Energy efficiency has become increasingly important to bothproperty owners and tenants on account of South Africa’s rising electricity tariffs and the medium-term shortage of electricity. The financial benefits, and the need to reduce carbon emissions, all add up to the need for a concerted effort to find solutions to improve energy efficiency – particularly for larger energy users.
In Cape Town, commercial buildings use about 40% of electricity and are responsible for about 28% of carbon emissions. To help solve this challenge, the City of Cape Town in collaboration with Eskom and the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) launched an Energy Efficiency Forum (EE Forum) for commercial property owners and managers in 2009. The forum is co-funded by Santam and Old Mutual.
The next meeting of the EE Forum is scheduled for Monday 1 August 2011, where there will be a special session on ‘Green Leasing’, an international practice being pioneered in South Africa for the first time. ‘Green Leasing’ is a way to establish a contractual relationship between building owners and their tenants in order to make ‘green’ improvements to the building. Green leasing addresses issues such as the financing arrangements for investing in energy efficiency measures which then reap the benefits of lower electricity costs for tenants.
Practical case studies of energy efficiency retrofits and updates on financing options, policy issues and training opportunities will be presented at the Forum.
“In the light of tariff increases and the financial and other benefits that flow from energy efficiency improvements, it makes sense that commercial building owners and tenants find ways to make resource-efficient improvements to the buildings that they own or lease space in”, says Councillor Shehaam Sims, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services.