Energy efficiency comes out tops

Don Boroughs is the poster boy for energy saving at home. (supplied)

Don Boroughs is the poster boy for energy saving at home. (supplied)

The awards encourage all South Africans to implement new technologies or approaches to electricity to reduce their energy consumption.

The awards encourage people to take action in a variety of areas including the commercial, industrial, residential, innovation and youth sectors.

As the concept of energy efficiency, climate change and taking an eco-friendly approach have gained traction, so the quality and number of entries have increased.

Annamarie Murray, Eskom eta Awards organiser, says: “We, the organisers of the awards, are continuously and consistently impressed by the level of innovation that emerges from the ever-growing pool of entries. since 1985 the awards have grown in stature and we consider it a mark of our success that every year we attract entries from some of South Africa’s largest companies, mining houses and municipalities.”

This year entries were accepted in eight categories and the winner of each category received a cash prize of R30 000, and the runners-up received R5 000 each.

The eleven winners of the prestigious Eskom eta Awards were announced at the annual awards evening, held at the University of Johannesburg on December 4.

The entrants, who came from across the country, are all passionate about energy efficiency and have done something remarkable to help reduce their electricity consumption.

These prestigious awards were initially established to create awareness and encourage action in the energy efficiency field.

They have grown from strength to strength, and form part of Eskom’s drive to ensure a sustainable electricity supply long into the future.

This year saw impressive submissions that ranged from an innovative smokeless stove designed for use by those without electricity to a highly sophisticated system that has reduced the electricity consumption at the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Mine, an overhaul of six Makro stores plus energy efficient installations at some of BMW’s showrooms.

For many years Eskom has supported mass rollout programmes in the residential sector to reduce the demand on the national grid.

This year, Karebo Systems won the residential category for their rollout programme that saw 180 000 homes receive energy efficient installations.

Their aim was to reduce 80MW worth of peak load through low-cost energy efficiency installations and they exceeded all expectations, achieving a reduction of 86MW with the help of a cloud-based software system that helped them manage the installation process.

Karebo donated their winnings to the community category finalists to help these development programmes extend their work in their local communities.

Don Boroughs is the poster boy for energy saving at home. Boroughs shows that energy saving at home doesn’t need to be a daunting task and that small changes can have a big impact both on your pocket and the environment.

He won the energy savings in households category for the impressive savings he has made in his home. Over a period of 16 years, Boroughs has managed to reduce the electricity consumption in his home by 75%, with a saving of about R20 000 per year.

This achievement is not the result of one magic silver bullet, but of many small changes that include installing a solar geyser, relying on a wood-fired closed-combustion fireplace and gas heating.

He uses LED lighting throughout the house, and a variable speed pool pump that uses a fraction of the power of an ordinary pump was also installed.

Boroughs also encouraged his family to switch off lights and keep windows closed in winter, showing that behaviour change is another important factor in energy saving.

“In South Africa we have a strong culture of problem solving and we are overflowing with talent.

This is a powerful combination, especially when tackling important issues such as energy efficiency. More South Africans are looking for ways to save energy every year.

“Learners want to make a difference, households are cutting costs and large companies are working hard to reduce their use of electricity and save vital resources, and we applaud their efforts at the Eskom eta Awards,” said Dr Steve Lennon, Eskom group executive of sustainability.

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