Incentive for property developers who save energy

The Department of Energy plans to offer a rebate for property developers who fit energy saving features in buildings.

Tabling the department's Budget Vote, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters said there were still many hotels that didn't have energy efficient systems that, for example, turned off power automatically in a guest's room when they left to go out.

She said the offer presented an opportunity for businesses and homeowners to invest in metering systems which could automatically switch off electricity when it wasn't needed.

Nelisiwe Magubane, the department's director general, said R5.3 billion had been set aside in allowances.

The idea was for government to pay out the subsidy to developers for each megawatt hour of power they saved through implementing energy efficient measures.

Magubane expected the rebate to be rolled out by the end of May and said the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would call for public hearings to discuss the extent of the subsidies that would be paid out.

20 April 2010


City of Cape Town starts selling 'Green Electricity'

At last it will be possible to switch to ‘green electricity’ because the City, ever more serious about sustainability, will now be selling Green Electricity Certificates (GECs). This green electricity is generated at South Africa’s first commercial wind farm, the Darling Wind Farm on the West Coast.

‘Green electricity’, also known as green power or renewable energy, is electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind, sun and wave. It is an environmentally responsible alternative to conventional electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and oil. The burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide), and as a result, climate change.

The City of Cape Town aims to source at least 10% of the metro’s energy from renewable sources by 2020, and an important contributor to this goal is the Darling Wind Farm.

The City helped start the Darling Wind Farm Project in 2006 by entering into a Power Purchase Agreement with Darling Wind Power. The Darling Wind Farm is a R70 million national pilot project comprising four 1.3 megawatt wind turbines on a hill alongside the R27 West Coast Road. The turbines began generating in May 2008, and the City will purchase the entire production for 20 years.

GECs, an internationally accepted mechanism for trading green electricity, represent units of green electricity. In essence, a GEC is an auditable financial instrument that reflects the attributes of green energy independently of the actual units of energy – ie, the ‘greenness’ value is separated from the electrons.

A green generator, in this case, the Darling Wind Farm, produces electricity that is distributed into the national grid and becomes undifferentiated from normal coal-generated electricity. Following generation, an electronic record called a “Green Electricity Certificate”, is created which represents the quantity and type of green electricity produced. This certificate can be marketed and sold separately from the associated electricity. A consumer wanting to “green” their electricity consumption would purchase a number of units of GECs equivalent to the units of electricity consumed by the facility or production process to be greened.

In addition to this National Demonstration Pilot Project, designed to explore the technical, commercial and environmental viability of converting wind energy into electricity, the City is also working on other sustainable energy projects. These include Green Buildings Guidelines; the Greening of Procurement Policy (such as fuel efficiency in fleet tenders), an Efficient Water Heating by-law; Solar Water Heating in the City’s nature reserves; and Solar Water Heating in low-income housing projects, and land for methane gas capture and electricity generation.

The Darling Wind Farm is funded by:

* The Central Energy Fund (CEF)
* The Development Bank of South Africa
* The Danish Government (Danida)
* A private developer: Darling Independent Power Producer

The certificates will be offered for sale once or twice a year, depending on how much green electricity has been generated and how much Green Certificate Stock has been accumulated. Click here to participate in the initial sale of 10 GWH (10 000 000 kilowatt hours).

Income from the sale of the GECs is intended to cover the premium the City has to pay for purchasing the green electricity. The GECs will be sold initially at a price of 25c (excluding VAT) per unit (1 kilowatt). This purchase is an additional purchase and an additional expense to the cost of the normal electricity bill.

By Martin Pollack
30 April 2010


SARPA members encouraged to join new interactive forum on LinkedIn

SARPA members are encouraged to become members of the new interactive forum called Linkedin.  If you're not already a member of Linkedin then what are you waiting for?

All members would have received an invitation to join the network and if you haven't already then I urge you to sign up for this new membership discussion forum. If you did not receive an invitation in your email mailbox or if you have deleted the invitation already, you can still create your own profile on “LinkedIn” and apply for membership of the SARPA group. All you need to do, is go into:

We urge you to join this exciting forum and get in with some interesting and topical debates.


META conference registration forms

The 2010 META Conference Registration form(s) are now available for download from the IURPA Web Site:

Registration Form:

Vendor Registration Form:

Jeff Meyer, META


City targets cable theft

Report cable theft, Buffalo City has urged its residents, as a task team works tirelessly to clamp down on the problem.

Theft of copper cables predominantly occurs in Duncan Village, Cambridge, Arnoldton and around the airport.

The task team includes officials from the City's revenue protection unit, the electricity operations law enforcement unit, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the appointed electricity contractor.

Seven suspects were arrested recently for allegedly stealing copper and lead sheath worth R400. "Copper and lead sheath was identified at a scrap metal dealer in town as being identical to that which was stolen and the suspects confessed to committing the crime," said Chris Gower from the City's electricity department.

The new legislated Second Hand Goods Bill required that dealers recorded the identity numbers of people selling copper to them "and in this case the vehicle transporting the goods was also identified as transporting [other] goods that were identified in numerous [other] copper sale transactions".

According to the electricity department, copper cable theft cost the municipality millions of rand each year – money that "could be spent on service delivery".

"Copper cable theft affects ratepayers negatively because it is costly to fix the problems, and these costs have to be borne by [ratepayers]," explained the director of engineering services, Nceba Ncunyana. "It also affects business production and ultimately the economy as a whole."
By Tabisa Mntengwana