Energy Efficiency Strategy of South Africa
Policy measure

According to Morris, Barnes and Morris (2010), the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) released its first national energy efficiency strategy, Energy Efficiency Strategy of South Africa, in 2005. It sets a national target for energy efficiency improvement of 12% by 2014 relative to projected consumption. The program is implemented on a sector-by-sector basis with progress monitored and the targets reviewed after each of three stages. The strategy aims to achieve the required energy efficiency improvements through different enabling instruments and interventions, including energy management systems”.


Shatterprufe, a manufacturing company producing glass windows for the automobile industry, is an example of a firm that has participated in energy efficiency projects. “Even though the company does not have a formal energy efficiency policy, it monitors its maximum demand (KvA) and electricity output (KvH) per square metre of glass manufactured. In 2009, the management identified that it has a specific objective of reducing electricity output per square metre of glass manufactured by 30% and to reduce its maximum demand by 10%. In order to achieve these energy efficiency targets an energy forum was established, which initially analyzed the firm’s electricity output and the major contributions to this electricity output. It was revealed that the factory furnaces which are coupled with fans were the highest consumers of electricity. As a result of these findings, management made the decision to adjust the production schedule so that the fans and furnaces were: 1) utilized to the maximum in off peak periods; 2) switched off when not in use, and; 3) switched on in a staggered way, one machine at a time, so as to lower the maximum demand peak. These interventions were conducted in the middle of 2009. ” (Morris, Barnes and Morris, 2010)


Five barriers for the Energy Efficiency Strategy of South Africa and consequently hereby for the successful implementation of industrial energy efficiency projects have been identified (Morris, Barnes and Morris, 2010):

  • “The historically low price of electricity.

  • A lack of knowledge and understanding of energy efficiency opportunities

  • Institutional barriers.

  • A resistance to change (principally at the firm level).

  • A lack of investment confidence.

A critical barrier, not identified by the strategy, is the voluntary nature of the energy efficiency improvement target. Also, no provision is made for financial support to industries or firms who actively pursue the energy efficiency target.” 


According to Morris, Barnes and Morris (2010), as the Energy Efficiency Strategy of South Africa is still in its infancy, little change has been reported between the 2005 and 2008 policy publications.

As for Shatterprufe, “the firm’s energy efficiency interventions have had an extremely positive impact on the firm’s electricity consumption which has dropped from 48.73KwH/m2 in 2009 to 41.72KwH/m2 in 2010 YTD which are on par with the firm’s 2007 electricity consumption levels and is a 14.34% reduction in electricity output. Similarly the interventions have also had a positive impact on the firm’s average maximum electricity demand. At the same time, the firm’s maximum demand levels have been increasing year on year from 2007 to 2009.  The energy efficiency interventions were then implemented in mid-2009. Overall a 16% reduction in maximum demand is evident from 2009 to 2010 YTD.” (Morris, Barnes and Morris, 2010)


Morris, M., Barnes, J. and Morris, J., 2010. Energy Efficient Production in the Automotive and Clothing/Textiles Industries in South Africa. Background Paper prepared for the UNIDO Industrial Development Report 2011. Mimeo.