“As the South African Government we are excited about this agreement as it will assist us in gravitating faster to our goals and objectives of realising Energy Efficiency in our buildings,” said Energy Minister Dipuo Peters on Friday.
The aim of the agreement is to provide financial support to the ministry in order to contribute to the Energy Efficiency Monitoring and Implementation project. The programme will run from 2010 to 2014 and will be implemented through collaboration of national and local government, research institutions as well as the private sector among others.
Peters said the project will have two components namely the monitoring of energy efficiency targets in the building sector support to the department and cooperation support to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
The minister said the South African government as well as that of Switzerland recognises climate change as a risk to development.
“Based on the South African Long Term Mitigation Scenarios the different options for Climate Change reductions have been assessed and it is acknowledged that Energy Efficiency is one of the most cost-effective mitigation options in South Africa,” said the minister.
Minister Peters said this was in line with the South African Strategy for Energy Efficiency that was launched in 2005 but of which implementation was constrained due to a lack of capacity.
“As a department we are of the view that, improving energy efficiency in the building sector requires an expanded capacity at many levels.
“Of equal importance to us is the need to ensure that new constructions and retrofitting of existing houses and buildings comply with building codes and standards that incorporate best practice for energy efficiency and green design,” said Peters.
The municipalities of Sol Plaatje, Rustenburg, Polokwane, Mbombela and King Sabata Dalindyebo are earmarked for capacity building and implementation of the phase of this project at local government level.
This will be done under the auspices of SALGA at a cost of R13 million, which is also aimed at improving the way in which the municipalities collect and compile their electricity sales data. The data in turn will be used by the department for monitoring electricity consumption figures, she said.