6 May 2013 – South Africa’s minister of energy Dipuo Peters says in response to the United Nation’s call for sustainable energy for all that in 2005 the country developed and published a national energy efficiency strategy (NEES). The NEES targets to reduce national energy intensity by 12% in 2015. The strategy also sets sector-specific energy efficiency improvement targets of 15% for industry, mining, commercial and public buildings, and residential sectors; 10% for transportation and 9% for power generation.
The key initiatives undertaken over the past five years include the installation of 55 million compact fluorescent energy saving light bulbs and some 330,000 solar water heaters. About 700,000 homes have been installed with LED down-lighters, timers on water heaters, timers on swimming pool pumps and energy efficient showerheads. The country also saw the launch of the 49M public awareness program to enhance energy efficiency awareness.
“All these initiatives have resulted in the energy efficiency programmes savings equivalent to 2,500 MW as measured by independent auditors. More recently, the importance of energy efficiency programmes as a creator of green jobs and business development has been recognised.” Local production of energy saving equipment such as LED lighting, solar water heating and appliance control equipment is strongly encouraged and incentivised by government, Peters says.
Such incentives include the introduction of an income tax allowance which is granted to organisations which have made large investments for upgrades, expansions or new facilities that exceed R30 million for projects of qualifying status and R200 million for projects of preferred status.
“We have managed to establish a national green fund worth US$90 million. Under this fund US$44 million investment in green economy projects have already been approved for our municipalities, state organs, community organisations and the private sector. A further US$35 million has been topped up on the previous financial allocation,” Peters says.