Case of the month - Ekurhuleni



Ekurhuleni Policy on Energy Efficiency in Council Buildings

Ekurhuleni (South Africa)
Department of Environment and Tourism of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality

Adopted in 2002 and implemented in 2005
Territorial scope
Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s 

Target buildings  




Public buildings

 New buildings    

Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.

Main Targets  
  • Implement different cost-saving and energy-saving measures in three municipal headquarters buildings;
  • Set objective and realistic saving energy and reducing GHG emissions targets.

In 2002, the Ekurhuleni city council adopted a new policy on energy efficiency to be developed and implemented through an innovative energy efficiency programme on specific municipal infrastructures. Aimed to optimize the use of energy resources in municipal buildings and to reduce the amount of waste produced, the Ekurhuleni municipality intends to lead by example for the rest of the community through the creation of a new policy on energy efficiency in council buildings, complemented by two important instruments: a state energy report and a municipal energy efficiency strategy.

The creation of these municipal instruments and the retrofitting projects were all part of a successful and easily replicable strategy that can be used in other South African cities investing in reducing energy costs and minimizing negative environmental impacts of their municipal operations.

Policy technical requirements

The implementation of the municipal retroffiting projects comprises two key proposals with specific technical requirements.

The first proposal included a preliminary analysis of the buildings infrastructure such as plumbing systems or solar energy installations in order to verify the supply, delivery, and installations of solar water heaters, compressors and 10 KW solar photovoltaic panels.

Energy consumption mechanisms for lighting and boiling water covers the second proposal, which includes the replacement of conventional incandescent lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), the replacement of cool-beam down lighters with LED lights, the replacements of urns and kettles with hydro boils, and the installation of programmable geyser and lighting timers.

In brief, the programme technical requirements involved on both proposals demanded the installation of a set of important devices for a new energetic and environmental building performance:

  • 23 zip hydro boils;
  • 2003 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs);
  • 90 LED lights;
  • 2 lighting timers;
  • 15 programmable geyser timers;
  • Replacement of 96, 8-foot double fluorescent light fitting with open channel-5 foot double fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts.

Successful results

Despite the small scale of the retrofit projects, were achieved substantial energy and emissions savings, such as:

  • 328,988 kWh of energy saves in one year;
  • GHG emissions reduction: 308 tonnes of CO2e, 3 tonnes of SOx and 1 tonnes of NOx reduced;
  • 75% energy savings on lighting (CFLs and LEDs), 40% with the installation of programmable geyser timers and 20% energy savings on water heating through the urns replaced with zip hydro boil.