In the Budget Speech in late February, the South Africa government confirmed that it will continue and widen a Municipal EEDSM (energy efficiency demand side management) fund for another three-year cycle. The EEDSM programme is a grant fund for municipalities to implement energy efficient retrofits in city infrastructure.
Pilot testing for LED street lighting in eThekwini Municipality (photo: Danida UEMP)
For example, in the programme’s pilot phase, several municipalities trialled LED street lighting. The City of Cape Town for example will have achieved a reduction of 12,385,373 kWh/pa in energy consumption and 12 342 tCO2e in carbon emissions, by the completion of its 2011-12 retrofits in street lighting, traffic lighting and municipal buildings.
A contributing factor to the government decision to extend the EEDSM programme was a data report presented to the National Treasury in August 2011 which was developed within an 8th cycle REEEP project entitled Supporting South Africa's municipal EEDSM programme.
In the run-up to COP17, the project co-funded a capacity and training event which brought South African city officials – including all REEEEP city partners - to Durban on 30 November for a city network meeting. Discusssions there strongly emphasised the importance of strategic electricity planning, and continuation of the municipal EE programmes. The message from municipalities was clear: despite some difficulties, the DoRA-funded EEDSM programme is beginning to run well and should be developed on an ongoing basis to support EE at the city level.
The project also supported the SA Local Government Association in running a two day, municipal energy efficiency strategic planning training event, which was an important opportunity to 'test' the energy efficiency asessment and planning tools developed by the project implementer Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) with Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESU). It also marked an important building of links with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
Looking forward, the national EEDSM programme will now broaden from its primary focus on street lighting to include a wider range of efficiency technologies relevant to the public sector. Funding will also allow South African municipalities to create capacity and strengthen behavioural change programmes where building managers are trained on mainstreaming energy efficiency into standard facilities management.