Some non-residential buildings will soon become required by law to display an energy performance certificate (EPC). It is hoped that this will be a great boost for energy efficiency in South Africa since the first step toward lowering energy consumption is knowing energy consumption.
The new regulation requires that energy data is collected over the period of a year to get an adequate measure of the building’s energy use. Thus, building owners will see how their buildings compare against the SANS 10400-XA benchmark energy usage intensity value.
Obtaining an EPC in South Africa
To obtain an EPC, a building owner will need to gather some of the building information – the electricity consumption data for a year, the net floor area, information on the areas excluded, vacancy rates – and contract a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited inspection body (IB) to audit the information. The IB submits the energy performance value to Sanedi, which inputs it into the National Building Energy Performance Register. A unique number for the EPC is generated and sent to the SANAS accredited IB, who then issues the EPC to the client for display.
The National Building Energy Performance Register will assist with future benchmarking of building energy consumption and track progress toward achievement of the targets set out in future EPC regulations.
Before joining the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), CEO Lisa Reynolds played an important role in the development of SANS 1544, the South African National Standard, which governs EPCs. “The old adage ‘if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is the basis for the EPC regulations. The energy usage of the South African existing building stock is unknown. How do we improve on an unknown? By measuring it – and ultimately improving on it,” says Reynolds.
The GBCSA is providing training workshops on EPCs in two parts/sessions. The first one is for building owners, facilities managers and consultants interested in understanding more about the EPC process and the second session must also be attended for those wishing to become SANAS-accredited inspection bodies. For more information, click here.