The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has urged the country to focus on electricity demand side management rather than just supply management, to consider a total energy debate.
On the eve of the national budget speech where one of the focus areas is likely to be on energy supply projects, GBCSA Chief Executive Officer, Brian Wilkinson, observes: “Decreasing the demand for power should be a major theme in South Africa’s total energy narrative.”
Wilkinson says:“We acknowledge it is terribly important to have an energy supply-side debate around electricity generation, however, demand-side management that emphasises reducing consumption is an opportunity that is being completely underemphasised.”
He adds: “The more electricity we save, the more we ease supply constraints.”
In its simplest form, demand management starts with saving energy at home by switching off lights, turning down geysers, turning off pool pumps and using renewable energy resources. However, it extends well beyond this to using green building technology.
Green building is already playing a major role in reducing electricity demand. The average green building is proven to save 30% of energy consumption.
“This illustrates the substantial impact demand management plays in the total energy debate,” notes Wilkinson.
South Africa’s green building movement is making significant headway in reducing the demand for energy. The country now has 167 Green Star SA certified projects.
Research recently announced by the World Green Building Council (World GBC) reveals South Africa is the country with the highest proportion of green building projects currently being undertaken. At this pace, South Africa is set to be the world leader in green building in the next three years. Besides gaining momentum in commercial property, green building is also expanding into new arenas.