KZN Private Sector Energy Efficiency Project Launched

The National Business Initiative (NBI) together with the EThekwini Municipality launched the KZN Private Sector Energy Efficiency (PSEE) project today at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and they are calling on business to register their interest in the project.

Ms Joanne Yawitch, CEO of the NBI and PSEE project said, “The NBI recognises the significance of energy in relation to cost, security of supply, impacts on competitiveness and carbon emission reduction, and has worked for many years with leading companies and the Department of Energy to support companies in reducing their energy usage. This has resulted in the establishment of Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (EELN), a partnership of over 50 leading companies with government and which calls for the private sector to take action in the continuous improvement of Energy Efficiency.”

She announced that the NBI has been awarded £8.6 million by the United Kingdom (UK) Government through its Department for International Development (DFID) to implement a countrywide programme of support to the private sector for Energy Efficiency improvement. The “Private Sector Energy Efficiency” Project (PSEE) aims to improve energy efficiency in commercial and industrial companies in South Africa through the provision of various services to assist companies in identifying and implementing energy saving measures. The project which comes under the UK-SA Bilateral relationship will contribute to the South African government’s strategy for reducing energy demand. The PSEE Project is governed by a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee led by the Department of Energy.

The NBI has contracted the Carbon Trust from the UK to provide technical support to the PSEE Team drawn from their technical expertise developed over 10 years of implementing similar programmes in the UK.

“In the current context of energy security challenges and the impacts of energy price increases on company operational costs, South African companies need to manage their energy demand and meet both local and international obligations to reduce their carbon emissions,” said Yawitch. “At the same time the implementation of energy efficiency measures can improve business productivity, competitiveness and innovation as well as access to energy efficiency financial subsidies and tax incentives.”

Municipal Speaker, Cllr Logie Naidoo said that the eThekwini Municipality sees the private sector as the key partner to drive energy efficiency issues throughout the city. “Although industry is the largest consumers of energy, the private sector is also the single most influential sector in terms of energy savings potential in the city. The sector has however gone through a dramatic change with regards to energy in the past 5 years, with electricity supply constraints and increasing costs of energy driving energy efficiency interventions throughout the city.” He added that progress has already been made in some sectors to dramatically improve energy efficiency. Several energy efficiency demonstration programmes have successfully illustrated the fact that huge savings can be made at very little capital cost.

“The Municipality has also realised the potential in implementing energy efficiency programmes. Reducing electricity in our own infrastructure also helps us demonstrate to the public that we are committed to addressing the electricity supply constraints currently facing the county,” he said. “It has allowed us to lead by example and therefore encourage our communities to take on energy efficiency and climate change as everyone’s responsibility. Similarly the private sector is able to lead by example and has the potential to galvanize the broader community into action around energy efficiency.”

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