New City Forum helps buildings save energy
Energy efficiency has become increasingly important to property owners because of rising electricity tariffs and the medium-term shortage of South Africa’s electricity supply. The economic recession, forthcoming legislation and the need to reduce our carbon emissions all add up to the need for a concerted effort to find solutions to improve energy efficiency – particularly large energy users.
Commercial buildings use about 16% of electricity in the Cape Town area, but property owners and managers don’t always know how to implement the full range of possible energy efficiency improvements; they might know the ‘theory’, but it’s the practice that matters.
To help solve this problem, the City of Cape Town, in collaboration with the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), the South African Council for Shopping Centres (SACSC) and Eskom has launched a new Energy Efficiency Forum for commercial property owners and managers.
At its first meeting in September 2009, the great majority of the audience voted to establish a regular forum, and reported that they valued the opportunity to have access to practical information, receive updates on new regulations and programmes, and share knowledge with other businesses facing the same challenges.
"The Energy Efficiency Forum aims to provide owners and managers of offices, shopping centres, hotels and other commercial and public buildings with practical knowledge for creating energy efficiency solutions, and will serve as a platform for collective action and shared learning," says Sarah Rushmere, Electricity Efficiency Campaign Manager at the City.
The forum has already grown in a network fashion, says Rushmere. "Each partner organisation invites their contacts, which in turn invite other relevant colleagues, contacts and stakeholders." This is because of its collaborative nature, she notes. "The Forum reaches a wide variety of stakeholders such as those associated with Accelerate Cape Town, the Facilities Managers’ Association, the Cape Town Partnership, all City Improvement Districts within Cape Town, and some learning institutes and NGOs."
The Forum is also supported by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
The first meeting in 2010 is planned for 9 March. To find out more contact Sarah Rushmere on email@example.com
pic: Impression of Portside mixed-use development, due to be Cape Town's tallest building by 2011 and benchmarked according to the Green Building Council of South Africa’s Green Star rating system.