Energy retrofitting proves a viable strategy

Posted On Monday, 21 May 2012 02:00 Published by
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Integrated building technology solutions and services provider Honeywell Building Solutions secures a R300 000 rebate from State-owned power utility Eskom on behalf of PRASA

According to Honeywell regional GM Richard Creighton, the retrofit project at the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa’s (Prasa’s) Durban station, in KwaZulu-Natal, also resulted in a 40% reduction in energy costs and a 39% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

The company was contracted by the rail agency in 2011 to conduct audits on the Prasa Corporate Real Estate Services-managed facilities.

Prasa then contracted Honeywell to carry out a fast-track implementation of the Durban station energy retrofit prior to the seventeenth Conference of the Parties, or COP 17, which was held in Durban from November 28 to December 9, last year.

The agency wanted to ensure that the Durban station was energy efficient and met the standards set out in its energy conservation strategy before the COP 17 event.

The energy retrofit project started with the first phase of the project at the end of October, which entailed a lighting retrofit in all public areas and platforms of the station to be completed by November 25.

The second phase tackled lighting at the station warehouses and was concluded in March this year and was completed on schedule.

Honeywell says its energy retrofit scheme has saved Prasa R605 327 in energy costs from December 2011 to March this year.

“As the platforms where the energy efficient lighting systems were installed are public areas, the project team had to ensure adherance to all health and safety requirements.”

Meanwhile, Creighton points out that the company has seen a 20% increase in demand for its energy retrofit solutions since Eskom’s double-digit yearly tariff increases came into effect over the past two years.

“Energy retrofits are a viable solution and are a growing industry in South Africa,” he states.

As the country faces continuous power generation limitations, such as funding, the only practical approach is to be more aggressive with energy efficiency and this approach is becoming crucial for businesses in South Africa, owing to rising electricity costs, he adds.

Further, Creighton warns that not all businesses entering the energy savings industry are able to deliver on the promise of reduced energy consumption, owing to a shortage of well-trained, certified energy managers.

“One needs to invest in training and the correct tools to correctly measure, verify and model energy and energy-related components. “It’s not impossible to enter the energy saving industry, but it takes significant investment in the right areas,”.

He concludes that there is also a barrier that prohibits new businesses from entering the energy saving industry.

Publisher: eProp
Source: PRASA/EN

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