Energy efficiency awareness

Cape Town has seen a steady decrease in electricity consumption, despite continued economic growth in the city, and is now consuming less electricity than the 2007 baseline consumption data. (supplied)

Cape Town has seen a steady decrease in electricity consumption, despite continued economic growth in the city, and is now consuming less electricity than the 2007 baseline consumption data. (supplied)

Joint Winner: Dr Peter Mukoma of the Energy Efficiency Leadership Network
The National Business Initiative (NBI) is a voluntary business organisation made up of leading national and multinational companies that aims to promote a sustainable and equitable society.

In 2011 the NBI established the Energy Efficiency Leadership Network, in partnership with the department of energy and Business Unity South Africa, to address the energy challenges facing business in South Africa.

Mukoma’s drive has seen the network grow to 59 signatories, including some of South Africa’s largest companies, which have committed to supporting the Energy Efficiency Pledge to achieve energy savings, reduce energy intensity and carbon emissions.

The network is a knowledge sharing and best practice initiative that encourages learning and adoption of new technologies and approaches to energy saving.

It connects business with key government stakeholders on energy efficiency issues, facilitates training and capacity development workshops, and encourages energy efficiency initiatives by promoting members doing good work in this area.

Joint Winner : Sarah Ward — City of Cape Town Electricity Savings Campaign
In 2009 Sarah Ward, head of the energy and climate change unit at the City of Cape Town, launched the electricity savings campaign in the residential and commercial markets.

The aim of the awareness campaign is to make Cape Town a more resource efficient city, to lessen its carbon footprint and to help reduce South Africa’s vulnerability to load-shedding due to supply constraints.

The residential sector accounts for about 43% of the city’s electricity consumption, while the commercial sector uses 40%.

Figures show that Cape Town has seen a steady decrease in electricity consumption, despite continued economic growth in the city, and is now consuming less electricity than the 2007 baseline consumption data.

The campaign encourages city residents to take responsibility for reducing their consumption and provides guidelines on how to achieve a reduction of between 26% and 40% in mid- to high-income households.

The residential awareness campaign has been phased in, moving from a focus on “no-cost tips” to “low-cost tips” and finally culminating in an “invest to save” focus on installing solar water heaters or heat pumps to achieve long-term significant savings.

The commercial campaign led to the launch of an Energy Efficiency Forum, an information sharing and networking platform that focuses on case studies of Cape Town businesses that have implemented innovative energy efficiency programmes. The forum is a partnership between the city, Eskom and the South African Property Owners Association.

Runner-up: Soltrain
The Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (Soltrain) encourages the switch from a fossil fuel-based energy supply to a renewable energy-based supply by creating awareness among policy- and decision-makers.

It also educates the public about the potential for solar energy technology.

To date more than 400 people have completed Soltrain’s train-the-trainer courses, 638 have been trained through dissemination courses, and 216 people attended policy-maker workshops.

The project has supported the installation of solar systems at 60 non-profit organisations, producing 711 645kWh a year.

Special Award: Lorraine Jenks
While living in California in the 1970s Lorraine Jenks’s passion for protecting the environment was born, and ever since she has been spreading the word on how to become more environmentally friendly.

She focuses her attention on educating the tourism industry on taking a greener approach to business.

From pushing for the purchase of green products as contracts manager at Tsogo Sun through to establishing an online directory for green products in South Africa to developing the first Green Lifestyle Home at Decorex, Jenks has been championing a greener way of life for many years.

Now she works with Eskom’s integrated demand management programme, training stakeholders in the tourism industry on how to take advantage of rebate and incentive schemes to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

She is a regular speaker on green and sustainability matters and has contributed articles to several publications on these topics.

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