First-of-kind app tackles South Africa energy challenge


GIZ-SAGEN Programme: The completed Innovation Hub street lighting installation; Pretoria, South Africa. 21 August 2019 - Photo by Brett Eloff.

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) A NEW application is poised to improve investment decisions around energy use in lighting of buildings across South Africa.

The South African German Energy Programme (SAGEN), implemented by the German Development Agency (GIZ) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), announced the app.

It is hailed as the first of its kind in South Africa and follows the growing emphasis on energy efficiency in the country.

The app has been tailored especially for the local market and will be available for download early in the current year.

GIZ appointed the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) to develop an app that helps users implement energy efficient lighting.

The app was created in collaboration with SANEDI and the Department of Defence (DOD) and funded by the German Development Agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ).

“Developed for mobile and PC use, the app guides the user through a lighting energy audit of a building,” explained Dr Karen Surridge, manager of the Renewable Energy Centre of Research & Development for

The app has been designed with municipal and government buildings in mind as the primary target market.

However GIZ and SANEDI hope to see uptake in the private sector as well.

Surridge said while the app could have a huge impact on public sector energy use, there were many large electricity consumers who could benefit from the app, which offers a valuable decision-making tool for
those looking to reduce electricity use.

Marlett Balmer of the GIZ said they funded this project due to the growing importance of energy efficiency.

According to Blamer, it is estimated that replacing lighting systems with the latest LED technology could save between 30 percent and 60 percent of an organisation’s lighting bill.

Investing in energy efficient lighting offers an immediately affordable intervention towards energy efficiency and sustainability with a direct monetary benefit.

Also, organisations find it challenging to calculate the replacement cost of existing lighting systems as well as the potential savings that could be realised with energy efficient lighting solutions.

“The user-friendly tool assists in overcoming this challenge,” Balmer added.

– CAJ News

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