Power utility Eskom has resumed its door-to-door roll out of energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) across Johannesburg, following the recent halt of the programme owing to criminal interference.
Eskom Demand Side Management GM Nosipho Maphumulo explained that the programme was put on hold while the utility implemented stricter measures to ensure the safety of consumers during door-to-door exchanges.
This followed an incident where someone posed as an Eskom representative to gain access to a home. The incident was under police investigation.
“We have taken a zero-tolerance approach with installers who must bear photo identification (ID) and wear clearly-identifiable T-shirts and bibs. Residents should always ask for proof of identification and never open the door to anyone who cannot produce an ID card to show who they are and that they are part of the Eskom CFL exchange programme,” said Maphumulo.
“Eskom CFL installers will also carry customer visit forms bearing the Eskom logo. Lamps used in the programme are always Eskom-branded. If in doubt over the authenticity of installers, residents can ask installers to exchange their old bulbs for new ones at their gate or outside their property,” advised Maphumulo.
Eskom would also work with body corporate and local security companies to accompany the exchanges, and public exchange points were set up in certain areas where residents of a neighbourhood could exchange bulbs outside rather than participating in a door-to-door exchange.
Eskom noted that CFLs used 80% less electricity and lasted more than six times longer than incandescent bulbs. Swapping 20 incandescent bulbs for CFLs could result in an estimated saving of R1 690 on a yearly electricity bill, while saving around 7,84 kWh a day and 2861,6 kWh a year.
“CFLs are slightly more expensive to buy compared to normal incandescent lamps. Through this door-to-door initiative, you can exchange up to six incandescent bulbs for free energy saving CFLs. It is a limited opportunity for you to make the change and start benefitting from CFLs without incurring any costs,” she said.
Through the current CFL programme, which was 45% completed, Eskom planned to distribute 2,6-million CFLs in the Gauteng area, and eight-million nationally, to residential consumers. Already, the programme has reached about 193 781 homes and installed over 1,9-million CFLs.
In the process, Eskom has collected about 1,55-million incandescent bulbs and crushed them in a certified environmentally safe way.
The door-to-door roll-out is a joint effort between Eskom and City Power, targeting customers supplied by City Power. Eskom urged homeowners in the targeted areas of Johannesburg, Roodepoort and Randburg to swap their old incandescent bulbs for free CFLs.