Why Should the South African Property Sector Care About ESG and Energy Performance Certificates?

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  • The South African property industry recognises the need to adopt smart and innovative technology to provide increased visibility and transparency while increasing efficiency and reducing costs within their facilities.
  • Using Environmental Social Governance (ESG) data provides significant benefits to organisations.

Facilities Managers and Property Managers can employ advanced dashboarding and record-keeping systems to report environmental performance to multiple stakeholders says Songo Didiza – Managing Partner, Green Building Design Group.

The onset of ESG reporting requirements has created a need for a sustainability change management process within the property industry value chains (property management, facilities management and property valuations as a whole). In order to support the industry to make this shift, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have been introduced to assist the industry introduce benchmarking tools to monitor energy performance of their often complex and large property portfolios. EPCs are now mandatory for private sector, non-residential buildings with a total net floor area of over 2000sqm, and government buildings of over 1000sqm. Knowledge of the overall energy performance of a building will enable landlords and tenants to put in place cost-saving energy-efficient technologies and targeted behavioural interventions aimed at reducing energy costs in the medium to long run.

EPCs will also empower the landlord with the required building energy performance information that can support the property valuations process. High energy performing buildings can improve the selling price and/ or justify a higher rental for commercial office space.

Overview of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

The EPC will provide an energy rating for a building which is based on the performance potential of the building itself (i.e., the fabric) and its associated Building Services (such as HVAC, Lighting). The energy performance of the building is based on an Asset rating scale of A-G, A being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient, similar to the energy labels provided on domestic appliances. A D-rating is the benchmark rating that is in line with the national building regulations (i.e., SANS 10400-XA).

An EPC must be issued by a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited Inspection Body with the support of technical assessors and energy auditing team.

The EPC must be displayed at the building’s main entrance; and must be submitted to the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). EPCs are used in many other countries. South Africa is the first African country to make EPCs mandatory.

The primary objective in obliging building owners to obtain EPCs is to make them aware of their energy consumption and encourage them to be more energy efficient if their EPC rating is poor i.e., Levels E to G.

Our Track Record in Energy Performance Certification implementation in South Africa

To date the Green Building Design Group has already implemented Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for Commercial Property Owners in South Africa. Government owned buildings which are estimated at 100 000 will also need to comply with the EPC reporting deadline of 7th December 2022.

The GreenBDG EPC team comprises a SANAS-Accredited Inspection Body (EPC0019), Technical Assessors and trained EPC Practioner which were trained through our foundation, GreenBDG NPC. We employ Certified Measurement and Verification Professionals (CMVP®), Certified Energy Managers (CEM®), engineers, and consultants who apply their extensive experience to provide value to clients.

Author: Songo Didiza

If you need a Energy Performance Certificate for your building contact:

Songo Didiza at the Green Building Design Group – mobile 0791377931 or email: songo@greenbdg.co.za


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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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