The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has confirmed that the electricity price increase for 2014/15 will be 7% from 1 July 2014.

In light of the continuing rise in energy tariffs, it is becoming increasingly important for enterprises and business owners to ensure that every measure is taken in order to reduce power consumption, according to Michael McKechnie, divisional head for Digital Air Solutions at Samsung Electronics SA.

He says the price hike was expected following the announcement last year by NERSA to allow for an increase in electricity prices by 7% a year for five years (2013-2018).

“While the increase in rates doesn’t come as a surprise, it does present yet another financial challenge for South African business owners, as they once again need to look for new ways to offset the impact of this additional cost on their profit margins.”

McKechnie notes that most companies tend to be within buildings and office blocks and as a result are dependent on air conditioners for ventilation as well as artificial lighting.

“Air conditioners are notorious for being heavy consumers of electricity, but this is now a thing of the past, as a Digital Variable Multi (DVM) system offers an innovative, energy efficient, high performance heating and air conditioning system, which is both flexible and cost-effective.

“Many large enterprises often keep their lights on throughout the day and evening, even when the office space is not being used, which consumes large amounts of electricity. LED lighting is a perfect way to minimise energy usage, whilst managing eco-efficiencies and overall cost saving within work environments. In comparison to incandescent and halogen lamps, LED lights reduce energy consumption by up to 80%,” McKechnie adds.