There has been a growing trend among South African manufacturing plants to pursue energy reduction and manage its use better, says energy training services provider the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF) training manager Yolanda de Lange.
She explains that significant hikes in electricity rates have affected the bottom lines of companies significantly. “In some instances, where it had previously been a mere expense, it is now almost on the level of a capital expense that needs regular control, maintenance and adjustments to maintain profitability.”
The EnTF is licensed by nonprofit professional society the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) to service the sub-Saharan African and Indian Ocean Island regions using AEE’s certification programmes. The AEE is US-based and operates in more than 100 countries globally, with more than 32 000 active certifications in the energy industry.
Since 2002, the EnTF has provided mainly postgraduate certification programmes for the AEE in the field of energy engineering. In Africa, the EnTF offers certifications in energy management, water efficiency, carbon management, energy auditing, measurement and verification, renewable energy and business energy.
“The learning material can be applied across industries such as housing and commercial buildings, as well as energy- intensive use industries, such as mines, manufacturing plants or energy producers,” De Lange states.
She comments that all vertical manufacturing industries should “at least” have a certified energy manager (CEM) – a certification the EnTF offers in Africa – to guide the organisation in what it should be doing in terms of energy efficiency.
“CEM is the top certification to have in the energy engineering industry. It distinguishes operational, engineering, quality, maintenance and management personnel from their peers who do not have the CEM certification.”
Expansion and Exhibition
The EnTF was awarded the extended AEE region, which includes the Indian Ocean Islands and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, instead of only Southern Africa, only about two months ago.
“We are looking forward to expanding further into West Africa,” De Lange enthuses. The EnTF has facilitated the expansion of the AEE programmes to Uganda, Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe and, with the additional region, CEM certification has already been placed on the calendar for Lagos, in Nigeria.
Further, the EnTF will have an exhibition space at the Manufacturing Indaba which will take place on June 19 and 20 at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg. This is the third year that the EnTF is exhibiting at the event.
There will be a register for AEE professionals to confirm their attendance for their certification renewal requirements. De Lange explains that certification expires after three years, after which renewal is required and only re-awarded to persons who have maintained their knowledge levels satisfactorily. The EnTF manages the three-yearly renewal process for professionals in the sub-Saharan Africa region on behalf of the AEE.
Staff at the stand will also assist with questions regarding EnTF programmes, in-house training and customised requirements, as well as renewal, examination and certification questions.
“The Manufacturing Indaba has been a vehicle for several of our AEE professionals to gain relevant and continuous professional development knowledge points for their certification renewals,” De Lange concludes.