South Africa’s Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling Program

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Electricity consumption in South Africa comes with a hefty environmental cost to the society. For every kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced, 1 kilogram (kg) of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted, 1.4 liters of water are used, and 0.37 grams of particulate emissions are released in the atmosphere. These environmental implications result from the large share of electricity produced from coal (91 percent in 2015). While planned new capacity will ramp up renewable energy, the integrated resource plan for the country still projects the share of col to be 64 percent in 2030. Energy savings provide environmental benefits as well as economic benefits. Energy efficiency standards and labeling (S&L) programs are a policy measure proven to save energy. Such programs have been implemented in many countries to remove inefficient technologies and transform markets to more efficient technologies. In this study, we describe the methodology, assumptions and results of a stock turnover modeling tool that estimates the energy savings achievable by South Africa’s S&L program in the residential sector. We show that if regulations are passed in 2020 and effective in 2021 for 10 major end-use adopting international standards best practices, 6 terawatt-hours (TWh) will be saved in 2030 and 9.5 TWh will be saved in 2040, representing a CO2 mitigation of 3.7 megatonnes (Mt) in 2030 and 5.8 Mt in 2040, which will contribute to the South African government’s international engagement in fighting against climate change through its National Determined Contribution (NDC). Additional environmental benefits include saving of 6.5 billion liters of water in 2030, representing approximately 100 liters per capita in 2030. Air quality will also improve, as 4 kilotons (kt) of particulate emissions will be avoided, as well as 4.3 Mt of sulfur oxides (SOx) and 23 kt of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in 2030. Of much importance for the nation are the benefits of saving energy, which come with significant economic benefits. By reducing energy consumption for the same level of energy services, consumers will reduce the operating costs of their electric equipment by 15.1 billion rand in 2030, representing an average annual bill savings of 683 rand per household. We also show that the cost to the government of saving 1 kWh in this program is 100 times less than the cost of supplying 1 kWh of electricity.

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