Attitudes towards new green technologies : a study of households using solar water heaters in low income RDP houses in Kwandengezi Coffee Farm, eThekwini Municipality.
Within the international context, energy has become a central factor in our everyday ways of life. There is increasing dependence on energy resources such as electricity to improve people quality of life. In developing countries, many people still do not have access to energy due to several challenges that have hindered infrastructural development and economic growth. At the same time, there is a growing interest in the protection of the environment and addressing issues of climate change. Green technologies such as solar water heaters are identified as technologies that meet the need of both its end-users and the environment through the provision of hot water. Access to 'hot water' is seen to be an important element resulting in an improved quality of life. In addition, several methods of heating water are explored to assess the attitudes and perceptions that people have towards solar water heaters. The dissertation involved in-depth interviews with residents from low income RDP houses in Kwandengezi Coffee Farm and government officials from eThekwini Municipality involved in the solar water heater programme for low income communities. The interviews revealed that renewable energy interventions such as the solar heater programme for low income communities contribute significantly to an improvement in people‘s quality of life. The availability of solar heaters allows people to enjoy hot water at a free cost, hence an improvement in the quality of life. The research further revealed that such renewable energy interventions can contribute to a reduction in negative environmental impacts, hence facilitating the acquisition of hot water with less dependence on electricity resources.