Pretoria – Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has announced the official rollout of the national Save Energy campaign, which highlights the importance of energy efficient buildings.
“The campaign aims to create awareness about the significant role that energy efficient buildings can play in reducing the demand of energy, saving a scarce resource, creating small enterprises, upskilling our people and growing the economy,” said the Minister.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign on the sidelines of the Africa Utility Week conference on Tuesday, Minister Joemat-Pettersson said the activities of the energy efficiency campaign are a spin-off of the government Energy Saving campaign that was launched by President Jacob Zuma in March 2015.
“In launching the campaign, the President appealed for the public, private sector and every citizen in the country to make energy saving a priority,” said the Minister.
The focus of the campaign in 2016 will be on large public and private buildings, including retail complexes and the property market, large residential and corporate developments.
The Minister said government alone will not be able to resolve all the challenges. She called on role players within the South African building sector to find more effective ways of saving energy.
“Your willingness to participate in this campaign is important for the country’s success in the energy efficiency space. Your contribution will help to highlight the need for South Africa to become energy efficient and adopt a culture of saving energy,” she said.
Government has also already implemented other energy efficiency interventions such as energy efficiency allowances through the Tax Incentive Programme, in terms section 12L of the Income Tax Act.
Government has successfully completed the rollout of energy efficient street lights in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, and has now embarked on a national rollout.
The savings verified to date by various municipalities — primarily by retrofitting lights in buildings, LED street lights and traffic lights, smart meters and energy management systems — are in the region of 1 terra watt-hour from an investment of about R400 million. This proves the business case for energy efficiency.
Project to label energy efficient appliances
The Department of Energy is also in the process of introducing reforms like energy efficiency appliance labelling standards and certification for energy efficient compliant buildings.
The department is collaborating with local development financial institutions, donor countries and other international partners to conduct energy efficiency audits and recommendations to improve energy use and to assist them in cost savings.
The two main policy instruments driving the Standards and Labelling Project are technical regulations that set Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for listed appliances and the introduction of an energy efficiency label that informs appliance users of the energy consumption level of appliances.
Minister Joemat-Pettersson also announced that MEPS for 11 of the 12 appliances listed for the Standards and Labelling Project have already been promulgated, while MEPS for electric geysers are projected for promulgation during the course of this year.
The department has also finalised the label designs and developed a label guideline to assist suppliers with the dimensions of the labels.
The new label design is based on the initial design in the relevant standards but with the energy efficiency logo at the top of the label.
“It should be noted that the new label will only be enforceable 12 months from 1 April 2016 to give appliance suppliers ample time to switch to the new label,” said Minister Joemat-Pettersson.