you may find you need to replace the pump at some point, but the pump itself is inexpensive and a small price to pay for monthly savings on your electricity bill.

Your geyser will remain installed inside your roof, with only the solar collector installed on top of your roof.

Has Moving Parts

UPS Icon

Might Require Pump Replacement

Load Shedding Unit Icon

Most Affordable

Built-In Load Shedding Kit

Option 3

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Heat Pumps

Heat Pump Price: From R 18,344.80

Peripheral Kit Price: R 2,959.00

Consider the heat pump as the opposite of a refrigerator. It pulls in warm air from its surroundings, using electricity but uses the warm air to heat the water in your geyser.

Although it uses electricity, it uses a fraction of the power that electric geysers do, and they work fast to heat your water so that you do not have to have it running for too long, and you’ll have hot water supply on demand.

They are usually installed on an external wall.

Heat Pump
Heat Pump installation is available only in Cape Town and Gauteng.

Has Moving Parts

UPS Icon

Yearly Service

Load Shedding Unit Icon

Most Expensive

Built-In Load Shedding Kit

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Solar Collectors

Solar collectors are used with Thermosyphon or Retrofit solar geysers. While both of these solar collectors do the same thing – heat the water in our storage tanks – their inner workings are completely different.

Choosing the right solar collector based on your needs and the setting in which it will be installed is very important.

Below is a comparison between a Flat Plate and Evacuated Tube Solar Collector.

Flat Plate Collector

Flat Plate Collector

The flat plate solar collector requires direct sunlight, so it must be installed on a north-facing roof.

Water is heated by direct sunlight with the help of copper pipes, insulation and a heat-absorbing plate.

The relatively straightforward design is less effective than its competitor. However, this makes the flat plate the more affordable option.


Flat Plate Feature Icons

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Evacuated Tubes Collector

Evacuated Tube Collector

The Evacuated Tube Solar Collector is more efficient due to the tube’s round shape, allowing heat to be absorbed at all times of the day.

The EVT uses heat pipes, and the inner workings are more complex than that of the Flate Plate.

To read more about how they work, Read our Solar Geyser Guide.


EVT Feature Icons

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Additional Accessories

These accessories can be installed to assist our energy-efficient water heating solutions further, or they can be installed on electric geysers to make them more energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Element Price: R 2,587.50

Energy Efficient Geyser Element

Having set a predetermined maximum temperature, the Energy Efficient Geyser Element (also called a PTC Element) will restrict current when exposed to hot water. As the water cools, it allows more current to flow to heat the water in your geyser efficiently.

Even Thermosyphon Solar Geysers come with a typical electric element, so installing an energy-efficient one will help save even more electricity.

A plumber will replace your old element with the new, energy-saving one.

Geyser Blanket Price: From around R200.00

geyser blanket
Geyser blankets are a great way to prevent heat loss in your geyser.

They are relatively inexpensive and can be bought online or at your local DIY shops.

Geyser blankets work very well with retrofit solar geysers, especially for those of us who work away from home and shower and bath in the mornings or evenings when the solar collector is no longer heating your water.

This is a simple, cost-effective solution that will ensure that your geyser is running more efficiently and using less power to do so.

Energy Efficient Water Heating: Conclusion

Side by Side Comparison

Adding any of these water heating solutions to your home, with or without a solar system containing solar panels, you’re going to see a drastic reduction in your grid power consumption.

Thermal energy, using ambient or solar heat, is the future of South Africa, with each solution providing features that would suit any home.

Thermosyphon Features Comparison
Retrofit Features Comparison
Heat Pump Features Comparison