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Subsidized Insulation Solution By Local Governments Is Key To Energy Conservation
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Winter is a month away and already the whole country is up in arms about the possibility of increases in electricity tariffs. This is time when many of us see the cost of energy consumption in the home almost double. The reason is not far-fetched; in this season the temperature drops considerably and we are left with no choice but to turn the heater on.

This is because most homes in the country do not have insulation measures in place to keep the warm in the house from getting out or the cold air from coming in. Eskom, the energy provider is already struggling to supply adequate power to households and industries alike. This is likely to affect the economy in some way, in that, it will impact on the level of production of the manufacturing companies. It is likely that some people will lose their jobs in this sector.

For the past few, I have gone on about how the government can take a leadership role in addressing the problem. I have made suggestions that discuss the possibility of providing subsidized insulation projects for low income households. Even though the government has taken measures in some regard, it will not be practical to cover as much households as possible in order to make the impact necessary to bring about positive change.

In 2011, the government introduced a law that will see all buildings implement some form of insulation measure. This was introduced on the advice of Eskom in an attempt the imbalance between supply and demand. This was intended save about 3500MW by 2020. Unfortunately, a law is one thing and implementation is another thing. What about all the other buildings that existed before 2011? Are they going to be forced to implement it as well? What about the low income groups who are struggling to pay the electricity bills?

We are in 2013 and it doesn’t seem to me that the country has done a good job on the implementation of this wonderful law. Eskom is still struggling to make power available to households and businesses across the country.

So the question is what measures are being put in place by the government to ensure that those income groups are not left behind? My answer is subsidized thermal insulation solutions. Most people find themselves in the low income group so I believe that is where it can all begin, if we want to make the greatest of impact.

Eco insulation projects have been implemented in countries such as New Zealand at the local government level. Examples of projects like this include ENERGYWISE, Warn Up NZ managed by The Energy Efficient and Conservation Authority and Warm ‘N’ Well managed by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service supported by the Waitemata District Health Board.


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