South African Department of Environmental Affairs has commissioned ABB to install energy efficient systems into their newly developed headquarters in Pretoria.

The technologies included energy efficient building controls and rooftop solar (PV) panels. The ABB i-bus® KNX Intelligent Building Control system was installed and is said to reduce the departments energy consumption by 30 percent, ABB said in a statement.

The solar panels used are ABB 48 PVS300 inverters, each with a capacity of 8 kW and combined will generate 10 percent of the departments consumed energy, revealed in a statement.

Chief Director Facilities Management, Department of Environmental Affairs, Edwin Maseda said:

 ‘Our new head office complex is energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible – it incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and occupants.’

 The department’s involvement in various renewable projects across the country, took this bold step to show their dedication to reducing their carbon footprint and reduce their overall energy consumption.

South Africa is seen to be a large global energy consumer where the energy mix is made up of 77 percent coal and the government has set themselves the goal of reaching 10 000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy to reduce their dependency on coal, a statement said.

ABB business development engineer for the Low Voltage Products division, Grant Seady, said that others should use the Environmental department’s actions as a benchmark for their own renewable contributions.

 ‘Imagine the possibilities for smart buildings and smart cities to synchronise the adjustment of air conditioning or heating by one to two degrees with the power grid…

 All of these minor adjustments over the city not only have an impact on the environment for the occupants of the building, but could also play a major role in averting the risk of a grid outage’.

 Incorporating these actions into your brand will eventually encourage others to do the same, leading to a positive behaviour change and developing a culture which is dedicated to combating climate change.