Nersa said the introduction of the government’s energy efficiency and demand-side management policy had necessitated the review of its energy efficiency and demand-side management rules.
The review follows a December Government Gazette notice in which Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said Nersa should develop rules for the implementation of energy efficiency and reduction of electricity demand through a financial incentive scheme and the installation of 1- million solar water heaters. The g overnment wants to distribute these by 2014.
In terms of the government policy, Nersa must approve the energy efficiency and demand-side management allowance and also develop rules to enable the so-called standard offer – a mechanism to reduce electricity demand whereby a utility “purchases” demand savings using a predetermined rate.
The energy user is paid at a pre- determined rate for savings achieved. The money is meant to encourage rapid and large-scale implementation of energy efficiency projects.
Nersa said technologies and measures that qualified for the incentives included all solar water heater technologies that complied with the South African Bureau Standards ; all energy efficiency retrofit measures in residential applications that reduced energy consumption; and technologies that reduced electricity consumption in government-owned buildings.
The government has designated the Development Bank of Southern Africa as the administrator of the standard offer programme. In this role, the bank would approve projects that would qualify under the incentive scheme. It would also serve as a “single point of contact” for project developers who wanted to qualify under the scheme and those who wished to claim for electricity savings. It would submit quarterly and annual reports to Nersa with verified savings.
Nersa has invited comments on the regulatory rules by July 20. The regulator will hold public hearings in August and publish the revised regulatory rules by September.
In a policy document to support energy efficiency, the Department of Energy said energy efficiency and demand-side management would, among other things, ensure quick relief to the power system and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.