Solar Water Heater

The National Solar Water Heater Programme (NSWH PROGRAMME)

The National Solar Water Heater (“NSWH”) programme aims to procure and install 1,25 million SWH systems throughout South Africa by the year 2019 in order to, among others, provide hot water to communities that previously never had access to it and also introduce energy efficient technologies that will assist in reducing hot water load on the grid.

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The National Solar Water Heater Programme:


The NSWH Programme is divided into two components, namely, the Social Programme which seeks to provide households with access to hot water through using a renewable energy source (solar), and the Load Reduction Programme that seeks to encourage households that use conventional (electric) geysers to replace these with energy efficient solar geysers.

Manufacture and Supply

The Department of Energy (DoE) is procuring SWH systems that meet the local production and content requirements as stipulated by the DTI and measured against the applicable SANS technical specifications (SATS 1286: 2011 in this case). This is aimed at ensuring that the local SWH manufacturing industry is stimulated and that quality systems are deployed to communities and households that participate in the programme. The other key objective of the programme is to create job opportunities particularly in beneficiary communities.

Installation and Related Services

Under the national SWH programme proper training of installers is a pre-requisite for ensuring good quality installation workmanship. The installation of SWH systems ought to be done in accordance with, inter alia, the applicable national standards (as stipulated by SABS) and building codes to ensure that the beneficiary communities receive the benefits of hot water and reduce energy consumption for the envisaged lifecycle of the systems. A project management function will be set up to ensure proper planning, execution and vigilant monitoring of the programme.


To ensure that the benefits of hot water and energy efficiency accrue to participating communities and households, a dedicated call centre will be established to track the performance, through end-user feedback, of the deployed systems and ensure defects are logged and resolved timeously. Further, an online data capture and reporting system will be used for ease of monitoring implementation of the entire programme.