Media statement: WCG launches Energy Game Changer
On Saturday, 19 March 2016, Premier Helen Zille, Mayor Patricia de Lille and Minster Alan Winde officially launched the Western Cape Government’s Energy Security Game Changer. The launch was held in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and coincided with the internationally observed Earth Hour.
Energy security remains a concern for South Africa as Eskom faces major infrastructure challenges for the foreseeable future.
Through the Energy Security Game Changer, our aim is to reduce our demand from the national grid by 10% over the next three years. We intend to do this through diversifying our energy mix and promoting energy efficiency measures, while addressing the impacts on municipal revenues.
This is a joint Game Changer with the City of Cape Town and a number of other local municipalities including Stellenbosch, George, Saldanha, Mossel Bay and Drakenstein.
The key areas of focus for the game changer include: Energy Efficiency, Rooftop Solar PV, the Importation of Liquefied Natural Gas and Load Management.
On Saturday, Premier Zille emphasised the need to partner with both business and local government.
Premier Zille outlined the crucial role business and citizens need to play:
“We are encouraging all businesses to invest in grid-tied Rooftop Solar PV. One of the game changer targets is to add a further 120MW over the next three years in the province from Rooftop solar PV. Rooftop PV is a clean and green alternative source of energy and by feeding into the grid, businesses will be producing energy for others and will be contributing to the current national energy challenges we face,” Premier Zille said.
Another way for business to get involved was through investing in energy efficient measures. This includes, for example, doing an LED lighting retrofit, which has an 18 month pay-back period and will result in major energy savings. LED lighting uses at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.
The insurance industry is also responsible for the procurement and placement of over 75% of replacement geysers in the country. It is further estimated that 70% of all insurance claims in the country are geyser related. The industry has an important role to play when it comes to encouraging businesses and citizens to install solar water heaters. The Western Cape Government will engage with insurance and banking sectors on these possibilities as part of our game changer.
“In the current economic climate, it is critical for us to find ways of supporting the growth of the energy industry in the Western Cape as estimates indicate that the energy efficiency market alone could grow to R1.3 bn by 2019 with approximately 1000 job opportunities being created”, said Premier Zille.
The Western Cape Government will be running a campaign, called “Take Charge, Switch and Save”, as part of our game changer, which will focus on educating and informing businesses and citizens on the steps they can take to save electricity throughout the year, which will save them money at the same time. Citizens can also visit www.switchandsave.co.za to find out more about installing solar water heaters.
We are committed to securing our energy future, which will contribute to growing the economy, creating jobs and positively impacting the environment. We call on every resident and business in the Western Cape to make the same commitment and to take charge of their energy usage so that we can secure our energy future over the next few years.