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Friday Aug 11, 2017

Balwin goes green with solar energy, wind power

Balwin Properties has partnered with SolarAfrica to introduce solar energy to its residential developments.

Steve Brookes, the chief executive of Balwin Properties, said yesterday that SolarAfrica's clean energy solutions for the residential sectional title market in South Africa would result in a benefit to their clients of an about 10 percent saving on their utility account.

Brookes said the solar energy solutions were being introduced to two of its Johannesburg developments, Kikuyu in Waterfall and The Whisken in Crowthorne, but would be introduced to all future Balwin projects.

He added that residential units in Kikuyu and The Whisken were modern and elegant and came standard with prepaid electricity and individual water meters.

Brookes said Balwin Properties was also considering introducing wind turbines in its projects in the Western Cape and KwaZuluNatal, which would be placed on top of the clubhouse in projects. He said wind turbines had the added advantage in that they did generate power at night.

Brookes added that it was much easier to install green energy solutions, such as solar energy, during the construction phase rather than attempting to retro fit them to residential units.

He said SolarAfrica could retro fit them, but Balwin was not involved in that, because the units it developed were sold.

Brookes said Balwin was continually tailoring their developments to match market demands, offering innovations in lifestyle, convenience and energy efficiency.

"While we already offer prepaid meters allowing residents to actively manage their electricity consumption, the addition of solar power will save residents on their monthly electricity bill, which is of utmost importance considering the rising cost of living.

"We are proud to be leading the way in driving green initiatives for developments like ours.

"This is clearly a concept that we will look to roll out to select future developments," he said.

Grahame Cruickshanks, the managing executive of residential at the Green Building Council South Africa, said Balwin's Kikuyu and The Whisken projects were targeting Edge certification and would deliver significant energy savings to residents who "live smart" in their homes through a range of practical solutions that contributed towards achieving a minimum of 20 percent savings in the predicted energy and water consumption of the homes.

Cruickshanks said an additional 20 percent reduction in the embodied energy of the materials used in construction would result in a reduced environmental impact.

"Once certified these projects will be amongst the first Edge certified projects to include solar PV technology, offering energy savings benefits to residents and setting an exciting trend in green homes," he said.

James Irons, the chief executive of SolarAfrica, said the partnership with Balwin was exciting, adding that their solar and load management solution at The Whisken and Kikuyu would demonstrate how greener buildings could lower utility costs through environmentally friendly living.

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