Submitted by: SouthSouthNorth
Implemented country: South Africa
Title: Low-cost urban housing energy upgrade project
In 1994, the first South African Government of National Unity introduced the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP), which is an integrated, coherent socio-economic policy framework. Within this framework a program was proposed which included the building of a million houses by the year 2000 for all low-income households that had never owned property before and that mostly resided in informal settlements close to urban areas. The RDP housing units have electricity, but no hot water storage services and ceilings. Lighting is achieved through conventional incandescent light bulbs, which represent the most cost-effective option for these low-income households. This project entails the installation of solar water heaters, insulated ceilings and compact fluorescent light bulbs in existing RDP houses. This project activity relates to the reduction in fossil-based energy consumption and hence CO2 emission by means of interventions aimed at improving thermal performance of low-income housing units. Furthermore it contributes toward health benefits, specifically in terms of respiratory illnesses and an energy cost reduction of approximately 40%.