South Africa offers energy efficiency incentives

Plagued by frequent power outages and unreliable generation, South Africa has a pressing need to cut energy consumption that goes beyond the global concerns over carbon emissions.

Keen to address this issue while delivering more sustainable, and reliable, energy supplies the country’s government has unveiled a package of incentives to encourage the private sector to invest in energy efficiency measures.

Existing legislation already allows companies to tap into funding to offset the costs of installing renewable energy technology and producing biofuels but further incentives have been announced in the national budget.

Companies and commercial landlords that have installed equipment to improve their energy efficiency will be able to recover 15% of their costs after the measures have been in place for two years – and have proven their value to the state-run Energy Efficiency Agency.

The budget contains a number of other environmental incentives, including plans to increase the existing plastic bag tax from three cents to four cents per bag and a new tax on incandescent bulbs in an attempt to encourage consumers to switch to energy-efficient equivalents.

It also increases passenger taxes on international air travel and puts in place measures to take into account a vehicle’s carbon emissions when setting road tax.

Sam Bond

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