Trade and Industy Minister Rob Davies has published amendments to energy efficiency regulations, which would make it compulsory for all new buildings to be designed to a standard that minimised the energy use.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday invited interested parties to submit comments and input on the energy efficiency regulations for new buildings, which were published in the regulations section of Government Gazette No. 33265.
The DTI said that the regulations would form part of the deliverables of the National Energy Strategy that were identified in the Industrial Policy Action Plan to strengthen South African standards and regulations for energy efficiency, and would be finalised by the end of 2010.
The energy efficient regulations for residential and commercial buildings, places of learning and worship, certain medical clinics and other categories of buildings, would make it compulsory for all new buildings to be designed and constructed to a standard whereby the user minimised the energy required to meet the functional requirements.
Through publishing the regulations, the department expected that significant energy savings could be realised by users as well as relieving pressure on the electricity supply grid.
The different elements of the building envelope, such as roofs and ceilings, walls, and windows, would have to meet minimum requirements for preventing heat loss in winter or heat gain in summer, in order to meet the energy efficient targets.
All buildings would also have to be fitted with renewable energy water heating systems, such as solar water heating systems.
Solar water heating systems will also have to comply with South African National Standards (SANS). The regulations require that buildings, heaters, air-conditions and mechanical ventilation systems will have to be energy efficient.
The DTI added that in partnership with the South African Bureau of Standards Technical Committee responsible for energy standards as well as the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, the DTI has been instrumental in the development of regulations and supporting the SANS.