A study into the awareness and implementation of energy efficiency initiatives in the retrofitting of retail centres in kwa-zulu natal.
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This study examines the awareness and implementation of energy efficiency retrofit initiatives in retail centres in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The participants of the study were management of 20 retail centres in and around the Durban area to determine the level of awareness and implementation of energy retrofit options. The primary objectives of the study were: - To identify the level of awareness and level of implementation of energy retrofit options in the commercial retail sector; - To understand the reasoning and benefits of implementing energy retrofit solutions; - To examine the factors that affect the adoption of energy retrofit solutions; and - To examine Green Building rating tools and legislation associated with the retrofitting of retail centres. A questionnaire was used to determine the levels of awareness and implementation of the participants of energy retrofit solutions, as well as to examine the benefits, costs and challenges associated with implementation. The findings of the study indicated there were high levels of awareness of retrofit strategies. Implementation of energy efficiency strategies were slow due to challenges faced by the management of retail centres. Some of these challenges faced by retailers were the high capital costs as well as lack of demand from tenants and customers. Larger retail centres who have overcome these challenges enjoy the many benefits associated with the implementation of retrofit energy efficiency solutions. Benefits received from implementation of energy efficiency strategies were more efficient use of energy, resulting in lower energy bills as well as improvement of public relations and branding. Further study into the level of benefits received through various implementations of retrofit solutions could provide a detailed mapping of implementation solutions with relation to benefits achieved. Challenges faced by retailers could be extended to challenges faces by building or property owners as well as store managers. Limited reasons were investigated in this study for lack of implementation of energy efficiency strategies. Further study can be done into more reasons for lack of implementation. Many retailers declined to provide information surrounding the cost of strategies implemented and benefits received, more study can be done surrounding the costs of energy implementation.