Crunch time for energy ratings, or face fines and prison

Time is running out for owners of large buildings to get official energy ratings, according to News24

The deadline of 7 December 2022 is fast approaching. Failing to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate may result in fines or imprisonment, per the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).
Owners had two years to obtain certification.

Any building larger than 2000 square metres is required to display its energy rating in the lobby or foyer of the building. This includes buildings for all kinds of uses including offices, education and entertainment.

Looking up an glass wrapped modern office building

Large buildings legally have to apply for and display their energy ratings

Leaving energy ratings to the last minute

The penalty for non-compliance is a fine of R5 million or five years imprisonment.

However, only around 259 buildings are certified. Yet, there are about 250 000 who now risk breaking the law, according to SANEDI, which is running this programme on behalf of the state.

These ratings reflect how much electricity a building uses per square metre. Ratings between A and G are given, similar to what is shown on consumer appliances in South Africa.

Government hasn’t done enough to urge building owners to get certified according to experts. And that owners aren’t aware of the savings they stand to make with a more efficient footprint. 

Meanwhile, it’s not just privately owned buildings that are required to comply. Government buildings larger than 1000 square meters are also mandated. The low number of certifications granted thus far suggests the state isn’t complying with its own laws. 

At this late juncture a further grace period is likely, SANEDI says.