Energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson revealed the new label at African Utility Week in Cape Town saying that a culture of saving energy was still “at a rudimentary phase” in South Africa.
Joemat Pettersson said it was an “uncomfortable truth that South Africa is among the least energy efficient countries in the world. When there is loadshedding, South Africans
look for more energy, rather than saving energy.”
The energy efficiency labelling programme, which has been developed over the past four years, is based on European standards and will initially apply to a basket of 12 appliances.
Energy efficiency label
Air conditioners, washing machines, electric ovens, refrigerators, electric geysers, audio and video equipment, dishwashers and electric lamps must now all carry an energy efficiency label.
Imported appliances will have to undergo retesting in South Africa to ensure they meet South African standards with the costs absorbed by manufacturers.
The Department of Trade and Industry has confirmed that testing and enforcement mechanisms are now in place and will be rolled out by the South African Bureau of Standards and National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications.
The Department of Energy acknowledged funding assistance from the Global Environment Facility administered by the South Africa country office of UNDP in training staff to test appliances for energy efficiency.
The government of Denmark has also acted as a partner to the campaign by lending technical advice, confirmed Danish Ambassador Trine Rask Thygesen.
The DoE will rollout a countrywide consumer awareness campaign in the coming weeks targeting higher-income consumers “who tend to have the most appliances”.
South Africa introduced a similar energy efficiency labelling campaign in 2005 but it never took off as labelling wasn’t mandatory, said Kevin Nassiep,CEO of SANEDI, also speaking at the event.
Energy efficient buildings
[quote] Minister Joemat-Pettersson also announced that the DoE is driving the campaign for energy efficiency in government buildings launched by President Jacob Zuma during the State of the Nation address in March 2016.
The minister said there is a lot of space for energy efficient buildings in South Africa. “We have not touched the tip of it – not as a government and not as private sector.”
The DoE has reportedly engaged the department of public works to implement an energy savings target of 15%.
Jacob Maroga, deputy director general, facilities management department of public works, said that after cleaning up its asset register, the government has 100,000 properties under its control, making it the seventh largest landlord in South Africa.
The minister said the DoE will use the opportunity of retrofitting government buildings to generate opportunities for South Africa’s unemployed youth.