Cape Town’s Commercial Energy Efficiency Stars 2015

Large Building Retrofit Category: Bayside Mall
Bayside Mall and the Cape Town French School have been named as the winners of the 2015 Energy Efficiency Forum Awards.
The City of Cape Town recognises that resource efficiency is critical to building economic activity and increasing a city’s competitiveness and resilience. 
This is reflected in the City’s recently approved Energy 2040 Goal, which includes a 37% reduction in carbon emissions, with 22% coming from energy efficiency alone. 
The Energy 2040 Goal models a more resilient, lower carbon, resource-efficient and equitable future for Cape Town, which grows the administration’s stature as a leading and innovative city.
The targets for 2040 will also result in:
the installation of over 500 000 solar water heaters and heat pumps by residents
less dependency on coal, with extensive embedded renewable generation in the commercial and residential sectors as well as diversified large-scale energy supply with photovoltaics, wind, storage and possibly natural gas
a modal shift from private to public transport, with increased access to public transport and motorised passenger travel in efficient vehicles with higher occupancy levels
a remodelled city with increased densification and mixed use in areas of economic activity
increased energy savings from efficiency and cheaper energy 

Given rising electricity tariffs and the serious constraints on South Africa’s electricity supply, energy efficiency is critical to economic growth and stability. 

The commercial sector uses an estimated 44% of the electricity supply in the Cape Town area. 
It is therefore imperative that we increase our efforts to promote a responsible commercial sector who will initiate energy efficient initiatives to reduce their energy costs. 
In 2009 the City, in partnership with Eskom and the South African Property Owners Association, launched Cape Town’s Energy Efficiency Forum (EE Forum) which has been assisting commercial buildings and operations with practical know-how to improve energy efficiency.
This has helped to reduce Cape Town’s overall electricity demand and costs and lowered our carbon footprint. 
During this time, many organisations, including the City, have improved their energy efficiency substantially.
In 2012, the forum introduced the Energy Efficiency Forum Awards to recognise leadership in the commercial sector, and to motivate the continued reduction in energy consumption. 
This year, Bayside Mall and the Cape Town French School have been named as the winners of the 2015 Energy Efficiency Forum Awards, announced at the forum award ceremony which took place this morning, 10 November 2015.
The adjudication was done by the Energy Research Centre’s (ERC) Monitoring and Verification Unit, based at the University of Cape Town.  
Entrants were judged on their commitment to reducing their operational energy needs through behavioural change as well as technology upgrades. 
They had to demonstrate that they were reflective about their own systems, policies and investments and that they were dynamic enough to change the way they operated to maximise energy efficiency without compromising productivity. 
The award for the Large Building Retrofit Category was scooped by Bayside Mall
Their energy efficiency interventions include upgrading to LED lighting, and improvements in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. 
The flagship project is a 500 kWp pilot rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, with 2 108 panels covering 3 300 m2  and which supplies 5% of their electricity needs. 
The annual average daily energy production of the PV panels is 2100 kWh, which equates to the average daily use of 105 middle-income households in Cape Town (using 600 kWh per month). 
The installation of PV panels has resulted in carbon emission reductions equivalent to 767 tonnes of CO2. 
The interventions have yielded consistent monthly energy savings averaging at 11% so far, with the hot summer months still to come where savings reach about 17%.
Bayside Mall, owned by Growthpoint Properties, has moved beyond basic lighting retrofits and peak demand reduction, and its pioneering efforts have set it apart as an exemplary custodian of energy resources. 
The winner of the Small Building Retrofit Category is the Cape Town French School
Over the past three years, the school has been working on energy efficiency and adding renewable energy to their operations, with the help of Energy Intelligence.
They have replaced all fluorescent lights with LED technology, and installed a heat pump for hot water. 
Their rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system provides about 20% of the school’s usage during the week, and they can feed back to the City’s grid over weekends and receive an offset to generate valuable income for the school. 
So far they are saving 15% on their electricity costs overall. 
Energy awareness among staff and learners has led to lowered use of the air-conditioning and the lights being switched off when rooms are not in use. 
The French School has led by example as a place of education which understands that involving children in energy efficiency today will have a multiplied effect in years to come.
"Initiatives such as these will help Cape Town achieve their 2040 targets.
More and more companies are going off the grid and generating their own electricity due to insecurity and growing concern that Eskom cannot guarantee electricity supply.
We would like to encourage companies not to go off the grid but to generate electricity by installing PV panels and then feed the excess electricity that they generate back into the City’s grid and receive an offset against their electricity accounts. 
We need to use the opportunity and get more companies and households to become energy generators so that we can become more energy secure. 
Unless we put these initiatives in place with more energy-efficient consumers on board, following a business-as-usual trajectory will result in a doubling of energy consumption and emissions and a tenfold increase in energy costs to the Cape Town economy by 2040. 
Such a future would make Cape Town extremely vulnerable to external impacts and shocks and the increased emissions would further contribute to human-induced climate change. 
The City, Eskom and the South African Property Owners Association would like to congratulate the winners on their excellent commitment to energy efficiency interventions and the significant results they have achieved.  
We are working hard to build an energy-secure city but we can only see greater impact if more businesses and residents follow these examples and come on board to do their part in addressing climate change and helping to make our city more energy efficient."