Major electricity savings

2011-07-27 00:00

RESIDENTIAL and industrial energy consumers have racked up significant electricity savings over the past year.

Judging by the latest statistics, the householders led the way to save electricity while industry’s ability to cut power consumption is hampered by rigid consumption patterns of heavy machinery.

South Africans managed to reduce demand by 112 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2011.

Eskom recorded a reduction in demand for electricty of 355 MW in the 2010/11 financial year at just under one percent of total energy consumption in 2010.

The savings amount to about 10% of the output of a sizeable power station such as Duvhain Mpumalanga.

The peak forecast for energy consumption in South Africa in 2011 is about 37 500 MW — two percent higher compared to 2010.

The statistics emerged from a recent seminar on energy saving in industry and mining, held in Durban.

The seminar, which featured presentations from energy experts and high-level stakeholders from Eskom, was hosted by the mining and industrial energy optimisation chapter of the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency.

Colin Openshaw, product development specialist in Eskom’s integrated demand management division, said that in an environment characterised by increasing energy demand both residential and industrial users need to explore energy-saving initiatives.

Eskom urged consumers to take advantage of its rebates and other incentive programmes.

In terms of the energy-saving options, Openshaw said the rollout of compact fluorescent lamps or energy saving bulbs has contributed 164 MW toward the total savings.

Savings from compressed air amounted to 42 MW.

The residential sector contributed the majority of the total savings, at 204 MW.

The industrial sector’s savings amounted to 113 MW, while redistributors contributed 33 MW of the 355 MW total.

A total of 60 183 domestic solar-heated water units were installed over the past year.

Openshaw said Eskom is in discussions with the South African Property Owners’ Association to improve the commercial property sector’s contribution toward energy saving.

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