Parliamentary Monitoring Group 11 August 2011.
The Department of Energy briefed the Committee on the progress made in the implementation of various energy efficiency and energy savings programmes.
The briefing included detailed status reports on the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management programme, the Industrial Energy Efficiency project, the Energy Efficiency Target Monitoring project, the Appliance Standard and Labeling programme and the Energy Efficiency Communication Strategy programme.
The challenges faced by the Department included insufficient funding of the Solar Water Heater Rebate programme, the lack of capacity and skills within municipalities, the lack of data to monitor and evaluate the extent of energy efficiency achievements, the lack of suitable municipal infrastructure, the need for cooperation between stakeholders and the lack of skills within electricity services companies.
The conflict of interest between the national Government’s objectives to increase energy efficiency and the negative impact of reduced energy consumption on the revenue generated by local Government authorities was highlighted.
The Department planned to introduce a system of incentives and penalties to encourage all sectors of society to participate in increasing energy efficiency.
Members asked questions about:
- the efficacy of switching geysers on and off;
- the reasons for the low numbers of Solar Water Heater units in certain provinces;
- the extent of the education and awareness campaigns;
- the support provided to encourage the construction of ‘green’ buildings; the utilisation of alternative sources of energy;
- the responsibility for installing Solar Water Heater units;
- the role played by the Department in facilitating skills development;
- the reduction in the electricity supply to the mining industry;
- the encouragement of the local manufacturing industry to produce units of acceptable quality;
- the implementation of the national standards developed by the South Africa Bureau of Standards;
- the inclusion of specific sectoral targets in the medium to long term;
- the promulgation of new regulations;
- the involvement of the insurance industry and the responsibility for ongoing maintenance of Solar Water Heater units.