Attending this year’s African Utility Week (AUW) taking place from May 16 to 18, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) believes that the implementation of energy management systems (EnMSes) can be beneficial for energy producers in Africa.
Referring to the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) projects that the centre has been implementing since 2010, NCPC-SA project manager Faith Mkhacwa says the NCPC-SA has noticed real savings by companies across different sectors to date.
The IEE Project is one of the NCPC-SA’s projects and boasts different energy efficiency offerings.
“The IEE projects, which focus on EnMSes have been successful and influential, as companies based in India, Vietnam, Russia and Egypt currently use the IEE project case studies for international best practice.”
Initially developed for the South African context, she notes that the advantage of EnMSes is that they involve ongoing processes.
It “forces” companies to think long-term regarding sustainability while at the same time being coupled with day-to-day operations.
Mkhacwa mentions that, when the IEE Project started in 2010, it was targeting the most energy-intensive companies such as those in the mining industry and big industrial firms.
Now, any company in any sector can benefit from an EnMS regardless of the company’s size.
“EnMSes are customised for respective companies, but the principles remain the same.
An EnMS prioritises the aspects that companies need to focus on,” says Mkhacwa.
For example, an efficiency problem area can be as small as lighting, which could be mitigated by simply encouraging a change in human behaviour through employees switching the lights off during the day, she explains.
NCPC-SA’s role in implementing an EnMS will then include determining the costs of replacing the bulbs, how long the payback period will be and the level of complexity of the shift, she explains.
Meanwhile, NCPC-SA staff regularly speak at conferences and hold training sessions for companies considering the implementation of the NCPC’s IEE offering.
Mkhacwa says the NCPC-SA is expecting to reach a wider audience at this year’s African Utility Week to share the centre’s resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP) offerings and achievements.
The NCPC-SA will exhibit at AUW, during which it will showcase case studies to illustrate the ways in which the centre has been assisting South African organisations to become more energy efficient.
As a fully funded programme, the NCPC-SA will continue to assist companies that would like to become ‘greener’ through the centre’s offerings, Mkhacwa explains.
The NCPC-SA assists industry regarding RECP, and the centre’s scope of offering evolves according to industry’s needs. “[AUW] offers a perfect opportunity to better understand the needs of all utility sectors,” she concludes.