President Jacob Zuma says that government is looking to increase the energy efficiency incentives on offer in order to encourage energy savings in the private sector.
The president was speaking at the launch of The Presidency Energy Saving Campaign, on Friday (13 March).
He said that the current tax rebate scheme on offer to companies will be extended, the proposals of which, will be published for public comment later this year.
Eskom has admitted that its energy efficiency incentives have not been widely adopted among the private sector.
Zuma said that the success in providing electricity to almost 6 million previously excluded households in townships and rural areas across our country, was achieved by tapping into the artificial electricity reserve inherited in 1994.
The economy has also expanded, drawing on the limited energy resources. “As a result, we are constantly affected by load shedding, while major consumers of energy are subjected to reduced access to electricity and energy supply,” the president said.
Zuma acknowledged that a lack of energy supply and reserves has been central to the suppressed economic growth.
“Government has identified energy security as the single most important challenge that must be prioritised and addressed effectively to jump-start our economy.
The president said that cabinet instituted an urgent intervention, hence the establishment of a Cabinet war room and a programme led by the Deputy President of the Republic.
“Our work is ongoing and progressing well. We have a good plan. In the State of the Nation Address, I announced our short, medium and long term response.
“Our response involves focusing on improving the maintenance of Eskom power stations in order to improve the generation capacity and secondly to finalise our long term energy security master plan,” Zuma said.
In the long term, government is looking to develop a sustainable energy mix which includes electricity, liquid fuels, coal, wind, hydro, nuclear, solar and gas.
Greener domestic appliances
Zuma said that the Government is also working to transform the domestic electric appliance market as part of promoting energy saving.
According to the National Regulations for Compulsory Specifications Act of 2008, the domestic electrical appliance industry is required by law to be more energy efficient in their production processes,” the president said.
“They are expected to use energy and environmentally friendly components. This applies to imported as well as to domestic manufacturers, which will need to be labelled.”