Ellerman House has launched an initiative to become Cape Town’s most eco-friendly boutique hotel. Through newly implemented green projects such as solar panels, LED light bulbs, heat pumps, earthworm farms and recycling systems, the property aims to be Cape Town’s leader in eco-friendly luxury hospitality.

Ellerman House is dedicated to the future and well-being of Cape Town, and by reducing our carbon footprint we hope to inspire other businesses in Cape Town to become more eco-friendly as well.

“We have a responsibility to our guests and to the residents of Cape Town to be as environmentally friendly as possible,” said Ella Cuyler, GM of Ellerman House. “I know I am speaking on behalf of everyone at Ellerman House when I say how excited we are for this new challenge.”

In order to measure the carbon footprint for the entire property, including the main house, villas, spa, art gallery and all administrative housing and offices, Ellerman House hired an energy efficiency company, BrightBlack, as a consultant and to administer extensive energy testing. The staff began taking energy-reducing steps immediately, beginning with the installation of 1,500 energy-efficient and motion-sensor activated LED lights. This new lighting system uses 80% less electricity than the system it replaced.

Ellerman House will be installing a grid-tied solar PV system to generate up to 40% of our total electricity. This state of the art solar electricity generating system will see approximately 230 solar panels installed on several roofs, plus a new solar panel covered carport, generating power and providing protected parking for guests. The main house will receive power from the system.

Ellerman House has always been a great supporter of recycling, but we will be expanding current initiatives to include composting and water repurposing. The entire staff recycles garden and kitchen trimmings, coffee grounds and shredded paper and adds them to the eight earthworm farms at Ellerman House. The materials eventually turn to compost, used in the picturesque Ellerman gardens, comprised of indigenous and drought tolerant plants, as well as species from the famed Kirstenbosch Garden.

Ellerman House is also building water-capture systems on the property, which will be used to irrigate the estate. The reduction in energy use by the geysers that we have installed is also significant. The six initial heat pumps installed will use 60% less electricity than the conventional geysers they replaced. Additional heat pumps will be installed later this year, making all hot water heating efficient.

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