In South Africa, where electricity is a precious resource, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) is launching a new public campaign, “Switch on to Switch Off: It Just Makes Good Business Sense.” The CCID, a private-public company managing the Cape Town CBD, urges stakeholders – including property owners, business operators, residents, and visitors – to take action in conserving electricity for the benefit of Cape Town’s economic and lifestyle hub.
Established in 2000 by local property owners, CCID collaborates with local government and SAPS to enhance security, cleanliness, and social development in the CBD, attracting high-quality investments. The campaign encourages stakeholders to adopt various power-saving measures, from enhancing energy efficiency in skyscrapers to the simple act of turning off office equipment when not in use.
Given the CBD’s significant contribution to the metro’s annual gross domestic product, the CCID campaign empowers stakeholders to actively participate in cost-saving measures amid the country’s electricity shortage. The campaign outlines eight electricity-saving steps, including conducting energy audits, upgrading to LED lighting, optimizing HVAC systems, promoting energy-saving behavior, using energy-efficient office equipment, installing renewable energy systems, integrating battery storage for backup power, and implementing demand shaving during off-peak periods.
Rob Kane, the CCID Board chairperson and CEO of Boxwood Property Fund, emphasizes the importance of stakeholders taking ownership of power-saving initiatives to ensure the continued success of Cape Town’s CBD. He urges everyone to be “switched on about switching off.”
The campaign follows groundbreaking initiatives by the City of Cape Town to strengthen the city’s power supply, such as adding a gigawatt of independent power to the grid. CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos expresses the organization’s commitment to assisting property owners, tenants, and occupants in addressing challenges amid rolling blackouts.
To illustrate the campaign’s effectiveness, Boxwood Property Fund is highlighted as an example, having already achieved an 11% reduction in power consumption and targeting a further 7 to 10% decrease. The company monitors its buildings at night, ensuring lights are turned off in unoccupied areas and recently earned a 4-star rating from the Green Building Council.
Francois Viruly, an associate professor at the University of Cape Town, acknowledges the potential impact of a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the CCID’s recommendations. This approach involves incorporating new energy-saving technologies and finding a balance between economic, social, and environmental sustainability in the city.