Electricity is the backbone of a modern economy. However, our country, like many others in the world, is energy constrained. Old energy intensive lighting technologies and other outdated electrical systems and processes still being used in thousands of businesses in the commercial and industrial sectors, exert severe strain on the national grid. And Eskom, in executing its real time responsibility to maintain supply-demand stability on the grid, is committed to assist its customers achieve optimal energy usage and make the switch to modern, energy efficient technology solutions.
Eskom has made funds available through various rebate programmes to support and enable a collective switch to new technologies and processes, including energy efficient lighting, in businesses across South Africa, irrespective of their size or type.
Developed as the foundation for a business-to-business partnership, Eskom’s rebate programmes support energy efficiency projects capable of achieving annual electricity savings ranging from 2 MWh to 30 GWh sustainable over a period of three years. Designed to speed up project approval processes and streamline project implementation and completion with the assistance of Eskom Energy Advisors and Eskom accredited Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), the rebate programmes are suitable for businesses large and small and feature four funding options.
The first option was developed for the implementation of small and medium-sized projects, and supports the switch from the most commonly used energy hungry technologies to new technologies including off-the-shelf energy efficient lighting systems. It was designed to speed up project approval and funding processes; approval could be as quick as two weeks after submission of a detailed proposal to Eskom. Funding is capped at R1,875 million per project; annual electricity savings to be achieved per project should be greater than 2 MWh and sustainable over a period of three years.
The second option offers funding for the implementation of large projects, and supports the switch from inefficient technologies and processes to energy efficient equivalents, including energy efficient lighting and light emitting diode (LED) technologies. Other technologies supported by this option include building management systems, hot water systems, industrial and commercial solar water heating systems, process optimisation systems and renewable technologies via a pilot programme. Electricity savings to be achieved should range from 50kW to 5MW sustainable over a period of three years; the focus is on electricity usage during the 16 day-time hours between 6 am and 10 pm weekdays. Funding is capped at R250 million per project.
The third option offers funding for the implementation of large projects that support the switch to new technologies – including energy efficient lighting systems – with potential load savings of 1MW or more. It is aimed specifically at ESCOs, the Eskom accredited experts who specialise in specific target markets, who identify energy efficiency opportunities for achieving reductions in electricity consumption, and scope and execute projects. ESCOs utilise their knowledge of demand management technologies to determine the best and most suitable way of obtaining electricity savings on behalf of an energy user – in all sectors of the South African economy – as basis for establishing a four-way partnership between Eskom and the energy user, the ESCO and an independent, Eskom accredited measurement and verification expert. Due to the legal complexities, this option is characterised by long lead times.
The fourth option aims to purchase verified bulk energy savings across multiple sites and technologies – including energy efficient lighting systems – by contracting with a single project developer. It was developed to simplify project approval, reduce contractual complexity, improve sustainability and shorten project lead times. Designed for energy users who operate high load factors and project developers who specialise in managing large ‘switch-to energy efficiency’ programmes, minimum project size must exceed 30GWh of savings sustainable over a three-year period. The focus is on electricity usage during the 16 daytime hours between 6am and 10pm weekdays.
Reducing electricity consumption cuts energy costs, increases profitability, empowers business to grow and creates much needed employment. “The switch to energy efficient technologies is a crucial step in a world that revolves around electricity. Our economy depends on electricity to grow and all of us depend on electricity to work and live. The rebate programmes are a tailor-made invitation for South African business to partner with Eskom in a national drive towards energy efficiency and ensuring we keep on functioning as a modern, successful country,” says Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager, Integrated Demand Management, Eskom.
Please visit www.eskom.co.za/idm for detailed information or call 08600-ESKOM (37566) and ask for an Energy Advisor in your region to contact you for assistance on any of Eskom’s funding programmes.