by Rizel Delano

Driving energy efficiency

An important issue for SA industries

Energy efficiency is an important issue for industries in SA
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The energy efficiency challenge is an important issue. South Africa’s approach toward it will determine the country’s competitiveness in a variety of industries. Therefore, it is vital that all sectors of the economy become active in the management of energy efficiency, with an increased knowledge of energy, how it is consumed, and how it can be utilised more efficiently.

The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) enables action for sustainable development and promotes the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry.

With members from Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, the SAEE has achieved tremendous success in consolidating energy efficiency stakeholders in the Southern African Development Community through the SAEE Convention.

Last year, SAEE celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting its seventh convention during November.

Supported by huge stakeholders in the industry, the convention brought together various multinational companies, government departments and state-owned enterprises that pooled a powerhouse of knowledge.

The event targeted a complete spectrum of technologies and services, and served as a comprehensive forum to fully assess the big picture, highlighting exactly how all economic and market forces, new technologies, regulatory developments and industry trends merge to shape an organisation’s energy and economic future.

The convention’s opening address featured a brief talk by the president of the SAEE, Professor LJ Grobler, and the chief executive officer of the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi), Kevin Nassiep.

Fikile Segole, Eskom's residential and municipal sector manager, informed delegates about the latest developments of the power utility's integrated demand management (IDM); Luisa Freeman, senior principal consultant at DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability, concluded with an international perspective and latest trends in United States energy efficiency from an evaluator’s standpoint.

Over the course of the convention, 70 speakers enlightened more than 450 delegates in parallel breakaway sessions, focusing on measurement and verification (M&V), data analysis and reporting, financing, incentives and taxes, various case studies, mining and industrial energy efficiency, energy efficiency in buildings, renewable and alternative energy, as well as management, policies and compliance.

Forty-three exhibition stands and 37 organisations unveiled innovative energy efficiency products.

Every year the SAEE awards programme recognises the outstanding accomplishments of individuals and companies in the energy industry. The honours were presented at the annual SAEE banquet and awards ceremony.

Categories included: Energy Newcomer of the Year Award, Energy Project of the Year Award, Energy Patron of the Year Award, Energy Company of the Year Award, the Energy Excellence Award, and the prestigious Ian Ernst Lane Hall of Fame Award.

The Energy Newcomer of the Year Award is normally given to an organisation or individual who has entered the energy industry within the last four years, and demonstrated outstanding achievements. The three finalists were Ashvir Harcharan, Virgin Active SA and Colleen Mutch.

The winner was Ashvir Harcharan, who identified energy efficiency opportunities in developing baselines and energy savings. He was also responsible for the signing off of all M&V-related documents for Eskom IDM sponsored projects.

The Energy Project of the Year Award was given to an energy efficiency project that delivered outstanding energy saving results in the last year. The three finalists were: Ellies, Phillips Lighting SA and Royal Haskoning.

The winner was Ellies, which embraced the Project Power Save campaign as a means not only to reduce strain off the national grid, but also to start a culture of energy-conscious citizens.

The project was recognised as sustainable and educational, which would ultimately have a positive impact on society and environment.

The Energy Patron of the Year Award was a new award category and given to an energy end-user organisation that achieved outstanding results by reducing use of energy resources. The two finalists were Virgin Active SA and Finishes Of Nature.

The winner was Virgin Active SA, which embarked on a company-wide energy strategy that encompassed a multifaceted approach to energy management which included initial facility design, training, implementation, monitoring and incentivising.

The Energy Company of the Year Award was presented to a company that demonstrated outstanding overall performance. The three finalists were Ellies, AngloGold Ashanti, and Energy and Combustion Services.

AngloGold Ashanti was announced as the winner for its willingness to test industry new technologies in projects including 3CPFS, industrial heat pumps and waste heat recovery.

Due to this, it has achieved a total 88-megawatt saving with 25 projects since the inception of the IDM programme.

The Energy Excellence Award generally recognises an organisation or individual whose role has made a significant difference and contribution toward growth. The winner was AngloGold Ashanti, which achieved an industry-leading energy conservation scheme target of 18 below base. 

The prestigious Ian Ernst Lane Hall of Fame Award was bestowed upon Barry Bredenkamp, known as the energy efficiency struggle veteran and a senior manager at Sanedi.

He played a major role in establishing the National Energy Efficiency Agency in 2006.

In an initiative led by the University of Pretoria, an informative book was launched during the convention with the title, Energy Efficiency Measurement & Verification Practices: Demystifying M&V through South African Case Studies.

M&V is the most critical component in any project where the savings of any form of energy needs to be quantified. South Africa is seen as the global leader in M&V.

On the last day of the event, project manager and presenter Gareth Burley, from the SAEE’s radio show, The Green Hour, also received an award. The Green Hour is a Kingfisher FM radio show aiming to create awareness around energy efficiency.

The SAEEC will continue to further the cause of energy efficiency in providing easy accessible platforms such as seminars, conferences, bookshelf services, online videos, international certification training programmes, and buyer-seller networking trade exhibitions - making information easily accessible for all.

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