Energy costs now important factor for home buyers to consider

With the cost of electricity set to soar by a huge 16 percent annually for the next five years, buyers should focus one energy saving when shopping for a home.

Properties offering solar panels, battery packs, back-up generators, energy-saving shower heads and energy-efficient appliances such as gas stoves make serious financial sense for those wanting to be able to contain their electricity costs.  

That’s the advice of Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate SA, in the wake of Eskom’s tariff increase application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).  If granted, says Gray, the price of electricity will massively outpace salary and wage increases, and it will have a ripple effect on food and other living costs.  
In light of this, he urges home buyers to recognise the importance of energy saving features such as gas cookers, solar water heaters (which experts maintain can save between 25 and 40 percent on an electricity bill) and heat pumps, in an effort to keep their household budgets under control.  

Aside from the usual considerations such as the location and condition of a property, purchasers need to look at the energy saving features of the home they’re considering buying, says Gray.  

“Properties offering solar panels, battery packs, back-up generators, energy-saving shower heads and energy-efficient appliances such as gas stoves make serious financial sense for those wanting to be able to contain their electricity costs.  

The ultimate grid-free solution, which could cost as much as R500 000, is beyond most budgets but every energy-saving feature and effort will make a difference.

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