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South Africa: Requirements for Energy Efficiency in New Buildings Proposed

(June 16, 2010) On June 11, 2010, Dr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa, published for public comment a proposed sub-regulation to the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act to make new buildings energy efficient. (Siseko Njobeni, New Buildings Must Follow Energy Laws, BUSINESSDAY (June 15, 2010),

The proposed sub-regulation provides that new buildings must be designed and constructed in such a manner that their vertical transportation (i.e., elevator), thermal comfort, lighting, and water systems are energy efficient. (Amendments to the National Building Regulations to Introduce Requirements for Energy Usage in Buildings, GON 504 (June 11, 2010), South African government website, (official source).) If enacted in its current form, the sub-regulation will require that at least half of the annual hot water needs of a building be generated from an alternative energy source, “including but not limited to solar heating, heat pumps, heat recovery from other systems or processes, and renewable combustible fuel.” (Id.) It also requires that the layout drawings of buildings include “the location and capacity of water heating installations and …details of insulation required to satisfy energy usage requirements … .” (Id.)

According to Davies, the Department of Trade and Industry has started distributing solar water heaters as part of a plan to distribute one million solar water heater systems by 2014, in order to reduce the demand on the national electricity grid. (Njobeni, supra.)