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From power hungry to power-lite: Now City has 100 future-fit buildings saving R84m

Between 2009/10 and 2021/22 the City’s energy efficiency building retrofit programme has saved approximately R84 million and more than 72 500 MWh of electricity. 

Saving R84 million and more than 72 500 MWh of electricity and 71 800 tCO2e over the 12 years of the programme so far shows that energy efficiency is always the starting point – it saves money and means that any alternative energy intervention, whether it be in commercial buildings or on a household level, can be smaller and cheaper. And it remains vital to reducing the pressure on Eskom’s supply crisis and one of the City’s key interventions to ending load-shedding over time.  


‘Reducing energy usage in the built environment is so vital, now more than ever. Cities, like Cape Town, and all the others across the world, are at the heart of creating positive sustainable solutions to our way of living on the earth and shifting the status quo for the generations to come. I challenge our commercial and business sector to join us on this journey. Building efficiency and sustainability makes sense on every level. The benefits to business include a reduction in cost for both operations and maintenance. Retrofits offer protection from energy inflation costs as well as a measurable return on investment along with less risk of exposure to resource scarcity. Local sourcing helps to decrease transport costs, supports our local economy, and helps to reduce poverty and unemployment,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member, Councillor Beverley van Reenen during a visit to the City’s 100-year-old Durbanville Library, one of the City’s Top 100 efficient buildings.  


Our Municipal Energy Efficiency projects began in 2009/10 with the intention to reduce total building consumption through conducting internal energy audits and determining building baseline consumptions. After having identified targeted buildings with the potential for optimised savings, we undertook energy efficiency interventions such as LED retrofitting of existing light fixtures and the installation of occupancy sensors.


In just over one year, these seven buildings saved this much after the retrofit:

LED lighting:

Durbanville Municipal Building and Library: 144 940 kWh

Belhar Fire Station: 32 151 kWh

Huguenot Square Library: 40 922 kWh

Epping Fire Station: 20 858 kWh

Athlone Library: 54 688 kWh


LED lamp or LED light bulbs are electric lights, which produce light using light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LED lamps can be up to 90% more energy efficient than equivalent incandescent lamps and fluorescent lamps. Commercial LED lamps have a lifespan roughly 40 times longer than incandescent lamps, and eight times longer than fluorescent lamps.


Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning retrofit:

Strand Municipal building: 38 334 kWh

Milnerton Administration and Library: 59 324 kWh


Smart metering (SmartFacility)

Measuring for change:

Smart Facility, a web-based data application, integrates all data related to municipal facilities and their resource consumption. The application interprets a facility’s electricity and water consumption data in a friendly, accessible manner, illustrating the data on several dashboards to facility managers and management staff for proactive monitoring and management of municipal facilities consumption. The system monitors facility performance by establishing baselines defined from historical data, target baselines and benchmarks, which enables comparisons with other facilities of the same type. This has been a key system implemented in City operations for the efficiency programme.


To download the Smart Office Toolkit, please visit

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