The recent issuing of the first-ever energy performance certificate (EPC) for a building in South Africa is a landmark achievement that will encourage energy efficiency across the board, says the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).
On February 18, the Admin B building at Stellenbosch University, which houses the vice chancellor and executive team, received the first-ever EPC for a building in South Africa, in recognition of its commitment to energy efficiency.
Bluedust Engineering Solutions, Stellenbosch University’s energy management consultants, were instrumental in achieving the EPC, notes SANEDI.
The EPC was issued by Energy Management and Verification Services, which is the first inspection body accredited by the South African National Accreditation System to assess and issue an EPC rating for eligible South African buildings.
In December last year, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy passed into law a set of “Regulations for the Mandatory Display and Submission of Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings”.
EPCs are recorded by SANEDI, which is an agency of the DMRE. SANEDI is specifically tasked with hosting and maintaining a national Building Energy Performance Register, to keep track of progress towards the achievement of the goals and targets set out in the EPC regulations.
EPCs rate buildings’ energy performance from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G the worst. The ratings are benchmarked against the average figures quoted in the South African Building Standard SANS 10400-XA.
“Buildings must try and achieve at least a D rating which is on par with the national benchmark. Their EPC must be displayed at the building entrance, no matter what their rating, in order to be compliant with the regulations,” says SANEDI Energy Efficiency & Corporate Communications GM Barry Bredenkamp.
He indicates that the regulations apply to nonresidential buildings (specific occupancy classes) with a net floor area of at least 2 000 m2 in the private sector, and 1 000 m2 for buildings owned, operated or occupied by an organ of State.”
Property owners and government entities have until December 7, 2022, to ensure their buildings adhere to the regulations.
“Stellenbosch University’s being awarded an A-rated EPC so soon after the regulations were gazetted, really is a phenomenal achievement and they should be applauded for this major step forward,” acclaims Bredenkamp.