Newsletter Issue 13 February 2020

Project Manager’s Message


Welcome to the first edition of S&L News for 2020. The project team and I wish you many positive and productive months ahead.

More than anything, we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the S&L Programme in the past; and encourage all to please get and stay involved in 2020 and beyond.

This year starts off with a bang with the decision by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to revise the MEPS. This is an important milestone for the country’s S&L programme and demonstrates how far we have come.

Comprehensive consultation remains a project priority – Implementing inclusive solutions, on par with global best practices and in line with the nation’s energy imperatives.Here, we are pleased to present two initiatives designed to immediately achieve just that – while also preparing rollout plans for the new cutting-edge online appliance registration database:

1. A market study to inform how best to revise the design of the energy label

2. The launch of the consumer information guide for household lamps

Please participate and encourage those you know to take part. The more we understand the better we can serve consumers.

Theo Covary

DMRE Directive to NRCS to Strengthen MEPS


Following the completion of the techno-economic study and industry consultations to review and revise the MEPS, I am very pleased to announce that the DMRE has formally requested the NRCS to act on the November 2019 workshop outcomes. Click here for more information.

Online Appliance Registration Database


The long-awaited online registration database, which the project truly believes will be a game changer, has made it through user acceptance testing. The NRCS, supported by the S&L project team, will be hosting an industry meeting on the 24th of March to present the rollout plan. Please look out for the meeting invitation – enquiries can be sent to

Energy Label Review – Call For Participation


Two phases of qualitative consumer research have been completed – using focus groups to understand how the SA Energy Label can be improved. They especially explored: 1) The inclusion of a QR code to provide consumers with more information and make NRCS inspectors more effective by providing them with remote access to the registration database; and, 2) Making the label more understandable to encourage greater interaction and usage when buying major electrical appliances. Now we’re ready to test these learnings through a quantitative survey; and an invitation to participate is being mailed out. Respondents simply complete a 10-minute questionnaire, covering a number of different Energy Label designs for various large electrical appliances; and taking part in the survey guarantees input into the final label design recommendations.

Please lookout for an invitation to participate in this research, which you will receive before the end of February.

Light It Up! Consumer Survey & Competition


Lighting is South Africa’s most prolifically used electricity consumer, across the full demographic divide. So, it’s imperative that we increase awareness about LED technology which provides significant financial and environmental benefits. In 2019 we worked with consumers to develop an information guide, which now in 2020 we are rolling out through this campaign. At the moment the guide can be found in all Makro stores but is available to all retailers. And for a limited period, the project will provide printed aisle interrupters  which were designed by the programme (contact me directly at

Ultimately, to create immediate awareness and launch the guide, we developed the Light It Up! Campaign – which leverages two very different platforms to make it as all-inclusive as possible. 



In the online and social media space, the campaign and its associated competition, targets more tech-savvy users through targeted messaging across multiple social media platforms. This then drives traffic to the online survey – where for the month of February, those who complete it can win appliance vouchers to the cumulative value of R40 000.

Radio & Mobile Phones


An intense national live-read radio campaign began in the first week of February – on air across a broad range of community and public radio stations. Lasting for the duration of the month, it is also includes spaced inserts in identified key print media. In both cases, listeners and readers stand a chance to win instant airtime to the total value of R100 000, by simply dialling a specific number and completing a few questions via USSD. Use the USSD code *134*84963*10# to access the LIVE competition and survey system and encourage others to do the same.

Mission 1.5


Look out for the UNDP’s new global Mission 1.5 climate action campaign. It is designed to bridge the gap between global citizens and their governments – and its gaming format allows players to make direct recommendations to government, via the UNDP, on how to keep global warming below 1.5°C. Get involved! The project team and I look forward to your participation for the balance of 2020 and thank you all in advance.

“Listening involves hearing the needs of consumers,
Understanding those needs, 

And making sure the organisation recognises the opportunity they present.”
Frank Eliason