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Energy Efficiency programme sets out plans to save energy

As part of various initiatives across the country leading the drive to building an energy efficient South Africa, the Department of Energy hosted an Energy Efficiency conference at Emperors Palace,recently.

”Making energy efficiency more cost effective” was the theme for this year’s conference.

The objective of the conference was to outline energy efficiency achievements and provide insights into the save energy campaign and its milestone in the content of the post 2015 National Energy Efficiency Strategy (NEES).

The importance of energy efficiency to upstream methane reductions, reducing inefficient coal, renewable investment and fossil-fuel subsidy reform was discussed.

According to Mokgadi Modise, the energy management programme aimed to put in place policies and initiatives to reduce the barriers to energy efficiency in order to stimulate energy management in industries.

“South Africa adopted this approach by starting with the request for compulsory submissions of energy management plans for companies exceeding annual consumption of 400 Terajoule (TJ) per annum,” Modise said.

The National Energy Efficiency Strategy in 2005 sets out a national target for energy efficiency of 12 per cent by 2015.

For transport it was nine per cent, 15 per cent for industry and mining, 15 per cent for commercial and public sector buildings, 10 per cent for the residential sector and 15 per cent for power sector.

Modise said that, throughout the support of the South Africa Danish Energy programmes, the process for developing energy efficiency targets, measures and action plan for NEES post 2015 has commenced.

“The post 2015 NEES development inception report was completed in May 2015, while the draft of energy savings potential report was compiled in September 2015.

“In preparation for the implementation of the NEES post 2015, tools for monitoring and tracking energy efficiency improvement across all the economic sectors have been put in place,” she added.

An overview of the development of carbon offsets scheme in South Africa was outlined.

Modise said that, in 2013, National Treasury, in the budget speech, announced the introduction of carbon tax at a rate of 120 per ton of carbon dioxide, equivalent above the tax free thresholds.

“The carbon tax bill was published for public comments and the due date for commenting was December 15, 2015. The carbon tax will contribute significantly towards transition to a low carbon economy and it will mirror current trends of economic instruments utilised to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions,” Modise said.

As part of implementing the carbon tax regime it is planned that companies can reduce their carbon tax liabilities through carbon offsets.

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