South Africa's Massive CFL Giveaway PDF Print E-mail
South Africa's Massive CFL Giveaway

The South African utility Eskom is planning to give away more than 7 million CFLs to deal with a power shortage and rolling black-outs. Eskom initially procured 300,000 CFLs for "free" distribution in the Alexandria-area, just north of Johannesburg. This was a pilot-project to test the feasibility of free give-aways, cost-of-distribution, actual load reductions, etc. The results were positive, which in turn prompted Eskom to procure for a further 2.7 million CFLs for distribution to various low-cost housing areas in South Africa. These areas were identified by the Network Planning Department as areas with existing or impending capacity problems, and the distribution is still being carried out by various ESCOs in the country, with the help of unemployed local community members in those particular areas. At the same time, Cape Town has been experiencing rolling black-outs in the early part of 2006. As part of its recovery plan, Eskom is sourcing an additional 5 million CFLs for distribution in the Western Cape area. Approximately 50% will be distributed on the same basis as the 3-million project referred to above, and the remaining 50% will be offered to middle-and-high income consumers, through traditional retail outlets, but at a greatly reduced (i.e. subsidised) price. Normal retail prices at present are about USD 1.40 and the subsidised price will probably be around USD0.80 cents. For more information about the South Africa programs, please contact Barry Bredenkamp at
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