Building owners get last-minute reprieve as Mantashe delays energy certificate deadline

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  • Less than two weeks before the deadline, government granted a three-year extension on the mandatory display of energy performance certificates.
  • Those who fail to display the certificates risk being fined, imprisoned, or both.
  • The regulations apply to government buildings of more than 1 000 square metres and privately-owned buildings of more than 2 000 square metres.
  • For all the latest news and analysis around climate change, go to News24 Climate Future.

Less than two weeks before the deadline, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe granted a three-year extension on the mandatory display of energy performance certificates.

News24 previously reported that only a fraction of non-residential buildings had obtained the certificates by last month. Those who fail to display the certificates risk being fined, imprisoned, or both.

READ | Building owners face jail, R5m fine if they don't have energy certificates by December

The requirement for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) was gazetted in December 2020, and owners of non-residential properties had two years to comply. It applies to government buildings of more than 1 000 square metres and privately-owned buildings of more than 2 000 square metres. Examples include office blocks, entertainment facilities, educational institution buildings and places of assembly such as sporting facilities and community centres. 

The certificate, which must be prominently displayed in the foyer of a building, reflects a rating based on the energy consumed per square metre. An EPC rating is from A to G – with A being the most efficient and G being the least.

The regulations aim to make landlords more aware of their buildings' energy consumption and get them to cut their electricity use.

But on Friday, Mantashe gazetted amendments to the regulations, extending the deadline to display the certificates to 7 December 2025. However, the amendments include that building owners must register the type and size of a building and its energy performance within 12 months with the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), which maintains a register of buildings.

Last month, SANEDI estimated that fewer than 300 buildings had energy performance certificates out of a possible 150 000 to 250 000.

SANEDI maintains a certificate register on behalf of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

On Saturday, the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) welcomed the extension.

"SAPOA once again reiterates its call on the property industry to continue supporting various climate change initiatives and to continue with projects which reduce Greenhouse emissions in support of government's obligations to comply with COP26 commitments."

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