During the launch of the EPC Practitioner Skills Programme in KwaZulu-Natal at the Durban University of Technology Steve Biko Campus, CEO of the Energy Water SETA (EWSETA), Ms. Mpho Mookapele, had a powerful message during her welcoming address relating to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) in Africa, and emphasised finding solutions to some of the common challenges faced in embedding ESG practices in all aspects of Energy Efficiency.
Expressing her excitement for what the EPC Practitioner Skills Programme can bring for the youth in their personal development journey, but also in their new roles as interns in the workplace she added “Look beyond auditing and identify opportunities for you to become a solution creator” Ms. Mookapele said.
The welcoming address was followed by Prof. Prathaban Moodley, General Manager for Applied Energy R&D and Innovation at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), explaining the importance of all interventions to save us from the current energy crisis. Whilst highlighting various opportunities in the Energy space, he said “It’s an incredible opportunity for KZN students as this program fits into the demand side to start help solving the energy crisis.”
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Practitioner is an individual who performs an assessment of a building facility to compile and collect data and information required for verification towards an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for buildings. This is in terms of the EPC Regulation signed into effect in December 2020, and effective for compliance in December 2025 after the initial 2022 deadline was extended, by the Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) in terms of Act number 34 of 1998.
South African building owners are required by law to submit their building data for the National Building Energy Performance Register (NBEPR) and display an EPC in the foyer of the building. This must be done through a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) EPC Inspection Body in accordance with the EPC Regulation requirements, and the relevant standards.
The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) – the body responsible for the NBEPR), in partnership with the Institute of Energy Professionals Africa NPC (IEPA), undertook a Skills Programme in the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) registered EPC Practitioner qualification code SP220323 at the beginning of 2022 to develop skills to meet the requirements of the EPC Regulation. IEPA is a QCTO Skills Development Provider (SDP) and was the Development Quality Partner (DQP) for the EPC Skills Programme together with a Steering Committee. With the necessary skills available, the DMRE can strive to meet the goals set with the implementation of EPCs.
There are currently 8 SANAS accredited EPC Inspection Bodies, with a total of 17 Technical Signatories and over 40 EPC Practitioners who are ready to serve the building owners and assist with getting buildings ready for inspection, or to inspect buildings and issue EPCs for you. In addition, a lot of training is available, including registered qualification, and many building owners are already using these platforms to upskill their building managers, facilities managers, electricians, and other staff members to get their own buildings ready for EPC Inspection Bodies to issue their EPCs. There are many ways to approach this as a building owner yourself or using the skills already available to you on a part-time basis, through the programs developed.
The students form part of Cohort 2 of the pilot of the scheme and will commence their practical modules at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Steve Biko campus Library.
The Institute of Energy Professionals Africa will be assisting the Thekwini TVET College Central Office, Melbourne and Springfield Campuses’ to establish the EPC Practitioner Skills Programme as part of their QCTO Accredited Qualifications.
It is amazing to see these partnerships come into effect to not only focus on job creation, but to also secure future skills and expertise for the growth of the Energy Industry.