The South African Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) – one of the implementing agencies of the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) – has released a Guideline as a quick and easy reference, compiled from various regulations and Acts, to assist building owners and services providers with implementing the Regulatory Requirements for the Mandatory Display and Submission of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for Buildings. The Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy promulgated the Regulation under section 19(1) of the National Energy Act, 1988 (Act No.34 of 2008), as published in Notice 700, of December 2020.
The nature of standards and regulations, and integrating the various documents, as well as interpreting the definitions correctly does bring about many challenges – this guide is aimed at overcoming this hurdle. Explanations are clear and concise making it user friendly for building owners as well as the technical service providers who provide advisory, data collection, and verification services to building owners regarding EPCs.
According to the EPC Guideline, South Africa’s reliance on coal makes it the 12th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, and buildings are estimated to account for 15% thereof. Opportunity therefore exists to reduce emissions from energy efficiency interventions in buildings. And it starts with getting the basic information required on the building’s energy performance, therefore the EPC Regulation.
The current profile of buildings depicted in the Regulation is estimated at up to 160 000 buildings that would require EPCs by the end of 2022; this means that more than 1 000 buildings need to be assessed for EPCs per day for the rest of the year. The Regulation opens the possibility of inclusive opportunities for jobs and further development of the energy industry if the Government enforces the regulation successfully.
Opportunities exist for electrical contractors to add an additional service to their portfolio by becoming either EPC Practitioners or South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) Inspection Bodies (IBs). SANAS IBs are the accredited bodies to verify data and issue the EPCs, however opportunities are not limited to new business as IBs, EPC Practitioners are necessary to assist building owners get their buildings ready for IBs.
The information required before a building can be assessed for the EPC, can be vast in some instances, and data and information collection and collation are required and could add greatly to the cost of an EPC, where using EPC Practitioners will allow more cost-effective compliance. Significant job opportunities exist in improving a buildings energy use and maintaining such, other than replacing the energy source by a renewable one, of which the latter becomes more viable if a building is operated energy efficiently.
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