Africa Projects

The following outlines our project experience:

Demand Side Management


Energy Efficiency

  • Energy Efficient Lighting Program in Malawi
  • Training for Energy Standards and Labels for Kenya
  • Designing Standard Offer Scheme for ESKOM
  • Financial Engineering Training Course for Kenya


Energy and Low-Cost Housing

  • Eco-Home Advisors
  • Sustainable Homes Initiative
  • Support to Planning for Industrial Demand Side Management in South Africa
  • Facilitating Large Scale Residential DSM in the Low Income Sector in South Africa


Sustainable Transport

  • Clean Commute Initiative
  • Sustainable Transport Study Tour for Key Stakeholders in South Africa
  • Clean Commute Information Centre


Municipal Energy Efficiency

  • Municipal Services Energy Efficiency Scoping Study
  • Promoting Municipal Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Southern Africa
  • Providing a Lasting Legacy to the World Summit on Sustainable Development - Facilitating the Implementation of an Efficiency Street-lighting Retrofit in South Africa


Global Climate Change

  • Efficient Lighting Initiative in South Africa
  • Energy Star Computers in South African’s Commercial Buildings
  • Green Buildings for Africa
  • Flexible Mechanism Projects
  • Rural Electrification, Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
  • Groundbreaking Climate Change Housing Project in South Africa


Demand Side Management

ESKOM Demand Side Management Project in South Africa

ESKOM, the South African integrated power utility, embarked on a Demand-side Management (DSM) Program aimed at achieving cost effective electricity demand (and energy) savings, providing a viable option in meeting future demand. ESKOM has already undertaken pilot DSM programs, primarily in lighting and water heating. The DSM Implementation strategy of ESKOM targeted annual savings of 180 MW per year from 2002, with an objective of realizing 900 MW within five years, and 3,600 MW within 20 years. Under an existing Cooperative Agreement between IIEC and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), IIEC was assigned to provide assistance to the ESKOM in the implementation of their DSM Program. IIEC assistance included the review and revisions of the existing DSM Program designs, preparation of implementation framework and procedures and capacity building of staff in the DSM Branch in DSM program planning, implementation, monitoring and verification. [Back to top]


Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Lighting Program in Malawi

The Program involves the distribution of 2 Million CFLs nationwide covering all customer sectors. The residential customers, small enterprises and public buildings will involve the direct replacement of existing Incandescent Bulbs (IBs) with CFLs free-of-charge. The commercial and industrial customers would have the option of purchasing CFLs at subsidised prices via retail outlets.

Training for Energy Standards and Labels for Kenya

The Standards and Labelling Programme is a 5 year initiative designed to remove barriers to market transformation of energy efficient products and services in Kenya with replication effect to 4 other East African Community (EAC) countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The objective of IIEC’s assignment is to prepare and deliver a comprehensive training programme to key stakeholders of the S&L Programme on selected appliances in Kenya.

Designing Standard Offer Scheme for ESKOM

IIEC has been involved in the South African development process for over a decade. Partnership with ESKOM – a vertical utility involved in the generation and distribution system was recently revived through an effort towards setting up a Standard Offer process related to energy conservation technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sector. IIEC collaborated with ESKOM through a contract with Delloitte & Touche, South Africa team to develop rationale towards implementing certain technologies that offer substantial energy savings benefits and are monitored through standard monitoring and verification protocols making the market-take-up much simpler. The strategy document in this regard is pending regulatory approvals with the market-face document concluded during the April – May 2008.

Financial Engineering Training Course

The Standards and Labelling Programme is a 5 year initiative designed to remove barriers to market transformation of energy efficient products and services in Kenya. Currently, there is need to enhance the capacity and ability of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Ministry of Energy (MoE), Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to enforce energy performance compliance of imported products. The objective of this project is to prepare and deliver a training programme to these key stakeholders.
Energy and Low-Cost Housing


IIEC worked with South African partners to help provide local housing delivery organizations with the capacity to address energy and environmental issues. The Eco Home Advisors initiative provided such organizations with trained energy and environment staff to help ensure the energy development linkage to low-cost housing was not missed. The Eco Home Advisors were also a focal point for energy efficient housing demonstrations and community awareness raising. Through this program, IIEC-Africa and its partner organizations selected and trained over 16 Eco Home Advisors, and placed them at local housing delivery organizations. IIEC-Africa personnel supported the Eco Home Advisors in the field with technical assistance. This program was funded by the UK Community Fund (formerly called the UK National Lottery Charities Board).


The Sustainable Homes Initiative was a three-year programme incorporating a range of support, training, outreach, networking functions, and hands-on technical assistance to bring about a change in the building, finance, and materials sectors servicing the historically disadvantaged communities of South Africa.
The Initiative was documenting existing 'best practice' in South Africa to show that Eco housing - through the People's Housing Process and through commercial building - was a sensible and practical approach for South Africans.

The initiative intended to bridge the delivery gaps that occurred when housing beneficiaries requested Eco homes. In its final year, the Initiative launched a national recognition programme - Eco Star Homes - gave credit to those builders who were doing it right. The project also explored special "green finance" schemes that could be made available to commercial builders who adopted eco-home construction practices. While all the measures endorsed by the programme were cost effective and many were no-cost at the time of construction, those having an additional cost could be supported by the green finance scheme. Finally the initiative incorporated a Green Professionals Scheme. This component of the project dispatched engineers, architects and project managers to low-income communities - at no cost - to make strategic interventions. These green professionals would ensure that many more RDP housing projects incorporated the no-and low cost principles of environmentally sound design.


In conjunction with Africa's largest electric power utility, Eskom, and with several industry partners, IIEC provided technical support to Eskom to refine its present industrial demand side management (DSM) plan, and to develop and implementation protocol. In a situation of over-demand, but with increasing pressures on supply at peak and continued pressures for new electrification, Eskom sought to find "negawatts" from energy efficiency amongst its residential, commercial, and industrial partners. IIEC and its partners undertook this work with the close collaboration of Eskom's DSM Group, and with the financial support of US AID's Global Environment Center and the US AID South Africa Mission.


IIEC's strong foundation in low-cost housing and energy efficiency has enabled new activities to support residential demand side management scale up pilots. IIEC supported Eskom, South Africa's power utility, to run a 4,000 home pilot of new, high efficiency water heaters in the low-to-middle income housing sector. The pilot was a large-scale demonstration of both the technology and load management control techniques relating to water heating. IIEC recognized a pent-up demand for systematic, safe, affordable and efficient water heating in the low and middle-income sectors in South Africa. IIEC worked with Eskom to liaise with new housing developments, municipal housing planners, and others in the construction industry to realize this mass scale pilot in 2001 - 2002.

Sustainable Transport


On 12 May 1997, IIEC and the Department of Minerals and Energy jointly launched a transport reduction programme known as the Clean Commute (the SeSotho name is Leeto le Phepa). The Clean Commute initiative features innovative mechanisms such as car-pooling and van-pooling schemes as well as flexible work hours and tele-commuting options to reduce the impact of single-occupancy vehicles on South Africa's increasingly grid-locked roads. Additionally, the initiative was working closely with the Midrand Transport Association and the mini-bus taxi industry to improve the efficiency of the local transport network. The Clean Commute was initially pilot tested in Kyalami Business Park in Midrand. Funding for the Clean Commute is shared jointly between the Department of Minerals and Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

In April 1998, IIEC co-hosted a one-week Sustainable Transport Study Tour to the Netherlands for South Africa's Parliamentary Transport Study Group and other key transport officials. The Study Tour was developed to investigate the policy, planning, and project work of Dutch transport officials, and determine the applicability of these interventions in the South African context. The Study Tour covered key transport topics such as developing effective public transportation systems, planning for bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities, understanding transport economics and externalities, and revitalising central business districts. IIEC-Africa co-hosted this tour with the Centre for Energy Conservation and Environmental Technology in Delft. The tour was sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS) in the Hague and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. The study tour produced a ten-point set of recommendations for improving the understanding and implementation of sustainable transport activities in South Africa.


In conjunction with a major travel demand management project in the Midrand area, IIEC and its Clean Commute partners developed a business plan for a Commuter Information Centre. The Centre would offer information on park-and-ride opportunities, existing public transportation routes, schedules and fees, and in general promote public transport and non-motorised transport options for residents, workers, shoppers, business travellers and tourists. IIEC's partner in this work was MidTran; the work was jointly funded by the CSIR and US Environmental Protection Agency.


Municipal Energy Efficiency


IIEC conducted an investigation on behalf of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council (GJMC) into the degree to which energy efficiency and climate change mitigation activities could be achieved in the municipal services sector. Johannesburg was one of only a handful of African cities that had made a pledged under the ICLEI Cities for Climate Protection Program to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.
The evaluation of energy efficiency opportunities was conducted within the electricity, transportation, housing, property management, and waste management services divisions of the municipality, among other departments and sectors. As a result of this project, IIEC developed a profile for the city and a briefing paper for key stakeholders and municipal officials. In addition, a number of potential project ideas would be identified that could generate cost savings, emissions reductions, and increased awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency and conservation.

The U.S. Agency for International Development provided funding the investigation, which was spearheaded in the GJMC by the Metropolitan Planning, Urbanization and Environmental Management Division.


IIEC collaborated with cities in the SADC region to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to urban management. The benefits of these opportunities extended far beyond the prize of energy efficiency. The tangible benefits were improved urban service management, reduced localised air pollution, improved quality of basic urban services, and cost savings that translate into more extensive services. All of these outcomes had direct impact for the urban poor in Southern Africa. IIEC executed these efforts in close collaboration with ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Programme in southern Africa. These activities were supported by US AID's South Africa Mission and its Regional Urban Development program.

PROVIDING A LASTING LEGACY TO THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT- Facilitating the Implementation of an Efficiency Street-lighting Retrofit in South Africa

The city of Johannesburg, South Africa was the host of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, a ten year report back meeting after the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 1992. IIEC collaborated with the city to identify several cost-saving opportunities for energy efficiency in municipal services, opportunities that also reduced or mitigated the growth in greenhouse gas emissions from city services. Among the opportunities were implementation of a street-lighting retrofit in several areas of the city. Saving money on energy and maintenance from higher efficiency, more robust street-lighting would help the city to extend its general lighting services to unserved areas, as well as to improve the quality of lighting in the retrofitted areas.

IIEC supported the city's retrofit implementation by continuing to facilitate the introduction of an Energy Services Company and third party finance as a means of efficiently managing the capital cost and execution of the retrofit. Additionally, IIEC worked with a consortium of supporting players, including BONESA's Efficient Lighting Initiative, to implement the retrofit by refining financial and CO2 scenarios, development of comprehensive cost scenarios for the City based on integration of the entire range of environmental issues around street-lighting (energy costs, maintenance costs, spare parts management, (mercury) waste management and trade-offs, etc.) as well as utility of the technology for under-serviced areas, and marketing the opportunity in the carbon trading arena. This activity was possible through the support of US AID's Global Environment Center.

Global Climate Change


The Efficient Lighting Initiative (ELI) was a central component of Eskom's Residential Demand Side Management (RDSM) programme. This programme expected to realize some 770MW of these savings through lighting energy efficiency. This put the lighting component on par with the construction of a large pumped storage scheme or new generation capacity. However, unlike new system capacity, the avoided demand could be implemented incrementally, following the changing nature of the system load profile.

IIEC assisted Eskom in implementing the ELI because the initiative would benefit the whole of South Africa through the promotion of energy efficient lighting technologies. The utility would benefit since the strategy was highly cost-efficient, reduced peak demand, deferred large-scale investment decisions during a period of strong planning uncertainty and improved customer satisfaction. From a national perspective, implementation of the programme reduced the cost of residential lighting, increased security of electricity supply and reduced the environmental impacts from electricity generation. The international benefits of the programme, in terms of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, were also significant. In fact, the Global Environment Facility, via the International Finance Corporation, approved providing R15 million (US$2.5 million) to implement the initiative.
IIEC also helped Eskom research the market potential for energy efficient light bulbs in South Africa, and projected the expected market growth curves for these products. In particular, IIEC examined how to stimulate the local manufacture of high-quality CFLs, a step that could dramatically lower the cost of these products and thus made them more affordable to home owners. Establishing a local CFL manufacturing facility would also be an ideal avenue for black economic empowerment both in terms of facility ownership and the creation of managerial and manufacturing jobs.


Computers and other office equipment were one of the most rapidly growing energy users in South African commercial buildings. Due to the success of the US EPA's Energy Star Computers programme, almost all the computers sold in South Africa had Energy Star capability. However, the Energy Star feature was rarely enabled. With over two million computers in use in the commercial and institutional sectors, a significant and simple greenhouse gas mitigation opportunity therefore existed to: (1) Enable the Energy Star feature of existing computers; (2) Establish procurement guidelines for government and large companies that require distributors to enable the Energy Star feature prior to delivering the machine; and (3) Structure a voluntary agreement between government and computer distributors that requires the distributors to enable the Energy Star feature on all computers that they sell. In conjunction with the Department of Minerals and Energy and the State Tendering Board, IIEC addressed these opportunities and planned initiatives.


IIEC served on the Working Group and Steering Committee to Green Buildings for Africa. This programme of the CSIR sought accelerates the introduction and implementation of profitable energy-efficient technologies and practices in the South African property industry. Green Buildings for Africa would achieve this objective by providing the owners with information on new and improved technologies and maintenance procedures and by helping them secure capital to implement these measures.


IIEC developed three projects under the auspices of Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ) following South Africa's ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997. AIJ was a mechanism where nations could invest in emerging economies in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost. Potential win-win scenarios could develop in which technology and financial transfers might take place that benefit both the host nations and the investing organizations.

IIEC helped to explore the applicability and desirability of AIJ in South Africa through project proposals with local organizations. Projects were developed by IIEC included passive-solar design for new subsidy-built housing and the retrofitting of hostels. Energy efficiency improvements in both areas were achieved through co-operative efforts between local South-African stakeholders and companies in the 'donor' countries such as insulation manufacturers.


Previously, only 46% of rural South African households had access to electricity, compared to some 80% of all urban households. To address this imbalance, the South African government had embarked upon an ambitious non-grid rural electrification program. This program offered a unique opportunity to expand the use of climate-friendly renewable energy technologies, while also improved the lives of South Africa's rural population. Although it would appear that carbon offset structures could position renewable energy technologies more competitively, few of South Africa's planned rural electrification projects had attempted to incorporate climate change investment into their business case planning. This study assessed the barriers to, and potential opportunities from, structuring of carbon offset investments in planned rural electrification activities in South Africa, and attempted to quantify the magnitude of potential benefits to both project developers and rural communities of such linkages. Two case studies were examined in depth: a large solar home system electrification initiative in KwaZulu Natal, and a rural wind power project in the Western Cape.


IIEC implemented the first ever housing-focused climate change project under the auspices of the Clean Development Mechanism of UNFCCC. This project expected to bring the benefits of energy-efficient homes to low-income residents of South Africa. In collaboration with the Government of South Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands awarded IIEC a grant to implement Housing for a Healthier Future. IIEC built 16 new energy-efficient demonstration homes in township communities in South Africa. This collaboration operated under the Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ) provision of UNFCCC. The homes were built using energy-efficient components and passive-solar design. Representatives of the South African and Dutch building industries worked together with IIEC to identify energy-efficient materials and construction methods. Once built, the residences were monitored for their energy and greenhouse gas savings, as well as health and quality-of-life benefits to residents. The results were reported to both governments, as well as to the U.N.

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