Install an Xtend Element and start saving R5 per day on water heating costs


Northface Energy was founded with a simple purpose. To provide effective solutions to minimise energy consumption in homes and small to medium-sized businesses.
In the solar thermal and solar PV space there are so many suppliers, and so much advice that choosing a suitable solution can be daunting task.
We have worked through the different options in our 10 years in business, always looking for a better solution for our customers. Finding new innovations and applying them is the key to continual improvement.
Our website contains only simple kits that address specific problem statements. At the heart of most of them is the Xtend PTC Element
  • These kits will suit most of our clients’ needs and include all required installation parts.
  • Installation is simple for any certified plumber or electrician.
  • Registration will depend on your local energy supplier.
For more bespoke system design or for a fully installed solution please contact Northface Solar


Step 1 – Reduce the amount of energy you use

The age-old adage in energy management is to reduce consumption before investing in equipment to generate energy. This approach will deliver the highest savings / best return on investment.
  • No cost solutions include turning off lights, geysers etc.
  • Low cost solutions include geyser timers, LED lights, dimmers etc.
  • Medium cost solutions include gas stoves, energy efficient appliances
  • High cost solutions are typically water heating, solar PV, efficient pumps

Primary Challenge – Water Heating

Hot water accounts for a large portion of any household electricity cost. To reduce this cost has traditionally required either solar thermal panels or a heat pump. These cost at least R20,000 to R30, 000 to install and are not practical for people living in apartments.
More recently, companies are connecting solar PV (electricity) panels directly to the geyser.
  • Heat the element using electricity from the panels and then top up with electricity from the grid when needed.
  • Easier to install than solar thermal or heat pumps but will probably invalidate the warranty on any element as they are not designed for Direct Current (DC) electricity. 
Installing a geyser timer or turning the geyser on only when you need hot water is a cheaper, partial fix. This will reduce heat losses as the water is heated only when needed, but the energy used to heat the water does not change.  And you know what happens when you forget to turn it on again..

A better way – Xtend PTC Ceramic Element

The Xtend PTC Ceramic Element is a fundamental innovation in domestic water heating. Simply changing your geyser element does the following:
  1. Reduces energy use by 25%
  2. Reduces peak draw by 33-50%
  3. No other connections to geyser, reducing maintenance issues
Your geyser can now be powered by Solar PV, connected to the whole house.
Installing Xtend only is significantly cheaper  (90%) than the traditional water heating solutions and delivers half the energy saving.

Step 2 – Produce Energy

To reduce your bill further we recommend installing a Solar PV system. The energy from this can be used by any appliance in the house instead of only by the geyser. As a result, the total saving will be higher.
An Xtend element plus Grid Solar PV system costs around the same as an equivalent system that heats only the water. To install a slightly bigger system and remove more of the electricity cost, during the day is marginally more expensive.
Whichever way you look at it, spending R2000 on your geyser instead of R20,000, leaves you with R18,000 to spend on solar PV. You get a higher quality, longer warranty and a significantly higher return than the traditional hot water solution.
If you are looking to invest in a system that does more than just offset the hot water costs, you can increase the size of the PV system. Most systems can also be added to later when budgets allow.