National Energy Award Winners Revealed

The eta Awards, initially established 20 years ago to create awareness and encourage action in the energy efficiency field, sought to recognise and reward excellence in energy efficiency.

“More and more South Africans are looking for ways to save energy every year. Learners want to make a difference, households are cutting costs and large companies are working hard to reduce their use of electricity and save vital resources, and we applaud their efforts at the Eskom eta Awards,” said Eskom group sustainability executive Dr Steve Lennon.

49M spokesperson Andrew Etzinger commended the winners for their innovation and commitment to energy efficiency.

“This shows that as a country we can change our behaviour towards the use of electricity and save the future of generations to come.”

Welding solutions specialist Shield Technologies was the winner of Innovation category with its weld spatter product – Spatter Guard HT Plus – which reduced the amount of spatter caused when welding.

Energy intensive methods, such as manual grinding and needle descaling, were normally used to remove weld spatter.

A “Special Award” in the Innovation category went to a team from AngloGold Ashanti, which designed an integrated energy model for deep-level mining that aimed to reduce the operational costs of a mine.

The team, led by Mponeng mine water and energy engineer Jean Greyling, managed to achieve savings of 2.5 MW on the water reticulation network at a mine with a demand load of 120 MW after a R1.8-million system identified and corrected several operational problems with current infrastructure.

The single thermal hydraulic model captured all the environment-related processes, including pumping, refrigeration, ventilation and compressed air processes at a mine, enabling engineers to understand process interactions and interdependencies and improve the efficiency of energy use.

African Clean Energy, for their smokeless stove, and Pioneer Plastics, for their low-cost biogas system, were the runners-up.

Commercial and industrial enterprises revealed the potential large-scale energy savings, with Makro taking the top spot in the Commercial category and Glencore Merafe and ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) Saldanha Works joint winners in the industrial category.

Makro decreased its energy demand by 36%, saving 219 000 kWh a month, with the implementation of an extensive energy management system across six stores that included a “switch the lights off” campaign, as well as the installation of lighting control switches, energy efficient lighting, heat reclaiming facilities, thermal storage systems and independent electricity check meters.

Meanwhile, Glencore Merafe sought to make its smeltering furnaces more energy efficient when a Rustenburg plant started becoming increasingly “energy inefficient” in 2004, saving 150 711 MWh since through ore-treating technologies installed at the plant.

AMSA, which identified energy efficiency as critical to the long-term sustainability of its Saldanha Works plant, adopted an energy strategy comprising 15 energy projects – from technology to energy optimisation – which reduced the plant’s liquefied petroleum gas consumption by 40%, equating to a total saving of R170-million over three years.

The runners-up in the Commercial category included City Lodge Hotels, Combined Motor Holdings and Shared Energy Management, and in the Industrial category, TEMM International was runner up.

Aritia Reyneke secured the top spot in the individual Young Designer’s category with the development of a safe and healthy biofuel cooking solution using 85% ethanol to water, while research and experiments on more energy efficient approaches to cooking ensured that the Clarendon High School Coelacanth Enviro Club won the top prize in the Young Designer’s group category.

The runners-up were Matthew Hoare, Innes Jordan, the Embonisweni Primary School Enviro Club and Teen Energy.

In the Residential category, Karebo Systems took top honours for their mass roll-out programme for achieving an 86 MW reduction in peak energy demand through low-cost energy efficiency installations.

Karebo developed a cloud-based software system to manage the process and to keep track of all the data points, integrating a customer relationship management function to automate registrations, appointments and customer notifications.

The company donated its winnings to the Community category finalists to help these development programmes extend their work in their local communities.

4D and A Architects and Holms & Friends were runners-up in the category.

The Green Building Council of South Africa won the Community award for its “green street” upgrade of 56 low-cost houses in Cato Manor, Durban.

The council’s Cato Manor Green Street community project implemented resource-efficient interventions, such the installation of solar water heaters, light-emitting diode (LED) street lights, insulation paint, insulated ceilings, heat insulation cookers and rain water harvesting tanks, besides others, saving up to 27% on electricity costs.

Project 90 X 2030 and the Vuka-uzenzela project secured runners-up spots.

Don Boroughs, who had, over the past 16 years, reduced energy consumption in his home by 75%, saving R20 000 a year, through many small changes, won the energy saving in the Household category.

The changes included installing a solar geyser, using a wood-fired closed-combustion fireplace and gas heating, as well as installing LED lighting throughout his home and a variable-speed pool pump, which used a fraction of the power of ordinary pumps.

The runners up in the household category were Braam Dalgleish and Rod McGregor Mann.

The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Savings Campaign and Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (EELN) headed by Dr Peter Mukoma, were the joint winners of the Energy Efficiency Awareness category for their “impressive” contribution to energy efficiency awareness.

The City of Cape Town’s campaign guided residents, which accounted for 43% of the city’s electricity consumption, on how to save energy, using clear information to achieve a reduction of between 26% and 40% in mid- to high-income households.

The commercial side of the campaign saw an energy efficiency forum, a partnership between the City, Eskom and the South African Property Owners Association, launched to achieve savings in commercial properties using an information sharing and networking platform.

The EELN, launched in 2011 by the National Business Initiative in partnership with the Department of Energy and Business Unity South Africa, secured 59 signatories, including some of South Africa’s largest companies, supporting the Energy Efficiency Pledge to achieve energy savings, reduce energy intensity and carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, Lorraine Jenks received a "Special Award” in this category for her ongoing work in educating the tourism and hospitality industries on taking a greener approach to business.

The runner-up for this category was the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative – an “innovative” initiative that aimed to encourage the switch from a fossil fuel-based energy supply, to a renewable-energy-based supply, by training suppliers in the renewable-energy sectors.

The winners of the annual Eskom eta Awards were announced at an awards evening at the University of Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The winner of each category received a cash prize of R30 000 and the runners-up received R5 000 each.

Edited by: Tracy Hancock