Private Sector Energy Efficiency to help small businesses cut their electricity bill by 27%

JANUARY 26, 2015

In 2014, South Africa experienced over 15 days of load-shedding, the first since 2008. This left the business community, including small businesses, feeling the crunch with many not being able to conduct business during the blackouts and losing vital revenue as a result.

Add to this the constantly rising cost of energy for businesses – 47% over the five-year period April 2013 to 31 March 2018, not taking into account the 4.69% hike due to come into effect in April this year on top of the annual 8% hike -  and fluctuating fuel prices.

To help SME’s save money and strengthen the sustainability of their businesses, the Private Sector Energy Efficiency (PSEE) programme of the National Business Inititative (NBI) will be presenting two free half-day workshops for small businesses in East London on 4 and 5 February 2015.

These workshops form part of an energy efficiency roadshow by the PSEE in the Eastern Cape, in partnership with local business organisations and the Southern African Association of Energy Efficiency (SAEE).

The workshops will be held at the Blue Lagoon Hotel & Conference Centre in Beacon Bay, East London. The first workshop – An Introduction to Energy Efficiency – will cover topics such as energy accounting, energy management strategies, lighting HVAC, water and heating, and will teach small businesses how to save up to 20% on their electricity bill as well as implement easy ways to reduce the amount of energy they use.

The second workshop will focus on lighting in more depth and will address light technologies, light design, pricing of lights, quantifying energy consumption of your lights, light control, and building a business case. By implementing\the learning from the workshops companies will also help reduce the pressure on the national grid and the need for load-shedding.

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Valerie Geen, the NBI’s head of energy emphasises that energy is one of many barriers small businesses have to address just to stay afloat. However, by implementing practical interventions to become more energy efficient, businesses can save up to 20% on energy costs without any major capital investment. This frees up cash flow which can be ploughed back into their businesses.

Geen adds that to date, the PSEE has assisted close to 2000 small companies through workshops, toll-free advice and free web-based tools and publications while almost half of the target ito medium companies and a third of the large company target have already signed up for the PSEE’s services.

“We can only assist limited numbers of small, medium and large businesses, so we would like to encourage companies to get in touch with us before we reach our quota,” says Geen.. 

“Achieving greater levels of energy efficiency is a vital driver of business and indeed South Africa’s economy, but it does not need to be a cumbersome or burdensome undertaking.  With rapidly escalating energy costs and security of supply challenges, it should be seen as an opportunity and treated as an important initiative that will provide long-term financial and reputational benefits.”

The workshops are fully subsidised and open to all small businesses in East London and surrounds.  Seats are limited and will be allocated upon booking.

To register up for one or both of these workshops, contact Chantal Napier or Godfrey Tloubatla on 080 111 3943, or book online at www.psee.org.za/events.

Companies interested in participating in the PSEE programme, receiving more information on energy efficiency or subscribing to the PSEE newsletter are invited to register their interest on the PSEE website www.psee.org.za, call 080 111 3943 or send an enquiry to [email protected].