Cape Town’s CBD launches energy efficiency initiative

Mar 15, 2007 01:00 AM

A new initiative in Cape Town's Central Business District (CBD) has been launched to facilitate and manage energy efficiency in the city and improve energy security. The CBD Energy Efficiency Initiative -- a Sustainability Institute and Cape Town Partnership project -- aims to help businesses move away from the "comfortable inefficiency" learned through decades of cheap, freely available power.
"The future we are stepping into is one where our main supplies of power -- oil and electricity -- will become increasingly constrained and costly," said Peter Willis, Southern Africa Director, University of Cambridge Programme for Industry. "If businesses are to avoid shrinking and sustaining losses, they need to reduce their energy bills and their energy vulnerability."

Speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor Helen Zille noted that South African cities are energy intensive, consuming large amounts of energy for their related economic output.
"Local government therefore needs to play a pivotal role in facilitating a more sustainable pattern of energy consumption. Business and Industry must play a major role in assisting government by contributing to a more sustainable profile for South Africa. We need a secure supply of energy for our city, our businesses, our residents."

The City of Cape Town has already recognised the important role it plays in facilitating the implementation of national energy efficiency legislation, and has developed short and long-term measures in its Energy and Climate Change Strategy to assist companies in achieving these goals. Within April, the City will embark on a stakeholder process toward the establishment of a solar water heater bylaw.
In addition, the City is busy preparing guidelines that will support the development of "Green Buildings" with better energy efficiency during construction and operation of buildings. The first interaction with local experts and stakeholders will happen early March.

The Western Cape's recent power shortages were due to the inability of the power sector to meet the growing demand for electricity. This demand will continue to grow. Business and industry can, however, contribute toward greater security in our energy supply through the efficient use of energy derived from fossil fuels.
Sustainability and security of supply will come from the diversification of the energy supply. Cities, industries and businesses should investigate the various options available, such as green electricity from the Darling Wind Farm, biofuels, solar water heating, and LP Gas.

The main functions of the CBD Energy Efficiency Initiative are to:
-- Perform a pre-audit analysis on buildings to establish project viability;
-- Financing and managing of the audit procedure;
-- Subcontracting and managing suitable Energy Supply Companies;
-- Raising of supplementary funding through Demand Side Management (DSM) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM);
-- Provide information, support and advice throughout the energy-efficiency process.

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