While most businesses and individuals are still battling to digest yesterday's revelations that electricity costs will effectively double over the next two years, organisations are being called on to help reduce power consumption.
Energy Cybernetics has stressed the need of business to use energy more efficiently following the announcement by the chairperson of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to increase electricity tariffs by 24,8% effective from 1 April 2010, with subsequent increases of 25,8% for 2011/12 and 25,9% for 2012/13.
The organisation points out that, despite the decrease in load shedding, South Africa's electricity supply is still severely constrained and will remain so for at least the next three to five years.
“Energy efficiency makes a lot of good business sense and holds real commercial value for companies, particularly now after the increase in electricity tariffs as announced by Nersa this week. We need to rethink our behaviour with respect to our use of energy, on both a corporate and consumer level,” says Gustav Radloff, MD of Energy Cybernetics.
A more energy-efficient operation could also yields higher throughputs and better-quality products, he adds, because organisations that embark on a drive to improve this aspect of their operations often find that success in this area leads to unexpected improvements to other areas of the operation, Radloff adds.
“Demand side management (DSM) needs to change from being a regulated process that up to now has been driven mostly by Eskom, to one where the responsibility is shared by all energy users," he adds. "If there is a clear business case for the private sector to invest in energy efficiency projects, will we see South Africa move towards cleaner, more energy efficient economy, bringing us in line with international trends.
“Affordable, sustainable energy supply is one of the greatest global challenges – there is only one alternative that is practical as well as (mostly) cheap to implement and that is to use less energy, anything else either carries a hefty price tag or at a large cost to the environment. Optimising energy use makes sense no matter what your point of view."