Energy will be a key issue for the country’s development path over the next two decades for two key reasons. First, the need to manage the relationship between supply and demand, particularly in the provision of electricity. Second, energy will be crucial due to the pressure on South Africa to support international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. These factors have resulted in a significant challenge to which both the public and private sector will need to respond. It is for this purpose that this
combination of factors has been referred to as creating the “Perfect Storm”.
What has become clear is that the transition to a new energy efficient economy - one that supports the country’s development objectives - will involve a number of actions and that these will have to be at scale. This will require a different set of institutional relationships, the use of new technologies and new behaviours and attitudes across all sectors.
When the voluntary Energy Efficiency Accord process was initiated in 2005, it brought focus onto an issue that had been neglected for years for a number of reasons, including the unsustainably low price of electricity. Despite the inherent structural constraints, the work of the Accord signatories led to a number of positive achievements including:
- Stimulating a number of companies to establish their energy baselines;
- Stimulating some signatories to make significant investments in energy efficiency;
- Beginning the seed work for the measurement and verification standard, which has now been published as SATS 50010;
- Motivation for funding from the Swiss government and UNIDO, and the leveraging of funding from government for capacity building relating to energy efficiency;
- Providing a platform for engagement with government, which informed the Department of Energy’s proposals to National Treasury for the allocation of funds with regards to energy efficiency-related fiscal incentives;
- Providing a platform for business to engage directly with Eskom in dealing with the challenges experienced in accessing DSM funding;
- Testing a reporting process for signatories using an energy management performance matrix and, through this process, identifying areas for improvement and further attention. For example, the need for skills development and the need to focus on energy carriers other than electricity; and
- Sharing experience and technical expertise between signatories who have supported project development and implementation.
Information sharing has shown itself in the Accord process to be a major supporter of project development, particularly through building the confidence to implement. Accord signatories have often indicated that they have gained greatly learning from the experiences, both good and bad, of others.
This case study booklet is another element of this approach. It documents how companies have taken forward their energy efficiency initiatives, what has worked, what has not and what they have actually achieved.
Each of these companies had to take the first step to commit resources to implementing projects. In sharing these stories, we hope that other companies will be inspired to take a similar first step. A step that will ultimately lead towards creating benefits for themselves, the country and the global environment.
We wish them luck and offer our continued support in their endeavours to show leadership in this crucial sector.
NBI Director: Climate and Energy