The decision of the Department of international Relations and Cooperation on the implementation of energy-saving practices




QUESTION NO:  2390  (NW2779E)


Ms CC September (ANC) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

Whether (a) her department and (b) the entities reporting to her have implemented any energy-saving (i) practices or (ii) devices for buildings, offices and boardrooms in the 2010/11 financial year; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?

The Department regards energy-saving as a high priority and has implemented the following measures at its recently reconstructed Head Office premises:

  1. Motion detectors on ceiling lights in all offices and passages;
  2. Escalators slow down when not in use;
  3. Variable Speed Drives have been installed on all heating ventilation and air conditioning units, which lowers energy consumption;
  4. A grey water system collects rain water, which is used in the toilet cisterns;
  5. Low flush volume toilets have been installed;
  6. Power factor correction is installed in the power substation which assists in reducing energy consumption;
  7. The HVAC system is energy efficient and contains minimal heating facilities.  Only offices on the outer sides of the building have heaters installed in the HVAC system, with warm air being carried to the inner parts of the building via a convection system;
  8. Minimal low wattage incandescent lights are used with the majority of the lights in the building being compact fluorescent lights;
  9. External and internal lights are switched off after-hours insofar as it does not affect building security;
  10. The canteen kitchen makes use of gas and induction units;
  11. Energy efficiency workshops are held with staff members regularly.

At diplomatic missions abroad, the Department focuses on the utilisation of energy efficient lighting, switching lights and geysers off after hours and ensuring that HVAC systems only operate during office hours. In new construction projects abroad as well as in the renovation of state owned properties, additional measures such as those present in the Head Office building, are considered and implemented.

The Department is committed to the continued monitoring of its energy efficiency levels in order to optimise and minimise its consumption.


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