Improving energy efficiency is a key component of South Africa's future energy strategy, in support of the country’s international emissions reduction commitments and overall energy security. Local governments have a key role to play in this process. This project aimed to carry out capacity building activities and establish funding streams in support of an existing, national government-led pilot programme for municipal energy efficiency demand side management (EEDSM). The ultimate goal was to ensure that this programme would be supported, improved and expanded into the future.
The implementing partner managed to successfully deliver the intended outputs and the longer term impact of the project has been positive. The Municipal EEDSM programme became an established part of the efficiency landscape, and, although at the end of the project capacity within the national Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the programme was still lacking, since the project, and assisted by contributions of the project, the experience around implementation of the technologies, reporting, M&V has increased substantially. The project worked very closely with South Africa Local Government Association (SALGA) and supported the development of this local government platform. The implementing partner continues to help develop EE and RE strategies in municipalities.
The EEDSM programme has persisted, in large part, due to the initial support provided through the REEEP funds, and become a key catalyst in local government involvement in energy efficiency. It has also led to larger cities engaging seriously in their own efficiency projects – through their own budgets – and has ensured that they have grown the capacity to do so. Besides this, the project helped improve communications and working relationships between the national and municipal governments. The project was therefore considered highly successful both in delivering its outputs and in its longer-term impact on the EE arena.