Kuyasa is a low-income community some 30km from the centre of Cape Town. It was one of the first communities to receive RDP houses, and as such, they were built without energy efficiency in mind. Since 2005 RDP houses have been built with ceilings as standard, but there are still tens of thousands of households going without. Cape Town is hot and dry and then cold and wet, and a ceiling helps to make these houses feel more like a home and less like a shell.
<p> Recently, 2300 households received energy efficiency retrofits which included ceilings, solar water heaters, lighting and hotboxes (eco-cookers/wonderbags etc). The story of how the retrofits came to be is quite long, but what is interesting is that surveys were done with the residents before and after implementation. These show the impact that the project has been seen to have. I recently wrote a review on the project; here are some of the highlights – but the full report can be found <a href="http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/migration/policy-development/11-1141-pd1-improving-living-conditions-in-kuyasa-cape-town.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a> (1MB) </p> <p> Ceilings help to improve indoor air quality – less fires needed inside, less condensation from flimsy roofs, less dust in a sandy, windy area… The figures below show how much healthier residents seem to be since this project was conducted. </p> <p> In an area where poor people can spend 25% of their monthly income on meeting their energy needs, every cent saved helps. Where 45% of households used to spend over R101 a month on electricity, this number has dropped to 17%. Phenomenal. There are similar figures for liquid fuel consumption. It would be interesting to see what the expenses are now, after the hefty Eskom tariff increases. </p> <p> </p> <p> There are tonnes of jobs up for grabs in this type of work too, and most of the work force can be sourced within the community receiving the retrofits. One of the biggest themes in the second survey was that the community was grateful for the jobs created and the assistance with helping people develop skills. </p> <p> <span></p> <div class="p_embed p_image_embed"> <img alt="Image011" src="http://getfile7.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/vivi-walsh/wUn0e51bWbKbim2zeqSVcTqbmh6VY4rtlqAplh2jUwFCOjZKPmy8qYG8AS4M/image011.jpg" /> </div> <p> </span> </p></div> </div> </div> <div class="p_embed p_image_embed"> <img alt="Image009" src="http://getfile2.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/vivi-walsh/ZoQGJpu49CPTwaq6etEGouasqpHyk5mv8s9PrPWuRd2aR1S1xElPvmmfzJJy/image009.jpg" /> </div></p> <div class="p_embed p_image_embed"> <img alt="Image003" src="http://getfile2.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/vivi-walsh/22QFtBoYMxFeelpJGWlSpNEKjzWNn5Yy955uGRjQcamOZ4YkYs5BIH3pRDtQ/image003.jpg" /><img alt="Image001" src="http://getfile6.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/vivi-walsh/FCq31mHh7rcCLmFJ9c2fY3NExuBRgUQltr3cIGd4Q1ExRU3nE76T8XIfGGOS/image001.jpg" /><img alt="Image010" src="http://getfile0.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/vivi-walsh/r8TVwtQCGTF83LOgOgonLDwcsMkmfdFDgnpRTytCN2eo2lUEhq0s0DzMyJdU/image010.jpg" /></p> <div class="p_see_full_gallery"> <a href="http://www.energyramblings.com/energy-efficiency-interventions-in-rdp-houses">See the full gallery on Posterous</a> </div> </div>