International collaboration

Feasibility study on the introduction of an energy management system in South Africa

ENCO conducted a feasibility study to examine how South African cities can best be supported on their path towards sustainable energy management

Effective energy management is highly relevant for cities and municipalities in South Africa, given the country’s energy crisis since 2007 and resulting high energy costs. ENCO conducted a feasibility study to examine how a support scheme can assist South African cities and municipalities in this task and to what extent such a system could be based on the Swiss Energiestadt concept and its tools.

Local authorities in South Africa are facing the challenge of implementing initiatives to reduce energy consumption and minimising their total energy costs while also ensuring an uninterrupted energy supply – including for residents at risk of poverty. At the same time, the consequences of climate change are making themselves felt more and more throughout the country, requiring South African cities and municipalities to undertake strong action to boost their resilience.

In its feasibility study with the title “Towards an integrated approach for pro-poor sustainable energy and climate resilience management in South African Cities – ‘South African Climate City Award (SACC)’”, ENCO worked with our South African partner organisation to analyse the requirements for rolling out an operative support scheme for sustainable energy and climate action. Using the Energiestadt (European Energy Award) system as our starting point, we investigated which of its aspects are relevant and feasible for South Africa.

Our contribution:

  • Analysis of the overall South African context and the challenges and opportunities for rolling out a process inspired by the Energiestadt approach
  • Evaluation of the institutional landscape and provisions for linking the SACC with a national strategy and/or a national support mechanism
  • Evaluation of municipal priorities regarding access to and management of energy and climate resilience
  • Recommendations on the design of an integrated approach and the implementation of a pilot scheme for an “operative management, support and certification scheme for sustainable pro-poor climate action” in South African cities and municipalities
  • Development of guidelines for implementing and supporting an SACC pilot cycle


December 2016-June 2017


Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

Project Location

South Africa


Contact Person

Maren Kornmann
Managing director, project leader, partner since 2016
T. +41 61 965 99 00

Project team

Maren Kornmann

Managing director, project leader, partner since 2016

Caroline Huwiler

Project leader

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