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Solar makes spouses happy

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“I swear, it’s like I have my wife back,” said a friend. We were talking about his recent solar installation and the way it had changed his life for the better. It had only been about 16 hours, but in that short time, he was starting to remember why he had married his spouse in the first place. “I didn’t realise how miserable loadshedding was making her,” he said, “until we went solar.”

This isn’t an infomercial. It isn’t a sponsored piece. But it will – subtly and more overtly – encourage the adoption of some form of renewable energy.

Because it makes wives happy. And that makes husbands happier.

It needs to be noted that in terms of solar panels, the law of diminishing marginal utilities applies. What this means simply is that if eight panels bring a certain amount of happiness to a household, then it doesn’t follow that 16 panels will bring double the happiness. It’s like eating pizza. Eating one slice after a pizza absence is very satisfying. Two slices will also bring joy. But the third and fourth slice will do little to add to the joy. In fact, it might even start to have the opposite effect.

That said, it should come as no surprise that solar panels bring joy to the household. It was my inverter installation guy who pointed that out to me. He shared Jewish wisdom with me, and explained that one of the reasons we light Shabbat candles to bring in the day is because it brings light into the home. Unlike the festival of Chanukah, where we don’t receive benefit from the lighting of candles, on Shabbat, we’re not only allowed to light them, we’re even expected to light them in a place where we’ll bask in the rays of the candles. Shabbat candles and the illumination they bring are meant to bring shalom bayit, which literally means peace to the home.

Loosely translated, this means that couples fight less when there’s light.

South Africans understand this. Darkness isn’t just irritating because we trip over the darn dogs and stand on unseen Lego pieces, but because it’s downright depressing. Try as we might to be positive and upbeat and have a good and healthy perspective, it takes effort. And when loadshedding and darkness assails us night after night, the lack of light takes a toll on us.

Which is why finding a solution to the problem is an imperative. We can – and probably should – continue to rage against Eskom and the African National Congress who have put us in this position in the first place. But at the same time, we need to find ways to mitigate the misery and bring light into our homes. And whereas there’s little value in going the most extensive and expensive route, given the law of diminishing marginal utilities, there’s immense value in bringing light – and peace – into the home.

With the bonus being that you might even be able to heat at least one, but maybe two slices of pizza.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Wendy kaplan Lewis

    Jun 8, 2023 at 6:45 pm


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