Owners of buildings in South Africa have one year left to obtain and prominently display an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or risk a fine of R5-million, five years imprisonment or both.
The regulations, under the National Energy Act, were gazetted a year ago and apply until December 7, 2022, meaning that building owners who have not acted have a year left in which to comply.
The regulations require that owners of four categories of buildings must obtain an EPC, which in general terms, gives a building a rating based on the amount of energy consumed per square metre.
The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), which maintains an EPC register on behalf of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), has urged building owners to take all necessary steps to comply with EPC regulations, emphasising that compliance affords them, and the country, a range of benefits.
SANEDI energy efficiency GM Barry Bredenkamp says compliance with EPC regulations will enable building owners to identify where they could introduce energy efficiency measures that would, in turn, save them money and possibly increase the value of their buildings.
“An energy efficient building is generally a better environment in which to work and is significantly less expensive to run, so an owner can potentially justify a higher price if they want to sell or impose a higher rental for office space,” explains Bredenkamp.
He adds that the more energy efficient buildings become, the more they will contribute to taking electricity demand off the national grid, which could help to ease load-shedding and, by reducing carbon emissions, building owners will be helping the country to meet its international obligations to combat climate change.
The categories that currently need to comply are offices, entertainment facilities, educational institution buildings and places of public assembly. such as sporting facilities and community centres.
The regulations apply to government buildings of more than 1 000 m2 and privately-owned buildings of more than 2 000 m2.
It is estimated that between 150 000 and 250 000 buildings are covered by the regulations.