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Your winter savings check list

21 Jul 2017

Winter is a time when you snuggle under thick blankets and perhaps turn down some dinner invitations on the other side of town, particularly when it’s wet and cold outside. While you may reduce the number of times you venture out – preferring instead to cosy up on the couch – what you don’t tend to do is reduce your consumption, both in terms of energy usage to keep the home warm and even when it comes to cooking food.

But even when you are in the middle of the coldest, wettest season, there are ways you can still slash your consumption of resources such electricity, water and food. Reducing the energy and water usage is vital, not only to save on costs but to preserve these resources. Ultimately, the mo...

Winter is a time when you snuggle under thick blankets and perhaps turn down some dinner invitations on the other side of town, particularly when it’s wet and cold outside. While you may reduce the number of times you venture out – preferring instead to cosy up on the couch – what you don’t tend to do is reduce your consumption, both in terms of energy usage to keep the home warm and even when it comes to cooking food.

But even when you are in the middle of the coldest, wettest season, there are ways you can still slash your consumption of resources such electricity, water and food. Reducing the energy and water usage is vital, not only to save on costs but to preserve these resources. Ultimately, the more we consume, the more we pay. Here’s how you can cut the costs:

REDUCE YOUR FOOD BILL

Discovery certified financial adviser Claire van Wyk recommends creating a meal plan and sticking to it. “We eat more in winter and snacking will cost more money if not planned. Cut the empty calorie snacks – they generally cost more and do very little for energy,” she says. She adds that you can cut costs by buying in bulk and cooking in bulk with meals like soup. “Search for seasonal fresh veg, usually roots etc. They are cheaper than out-of-season vegetables.”

LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH

Medical costs tend to rise in winter too, as this is the season in which we typically get sick. Van Wyk reminds us to get our flu vaccinations and take extra vitamin C and citrus daily. This can help combat the flu or ensure that we get a less extreme version of this illness – one from which you tend to recover quicker and need less care as a result.

INSULATE YOUR HOME

Approximately 50% to 80% of the home’s warmth escapes through the ceiling. Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that homeowners can reduce this to around 3% by installing proper ceiling insulation, which will also mean that far less energy is required to heat the home.

Meanwhile, Derek Wilson, head of online insurance and financial comparison website Hippo.co.za, recommends simpler methods too, such as hanging thick curtains on all the windows and placing carpets on tiled or wooden floors to insulate your home.

REGULATE THE GEYSER

One of the most energy-hungry appliances in the home is the geyser because it accounts for as much as 40% of the electricity bill on a monthly basis. According to Goslett, one solution is to switch off the geyser during the day when no one is home and then turn it on for a set number of hours when it’s needed.

Or you can install a timer. “There are several automation products available to homeowners in this country that allow them to control the geyser’s thermostat remotely. The homeowner has the option of setting the times the geyser will be on and at what temperature – automatically,” says Goslett.

A geyser blanket can also add further insulation, keeping the water inside the geyser hotter for longer. A geyser blanket typically consists of a 50mm layer of glass fibre insulation with reflective foil sheeting on one side. A good geyser blanket will considerably reduce the rate at which the water cools, meaning you will consume less energy getting the geyser to heat the water again.

REDUCE YOUR USE OF OTHER APPLIANCES

Everyday appliances that you use can account for more than half of the wasted energy every month, according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions. Besides your geyser, appliances such as your tumble dryer, oven, swimming pool pump, air conditioning and portable heaters can be a huge drain on the grid.

For example, the typical tumble dryer costs about R6 per hour in electricity. “Running a dryer for two hours a day, five days a week adds another R240 to the home’s monthly electricity bill. To save on electricity, it is best to view your tumble dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Only use it when you really have to and turn to the sun to curb its energy appetite,” says Van der Westhuizen.

CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE POWER SOURCES

There is a growing trend of households introducing energy-efficient elements to curb energy usage, thereby reducing the overall cost of running the home. “A study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders revealed that apart from a safe neighbourhood, the factor that influenced home-buying decisions the most was a home’s energy efficiency,” says Goslett.

Installing solar panels is one way to reduce your reliance on electricity and reduce your costs. Installing them is not cheap and experts say it takes about seven years to recoup the money invested in the panels. However, if you intend to stay in the home you currently reside in, doing this will save you money in the long run. “In most cases, solar panel systems save between 50% and 75% of an electricity bill. The money saved can go towards paying the solar panels off or other household expenses,” says Goslett.

Ultimately, by reducing your energy consumption and finding alternative sources of energy you are not only saving costs but helping preserve the environment too.

“The rising cost of electricity and worldwide depletion of resources has made it all the more vital to find ways to curb costs and reduce carbon emissions.

“Choosing energy-efficient options and investments now will have a massive impact on our energy and resource consumption in the future,” says Goslett.

Why SMEs should look at alternative energy solutions

07 Jul 2017

Cape Town - The financial strain on South African businesses is expected to increase exponentially in the foreseeable future as Eskom’s planned 19.9% tariff hike was announced to the public in June, according to Cala van der Westhuizen, head of marketing and sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies.

Van der Westhuizen said South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the coming years.

“In light of Eskom motivating for a near 20% increase to already high electricity prices, it is becoming increasingly important to consider alternative sources of energy,” said Van der Westhuizen.

Van der Westhuizen explains that this continuing trend w...

Cape Town - The financial strain on South African businesses is expected to increase exponentially in the foreseeable future as Eskom’s planned 19.9% tariff hike was announced to the public in June, according to Cala van der Westhuizen, head of marketing and sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies.

Van der Westhuizen said South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the coming years.

“In light of Eskom motivating for a near 20% increase to already high electricity prices, it is becoming increasingly important to consider alternative sources of energy,” said Van der Westhuizen.

Van der Westhuizen explains that this continuing trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business,” said Van der Westhuizen.

Incentives

Van der Westhuizen says SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions.

“SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions,” said Van der Westhuizen.

Another alternative for businesses, according to Van der Westhuizen, is to consider applying for financing.

There are many benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

“A full solar solution can reduce the average SMEs electricity costs by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, with custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions tour clients can achieve a further 30% reduction in their electricity spend,” said Van der Westhuizen.

“Reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs. Making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to will significantly reduce an SME’s annual energy costs.”

Five energy saving guidelines for SME’s

01 Jul 2017

Operational costs such as electricity, has a major impact on the profitability and growth of a business. Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies, says that this is especially true for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Electricity is becoming increasingly expensive, which continues to put a lot of financial strain on small businesses, where minimizing operating costs is vital. Unfortunately, South Africa is likely to experience above-inflation hikes in electricity tariffs over the next eight years, which could have a huge effect on the future of the country’s SMEs. Eskom also re...

Operational costs such as electricity, has a major impact on the profitability and growth of a business. Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies, says that this is especially true for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Electricity is becoming increasingly expensive, which continues to put a lot of financial strain on small businesses, where minimizing operating costs is vital. Unfortunately, South Africa is likely to experience above-inflation hikes in electricity tariffs over the next eight years, which could have a huge effect on the future of the country’s SMEs. Eskom also recently motivated for a near 20% increase in tariffs next year.”

He adds that the impact of this on SMEs is significant, considering that electricity costs account for between 20% and 40% of a company’s expenses.

Van der Westhuizen says however, that smaller operations have advantages which could benefit them significantly. “It is much easier for a small company to manage electricity consumption. SMEs also have the opportunity to implement energy saving measures from the earliest stages of their business, and continue building onto it as they grow,” he says.

Van der Westhuizen explains five things companies can do to become more energy efficient.

Changing company culture

Changing employees’ energy usage habits can be difficult, but Van der Westhuizen points out that it can also yield the quickest results.

“Business owners need to remind their employees that their contribution to the company’s energy saving policies make a difference. Switching off lights, air conditioners and electrical equipment at the end of the day saves money.”

“Many people also do not realise that electronics still use power even when they are turned off. To name one example, ten computers plugged in overnight will leak around R10’s worth of electricity per week and as much as R50 during weekends. This can add up to about R400 at the end of the month,” he says.

Rethinking lighting

A business that keeps regular office hours operates for at least 40 hours a week. Considering that most offices keep their lights on during that time, Van der Westhuizen says that lighting accounts for most of the electricity used in many businesses.

“One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to minimise your business’ electricity usage, is by replacing regular light bulbs with energy-efficient LED units. They use 90% less electricity than standard light bulbs and because they have a longer lifespan, your business’ lighting will require less frequent maintenance.”

“Using natural light to your advantage is another simple way to save on electricity: open the blinds more often to lighten the workplace, consider installing a skylight or paint the office walls in lighter tones that automatically brighten indoor spaces,” he says.

Working from home

Van der Westhuizen says that introducing work-from-home policies for staff on certain days can give a business an energy break, as well as improve staff morale.

“Incorporating technology such as Skype, email and safe network connections into daily operations can help maintain productivity while also contributing to significant electricity savings in the long run.”

Keeping employees comfortable

A business’ productivity relies on the comfort and happiness of its employees, which is why air conditioners have become a workplace essential in our exceptionally warm summers. “They are very heavy electricity users, which is why it is a good idea to switch on the air conditioner early in the day, on a milder setting that gradually cools down the office as the day gets warmer. This is much more efficient than trying to quickly cool down an area during the hottest time of the day,” Van der Westhuizen says.

“The office kitchen is a great place for saving electricity. Because an SME has fewer staff members, a smaller fridge that uses less electricity might be sufficient, while a hot water urn is a good energy-efficient alternative to a regular kettle. Also, replace the microwave and toaster with newer, more energy-efficient models that might be more expensive to purchase, but will help your business save money on electricity over time.”

Going solar

Utilising the sun’s energy to power your business will help you significantly reduce its monthly electricity bill, according to Van der Westhuizen. “Depending on the nature of the business, solar energy could help cut a SMEs electricity bill by as much as 30%.”

SARS also offers tax concession for businesses that go solar. A business can deduct the full cost of the installation of a solar energy solution from their business income tax in the first year.

Energy Partners Home Solutions offers customised solar solutions, as well as various financing options for SMEs. “As a registered financial services provider, many of our clients purchase a system that is financed by us and which they can easily pay off out of the operational budgets of their businesses. In certain cases, we can even offer a Performance Lease Agreement, which allows for the installation of the system at a fraction of the cost.”

“SMEs may be the hardest hit when it comes to electricity rising costs, but they also have some of the best opportunities to build the leanest and most efficient operations in their markets,” Van der Westhuizen concludes. 

About Energy Partners Home Solutions

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide. For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za 

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit www.energypartners.co.za

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

The innovations that will make future homes greener

01 Jul 2017

With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

 

To read more, click here

 

 

 

...

With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

 

To read more, click here

 

 

 

Maniere om krag te bespaar

27 Jun 2017

Maniere om krag te bespaar.

Please click here to read the article

...

Maniere om krag te bespaar.

Please click here to read the article

So Kan jy krag spaar in winter

27 Jun 2017

Cala van der Westhuizen van Energy Partners Home Solutions gee wenke om op lang termyn te bespaar.

Please click here to read article

...

Cala van der Westhuizen van Energy Partners Home Solutions gee wenke om op lang termyn te bespaar.

Please click here to read article

Bespaar só krag in jou huis dié winter

27 Jun 2017

Selfs in ’n betreklik warm land soos Suid-Afrika skiet die elektrisiteitsverbruik in die winter op – dikwels kort op die hakke van steeds stygende elektrisiteitstariewe.

Die goeie nuus is dat daar ’n klompie vinnige langtermynenergiebesparende wenke is wat huiseienaars kan volg om dié winter onnodige hoë elektrisiteitsuitgawes te voorkom.

Huiseienaars kan self besluit hoeveel hulle wil spaar en hoeveel hulle kan of bereid is om te bestee om te bespaar. Selfs klein veranderings kan reeds ’n noemenswaardige verandering teweegbring.

Cala van der Westhuizen, hoof van bemarking en verkope by Energy Partners Home solutions deel die volgende wenke:

Ligte

Om te leer om beligting beter te bestuur, kan ’n meetbare u...

Selfs in ’n betreklik warm land soos Suid-Afrika skiet die elektrisiteitsverbruik in die winter op – dikwels kort op die hakke van steeds stygende elektrisiteitstariewe.

Die goeie nuus is dat daar ’n klompie vinnige langtermynenergiebesparende wenke is wat huiseienaars kan volg om dié winter onnodige hoë elektrisiteitsuitgawes te voorkom.

Huiseienaars kan self besluit hoeveel hulle wil spaar en hoeveel hulle kan of bereid is om te bestee om te bespaar. Selfs klein veranderings kan reeds ’n noemenswaardige verandering teweegbring.

Cala van der Westhuizen, hoof van bemarking en verkope by Energy Partners Home solutions deel die volgende wenke:

Ligte

Om te leer om beligting beter te bestuur, kan ’n meetbare uitwerking op ’n huishouding se elektrisiteitsbesteding hê. Dit het veral in die winter, wanneer die son later opkom en vroeër ondergaan, ’n wesentlike uitwerking.

  • Vervang heel eerste konvensionele gloeilampe deur hoogs doeltreffende LED-beligting. LED-gloeilampe gebruik slegs sowat ’n tiende van die energie wat konvensionele gloeilampe benodig.
  • Tweedens is dit belangrik om net ligte aan te hou in vertrekke waarin jy of die gesin hulle bevind. Les bes kan doeltreffende beligting selfs verder gevoer word met intelligente stroombane wat ligte in ongebruikte vertrekke outomaties afskakel.

Isolering

Isolering is ’n bekostigbare voorsorgmaatreël met die grootste impak op die verlaging van elektrisiteitsverbruik.

  • Maak seker dat die huis se plafonne behoorlik geïsoleer is.
  • Verseël krake of gapings aan vensterbanke en deurkosyne.
  • Indien jy ’n paar rand het om te bestee, is dubbelglas vir vensters en skuifdeure die volgende stap.

Waterverhitting

Die verhitting van water is verantwoordelik vir meer as die helfte van die gemiddelde huis se elektrisiteitsverbruik.

In die winter styg die hoeveelheid energie wat nodig is om water te verhit omdat gewone geisers nie genoegsaam die verlies aan hitte kan voorkom nie.

  • Isoleer oop warm water pype om hitteverlies te verminder.
  • Stel die geiser se maksimum temperatuur tot 60 °C. Dit verskaf steeds genoeg warm water vir die huis en gebruik minder energie.
  • Jy kan besparing selfs verder voer deur ’n hittepomp en warmwaterbergstelsel te laat installeer. Dié stelsel gebruik sowat ’n derde van die totale energie wat deur ’n gewone geiser gebruik sou word en verloor minder as 3 °C in ’n 24-uur-siklus, selfs al is dit buite. So ’n stelsel kan ’n huishouding se elektrisiteitskoste met sowat 50% sny.

Verhitting van die huis

Verwarmers is verantwoordelik vir ’n aansienlike deel van ’n huishouding se elektrisiteitsverbruik.

  • Die beste advies hiervoor is om alle gewone verwarmers met muurverwarmers te vervang. In ’n behoorlik geïsoleerde huis gebruik muurverwarmers aansienlik minder energie terwyl dit steeds ’n gemaklike temperatuur handhaaf.
  • Om ’n moderne kaggel te laat installeer, is eweneens een van die beste maniere om vinnig en goedkoop ’n huis te verhit.

Gaan voluit

’n Volledig geïntegreerde oplossing met ’n fotovoltaïese stelsel en tuisbattery kan ’n huis se jaarlikse energiekoste met soveel as 80% sny. Terwyl die stelsel rondom R80 000 kos, is daar finansieringsopsies wat dit binne die bereik van kwalifiserende huiseienaars bring.

4 innovations that will make future homes greener

08 Jun 2017

World Environment Day, celebrated on 5 June this year, encourages worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance our environment.

With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, innovators around the world have come up with interesting advances in green building, which might just change the construction industry for the better. 

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson of Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares some insight… 

 

1. Recycled paper bricks

 

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their wa...

World Environment Day, celebrated on 5 June this year, encourages worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance our environment.

With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, innovators around the world have come up with interesting advances in green building, which might just change the construction industry for the better. 

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson of Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares some insight… 

 

1. Recycled paper bricks

 

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear. 

 

Djan is now turning Nubrix into a business. While more durability tests need to be done, he has subjected his waste-paper bricks to rain and compression tests, and built a Nubrix wall that’s still standing a year later. 

The hope is that in the near future, there will be a real drive towards sustainable innovation from both government and the building sector. 

 

2. Bird-friendly glass

 

GlasPro UV glass makes man-made structures safer for birds. About two-thirds of South Africa is urbanised, and a wide variety of bird species are attempting to survive in these unnatural and dangerous new habitats. 

Reflective, transparent materials such as windows cause hazardous collisions that kill millions of birds every year. 

 

GlasPro has come up with a simple, yet effective innovation to keep them safe: bird-friendly glass coated with UV liquid that makes it visible to birds. This glass will substantially reduce the number of injured birds in urban areas. 

Human eyes cannot detect the UV coating, so it also does not reduce visibility from our perspective. 

 

3. Buildings made of wood

 

Constructing any conventional home or commercial building requires tons of aluminium, steel, clay bricks and cement. There are many ways to marginally reduce the carbon footprint of these components but their manufacture has always been less than sustainable. 

 

Architects in the United States are now exploring a new kind of structure built entirely from timber. Wood is by no means a new building material, but new innovations have once again made it relevant to modern building. 

 

Researchers are combining new super-strong plywood, with precision digital CNC manufacturing processes to build timber structures that will rival conventional brick-and-mortar buildings very soon. 

While the costs of buildings like this are still high, proof of the concept already exists. An 18-story dormitory in Vancouver called Brock Commons, where construction finished late last year, is the tallest timber structure in the world. 

 

4. Modern twist on old practices

 

Researchers in Sweden have devised a way to adapt the so-called Trombe wall, a solar building design from the 19th century. This new take on an old idea can help to not only passively heat but also cool buildings, without increasing carbon emissions. 

 

A Trombe wall is a passive solar building design that is built on the winter sun side of a building with a glass external layer and a high heat capacity internal layer separated by a layer of air. This serves to heat the entire building in cold months. 

 

The new design, unveiled by researchers earlier this year, uses renewable wind and solar energy to generate both cooling and heating in buildings. The adjustments have also eliminated the original Trombe wall problem with overheating, which in turn has drastically reduced the total energy consumption and carbon emissions. 

 

Constructing these walls is also sustainable, with prototypes already having been built with stone, wood and even wool. Researchers have hailed the new design of Trombe wall as one of the best ways to meet the increasing energy demands of modern homes and commercial buildings without increasing carbon emissions. 

 

Beyond installing state-of-the-art photovoltaic, water heating and lighting solutions, sustainable building practices offer some of the best ways to bring new structures ever closer to being carbon neutral. 

Article courtesy of www.energypartners.co.za.

The innovations that will make future homes greener

05 Jun 2017
By Cala van der Westhuizen Spokesperson for consulting and energy solutions company, Energy Partners Home Solutions.

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

Recycled paper bricks

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfi...

By Cala van der Westhuizen Spokesperson for consulting and energy solutions company, Energy Partners Home Solutions.

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

Recycled paper bricks

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear.

Djan is now turning Nubrix into a business. While more durability tests need to be done, he has subjected his waste-paper bricks to rain and compression tests, and built a Nubrix wall that’s still standing a year later. The hope is that in the near future there will be a very real drive towards sustainable innovation from both government and the building sector.

Bird-friendly glass

GlasPro UV glass makes man-made structures safer for birds. About two-thirds of South Africa is urbanised, and a wide variety of bird species are attempting to survive in these unnatural and dangerous new habitats. Reflective, transparent materials such as windows cause hazardous collisions that kill millions of birds every year.

GlasPro has come up with a simple, yet effective innovation to keep them safe: bird-friendly glass coated with UV liquid that makes it visible to birds, which will substantially reduce the number of injured birds in urban areas. Human eyes cannot detect the UV coating, so it also does not reduce visibility from our perspective.

Buildings made of wood

Constructing any conventional home or commercial building requires tons of aluminium, steel, clay bricks and cement. There are many ways to marginally reduce the carbon footprint of these components but their manufacture has always been less than sustainable.

Architects in the United States are now exploring a new kind of structure built entirely from timber. Wood is by no means a new building material, but new innovations have once again made it relevant to modern building.

Researchers are combining new super-strong plywood, with precision digital CNC manufacturing processes to build timber structures that will rival conventional brick-and-mortar buildings very soon. While the costs of buildings like this are still high, proof of the concept already exists. An 18-story dormitory in Vancouver called Brock Commons, which finished construction late in last year, is the tallest timber structure in the world.

Modern twist on old practices

Researchers in Sweden have devised a way to adapt the so-called Trombe wall, a solar building design from the 19th century. This new take on an old idea can help to not only passively heat but also cool buildings, without increasing carbon emissions.

A Trombe wall is a passive solar building design that is built on the winter sun side of a building with a glass external layer and a high heat capacity internal layer separated by a layer of air. This serves to heat the entire building in cold months.

The new design, unveiled by researchers earlier this year, uses renewable wind and solar energy to generate both cooling and heating in buildings. The adjustments have also eliminated the original Trombe wall problem with overheating, which in turn has drastically reduced the total energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Constructing these walls is also sustainable, with prototypes already having been built with stone, wood and even wool. Researchers have hailed the new design of Trombe wall, as one of the best ways to meet the increasing energy demands of modern homes and commercial buildings without increasing carbon emissions.

Beyond installing state-of-the-art photovoltaic, water heating and lighting solutions, sustainable building practices offer some of the best ways to bring new structures ever closer to being carbon neutral. 

About Energy Partners Home Solutions

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

 The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide. For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit www.energypartners.co.za

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

Innovations for greener homes

05 Jun 2017
by Cala van der Westhuizen, Energy Partners Home Solutions  

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

 

Recycled paper bricks

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefit...

by Cala van der Westhuizen, Energy Partners Home Solutions
 

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

 

Recycled paper bricks

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear.

Djan is now turning Nubrix into a business. While more durability tests need to be done, he has subjected his waste-paper bricks to rain and compression tests, and built a Nubrix wall that’s still standing a year later. The hope is that in the near future there will be a very real drive towards sustainable innovation from both government and the building sector.

 

Bird-friendly glass

GlasPro UV glass makes man-made structures safer for birds. About two-thirds of South Africa is urbanised, and a wide variety of bird species are attempting to survive in these unnatural and dangerous new habitats. Reflective, transparent materials such as windows cause hazardous collisions that kill millions of birds every year.

GlasPro has come up with a simple, yet effective innovation to keep them safe: bird-friendly glass coated with UV liquid that makes it visible to birds, which will substantially reduce the number of injured birds in urban areas. Human eyes cannot detect the UV coating, so it also does not reduce visibility from our perspective.

Buildings made of wood

Constructing any conventional home or commercial building requires tons of aluminium, steel, clay bricks and cement. There are many ways to marginally reduce the carbon footprint of these components but their manufacture has always been less than sustainable.

Architects in the United States are now exploring a new kind of structure built entirely from timber. Wood is by no means a new building material, but new innovations have once again made it relevant to modern building.

Researchers are combining new super-strong plywood, with precision digital CNC manufacturing processes to build timber structures that will rival conventional brick-and-mortar buildings very soon. While the costs of buildings like this are still high, proof of the concept already exists. An 18-story dormitory in Vancouver called Brock Commons, which finished construction late in last year, is the tallest timber structure in the world.

Modern twist on old practices

Researchers in Sweden have devised a way to adapt the so-called Trombe wall, a solar building design from the 19th century. This new take on an old idea can help to not only passively heat but also cool buildings, without increasing carbon emissions.

A Trombe wall is a passive solar building design that is built on the winter sun side of a building with a glass external layer and a high heat capacity internal layer separated by a layer of air. This serves to heat the entire building in cold months.

The new design, unveiled by researchers earlier this year, uses renewable wind and solar energy to generate both cooling and heating in buildings. The adjustments have also eliminated the original Trombe wall problem with overheating, which in turn has drastically reduced the total energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Constructing these walls is also sustainable, with prototypes already having been built with stone, wood and even wool. Researchers have hailed the new design of Trombe wall, as one of the best ways to meet the increasing energy demands of modern homes and commercial buildings without increasing carbon emissions.

Enquiries: Visit www.poweryourself.co.za

The innovations that will make future homes greener

05 Jun 2017

By Cala van der Westhuizen

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

 

Recycled paper bricks

 

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear.

&...

By Cala van der Westhuizen

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

 

Recycled paper bricks

 

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear.

 

Djan is now turning Nubrix into a business. While more durability tests need to be done, he has subjected his waste-paper bricks to rain and compression tests, and built a Nubrix wall that’s still standing a year later. The hope is that in the near future there will be a very real drive towards sustainable innovation from both government and the building sector.

 

Bird-friendly glass

 

GlasPro UV glass makes man-made structures safer for birds. About two-thirds of South Africa is urbanised, and a wide variety of bird species are attempting to survive in these unnatural and dangerous new habitats. Reflective, transparent materials such as windows cause hazardous collisions that kill millions of birds every year.

 

GlasPro has come up with a simple, yet effective innovation to keep them safe: bird-friendly glass coated with UV liquid that makes it visible to birds, which will substantially reduce the number of injured birds in urban areas. Human eyes cannot detect the UV coating, so it also does not reduce visibility from our perspective.

 

Buildings made of wood

 

Constructing any conventional home or commercial building requires tons of aluminium, steel, clay bricks and cement. There are many ways to marginally reduce the carbon footprint of these components but their manufacture has always been less than sustainable.

 

Architects in the United States are now exploring a new kind of structure built entirely from timber. Wood is by no means a new building material, but new innovations have once again made it relevant to modern building.

 

Researchers are combining new super-strong plywood, with precision digital CNC manufacturing processes to build timber structures that will rival conventional brick-and-mortar buildings very soon. While the costs of buildings like this are still high, proof of the concept already exists. An 18-story dormitory in Vancouver called Brock Commons, which finished construction late in last year, is the tallest timber structure in the world.

 

Modern twist on old practices

 

Researchers in Sweden have devised a way to adapt the so-called Trombe wall, a solar building design from the 19th century. This new take on an old idea can help to not only passively heat but also cool buildings, without increasing carbon emissions.

 

A Trombe wall is a passive solar building design that is built on the winter sun side of a building with a glass external layer and a high heat capacity internal layer separated by a layer of air. This serves to heat the entire building in cold months.

 

The new design, unveiled by researchers earlier this year, uses renewable wind and solar energy to generate both cooling and heating in buildings. The adjustments have also eliminated the original Trombe wall problem with overheating, which in turn has drastically reduced the total energy consumption and carbon emissions.

 

Constructing these walls is also sustainable, with prototypes already having been built with stone, wood and even wool. Researchers have hailed the new design of Trombe wall, as one of the best ways to meet the increasing energy demands of modern homes and commercial buildings without increasing carbon emissions.

 

Beyond installing state-of-the-art photovoltaic, water heating and lighting solutions, sustainable building practices offer some of the best ways to bring new structures ever closer to being carbon neutral.

The innovations that will make future homes greener!

05 Jun 2017

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

Recycled paper bricks

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear.

Djan is now turning Nubrix into a business. While more durability ...

Today is World Environment Day, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness for the need to preserve and enhance the environment. With carbon dioxide emissions continuing to be a major environmental concern, we decided to take a look at some of the most interesting advances in green building which might just change the construction industry for the better.

Recycled paper bricks

University of Pretoria student, Elijah Djan was only 11 years old when he invented Nubrix, a brick made from waste paper. With only about 5% of South African households recycling their waste paper, and the other 95% sending theirs to the already overflowing landfills, the environmental benefits of this product are clear.

Djan is now turning Nubrix into a business. While more durability tests need to be done, he has subjected his waste-paper bricks to rain and compression tests, and built a Nubrix wall that’s still standing a year later. The hope is that in the near future there will be a very real drive towards sustainable innovation from both government and the building sector.

Bird-friendly glass

GlasPro UV glass makes man-made structures safer for birds. About two-thirds of South Africa is urbanised, and a wide variety of bird species are attempting to survive in these unnatural and dangerous new habitats. Reflective, transparent materials such as windows cause hazardous collisions that kill millions of birds every year.

GlasPro has come up with a simple, yet effective innovation to keep them safe: bird-friendly glass coated with UV liquid that makes it visible to birds, which will substantially reduce the number of injured birds in urban areas. Human eyes cannot detect the UV coating, so it also does not reduce visibility from our perspective.

Buildings made of wood

Constructing any conventional home or commercial building requires tons of aluminium, steel, clay bricks and cement. There are many ways to marginally reduce the carbon footprint of these components but their manufacture has always been less than sustainable.

Architects in the United States are now exploring a new kind of structure built entirely from timber. Wood is by no means a new building material, but new innovations have once again made it relevant to modern building.

Researchers are combining new super-strong plywood, with precision digital CNC manufacturing processes to build timber structures that will rival conventional brick-and-mortar buildings very soon. While the costs of buildings like this are still high, proof of the concept already exists. An 18-story dormitory in Vancouver called Brock Commons, which finished construction late in last year, is the tallest timber structure in the world.


 

Modern twist on old practices

Researchers in Sweden have devised a way to adapt the so-called Trombe wall, a solar building design from the 19th century. This new take on an old idea can help to not only passively heat but also cool buildings, without increasing carbon emissions.

A Trombe wall is a passive solar building design that is built on the winter sun side of a building with a glass external layer and a high heat capacity internal layer separated by a layer of air. This serves to heat the entire building in cold months.

The new design, unveiled by researchers earlier this year, uses renewable wind and solar energy to generate both cooling and heating in buildings. The adjustments have also eliminated the original Trombe wall problem with overheating, which in turn has drastically reduced the total energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Constructing these walls is also sustainable, with prototypes already having been built with stone, wood and even wool. Researchers have hailed the new design of Trombe wall, as one of the best ways to meet the increasing energy demands of modern homes and commercial buildings without increasing carbon emissions.

Beyond installing state-of-the-art photovoltaic, water heating and lighting solutions, sustainable building practices offer some of the best ways to bring new structures ever closer to being carbon neutral.

About Energy Partners Home Solutions

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide. For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit www.energypartners.co.za

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

6 ways to slash your electricity bill this winter

01 Jun 2017

Even in a relatively warm country like South Africa, electricity usage skyrockets when winter comes around each year. In addition to this, electricity costs are still on the rise.

Luckily, there are quick, long-term energy saving solutions that homeowners can implement as we go into winter.

Homeowners can use their own discretion as to how much they want to save and invest in energy efficiency, but most will find that even small changes could make a noticeable difference this season.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares tips on how homeowners can save electricity this winter. 

 

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with ...

Even in a relatively warm country like South Africa, electricity usage skyrockets when winter comes around each year. In addition to this, electricity costs are still on the rise.

Luckily, there are quick, long-term energy saving solutions that homeowners can implement as we go into winter.

Homeowners can use their own discretion as to how much they want to save and invest in energy efficiency, but most will find that even small changes could make a noticeable difference this season.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, shares tips on how homeowners can save electricity this winter. 

 

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with highly efficient LED lighting. These typically require a tenth of the energy needed to power conventional bulbs.
 

1. Mind the lights

Learning to better manage lighting can have a measurable effect on a household’s electricity spend. This is especially evident during winter, when the sun rises later and sets earlier.

One of the first things you can do is to replace all your conventional bulbs with highly efficient LED lighting. These typically require a tenth of the energy needed to power conventional bulbs.

Secondly, it is important to remember to only keep the lights on in the rooms that you use.

For those who are so inclined, take efficient lighting even further with intelligent circuits that automatically switch off lights in unused rooms.

2. Insulation is key

Insulation is a low-cost measure with the biggest impact on reducing energy consumption.

Make sure that the home’s ceilings are properly insulated, and seal cracks or gaps in windowsills and door frames. For the homeowner with money to invest, double glazing for windows and sliding doors is the next step.

For the homeowner with money to invest, double glazing for windows and sliding doors is the next step.

3. Heating water

Water heating accounts for over half of the average home’s electricity spend.

During winter, the amount of energy needed to heat water increases since regular geysers are not efficient at keeping heat from escaping.

Insulate exposed hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and turn down the geyser’s maximum temperature to 60?C (from 50?C in summer). This still provides enough hot water for the home, while using less energy.

You can stretch your savings even further by investing in a heat pump and hot water storage system. The system uses about a third of the total energy that would be used with a conventional geyser, and loses less than 3?C during a 24-hour cycle even if placed outside.

The system can cut the home’s electricity costs by an estimated 50%.

4. Heating the home

Heaters account for a substantial portion of the home’s electricity spend. One of the quickest remedies is to replace all conventional heaters with wall heaters.

In a properly insulated home, these use significantly less energy while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Installing a modern fireplace is also one of the best ways to quickly and cheaply heat a home.

It is best to view a dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Try to only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an energy efficient dryer.

5. Don’t forget your laundry

 A tumble dryer is often a lifesaver during winter, especially in areas with winter rainfall. However, running a dryer for two hours a day, five days a week adds another R240 to the average Pretoria or Cape Town home’s monthly electricity bill.

It is best to view a dryer as something you should only indulge in on occasion. Try to only do laundry on sunny days or lighten the load with an energy efficient dryer.

6. Go all out

Finally, a homeowner can opt for a complete integrated solution, like Energy Partners Home Solutions’ ICON Home Energy Hub and photovoltaic (PV) system. This can reduce a home’s yearly electricity costs by as much as 80%.

While a complete system could cost upwards of R80 000, there are financing options available to bring these systems within the reach of qualifying homeowners. 

With each passing winter becoming more and more expensive, homeowners need to adopt an energy-saving mindset at every available opportunity.

A homeowner can opt for a complete integrated solution, like Energy Partners Home Solutions’ ICON Home Energy Hub and photovoltaic (PV) system. This can reduce a home’s yearly electricity costs by as much as 80%.

Energy Partners and Nedbank partner to launch smart living solutions initiative

23 May 2017

Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies, in collaboration with Nedbank, is offering an exclusive campaign aimed at Nedbank Home Loan clients.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, says that the Smart Living Solutions initiative, which officially launched on 15 May, enables qualifying Nedbank clients to invest in energy saving products for their homes. “The cost of the systems are added to clients’ existing home loans. This means homeowners can install renewable and energy saving systems without the need to first raise cash or undergo lengthy credit application procedures. In most cases, the cost saving will be more than the increase in their loan repayments.”

...

Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies, in collaboration with Nedbank, is offering an exclusive campaign aimed at Nedbank Home Loan clients.

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, says that the Smart Living Solutions initiative, which officially launched on 15 May, enables qualifying Nedbank clients to invest in energy saving products for their homes. “The cost of the systems are added to clients’ existing home loans. This means homeowners can install renewable and energy saving systems without the need to first raise cash or undergo lengthy credit application procedures. In most cases, the cost saving will be more than the increase in their loan repayments.”

“Nedbank has been the most progressive bank when it comes to clean sustainable energy and we see this as another opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to providing our clients with tangible solutions,” says Tim Akinnusi, Executive Head of Sales & Client management at Home Loans at Nedbank.

Akinnusi says “Nedbank Home Loans has gone beyond the sustainability agenda, to find innovative ways to help our clients save on their electricity bill in the short-term while investing in energy systems for long term value creation in their homes.”

Van der Westhuizen adds that South Africans will likely see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years. “That is why we advocate installing renewable solutions as soon as it is sensible to do so.”

Energy Partners has been one of South Africa’s top energy companies and has served many households with its Home Solutions Icon system. “We are excited about this venture and look forward to bringing state-of-the-art energy saving technology into the homes of the Nedbank Home Loan clients,” van der Westhuizen concludes.

PSG: Building businesses from the bottom up

10 May 2017

An almost exclusively South African company has become a rarity on the JSE following the chase for offshore exposure by local companies and inward listings of foreign companies over the past few years.

But among the star performers of the JSE over those years is the very much local PSG Group, whose contrary performance reflects its contrary strategy.

The investment group’s success has hinged on it finding and exploiting the gaps in the South African economy. It reflects its opportunism particularly in areas like banking, financial services and education, where there is either dominance and complacency, or lack of affordable options or new initiatives; and it has developed fast-growing, disruptive companies in both sectors.

This was again made clear in its r...

An almost exclusively South African company has become a rarity on the JSE following the chase for offshore exposure by local companies and inward listings of foreign companies over the past few years.

But among the star performers of the JSE over those years is the very much local PSG Group, whose contrary performance reflects its contrary strategy.

The investment group’s success has hinged on it finding and exploiting the gaps in the South African economy. It reflects its opportunism particularly in areas like banking, financial services and education, where there is either dominance and complacency, or lack of affordable options or new initiatives; and it has developed fast-growing, disruptive companies in both sectors.

This was again made clear in its results for the year to February, which show that its “sum-of-the-parts” value a share, at R240.87 on 28 February, was 29% higher than end-February 2016, underpinned by the continued strong growth of upstarts Capitec Bank, private education group Curro and PSG Konsult.

The group increased headline earnings by 50% in an environment where there was no economic growth. 

PSG’s exceptional success has been accompanied by an 18% increase in the share price over the past year (and almost 350% over the last five), against the All Share’s pedestrian performance.

Growth strategy

“We like to hold on to great assets and if they are potentially better than competitors, we will hold them forever,” says CEO Piet Mouton. “What differentiates us is that we like building businesses from the early stage. There aren’t really companies that do that and the returns when you do get it right are significantly better than buying into mature businesses.”

Capitec, which increased earnings by 18%, continues to expand and added a record 1.3m new clients in the past financial year to bring its client base to 8.6m, 46% of which bank their salaries at Capitec.

It has recently made its first offshore acquisition – paying R300m for 40% of Cyprus-based Cream Finance, a global online lending group providing loan products to people in Poland, Latvia, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Mexico and Denmark.

This does not reflect a divergence from its locally-focused strategy. “This is a R300m investment – it is just a baby step, which is, in my mind, the right way to approach it. We are bringing capital and know-how to the business and we will watch what happens over time,” Mouton says. He quotes Capitec founder Michiel le Roux, who once said that Capitec “is either going to be a small failure or a big success”.

This, says Mouton, “is our exact approach to new businesses”. 

“It is not big, so we can do this in a sensible, controlled environment trying to build a bigger technological business. In SA we have invested in and gained expertise in our branches and network and online offering. We have a sensible approach to new business and new ideas, and if it does grow and the model proves successful, we can continue to grow it.”

Education

This is exactly what has happened with Curro, which started off in a church in Durbanville, Cape Town in 1998 with 28 children. It now has close to 50 000 learners across 54 campuses.

At its December year-end, Curro’s headline earnings grew 69% and it is “not nearly reaching a growth plateau”, Mouton says. There are about 12m school-going children in SA. Given the price points where Curro is wanting to play, about 2.5m of these should be able to afford to go to Curro schools, he says. “The total private school number is 600 000 learners and we have just 50 000. Even if we double in size to 100 000, we have not even scratched the potential market.”

Curro does have competition – from companies like ADvTECH or Reddam schools – but it would take competitors a fairly big jump to get where Curro is today. “The barriers to entry are important in any business sector, and in schooling it is so much more prevalent – you have to build a school, kids join and the school fills over a 10-year period, so for the first 10 years you make quite big losses.

“If you want to compete with us, your losses will be bigger because we have skills in construction and development, so it is going to take you longer and cost you more. There are also high operational expenses, and a lot of those costs we drag to head office at Curro and spread over our schools. All of these things make it difficult for competitors.”

The growth projection also includes tertiary education, but Mouton says it is “a more complicated space between physical on-site and distance education and incumbents which include state universities, which are quality institutions. At the moment, Curro is mainly involved in teacher training, and its ultimate goal is a private university.”

While investments like Curro and Capitec have flown, the path of others has been slower.

Agribusiness investor Zeder, for example, only marginally increased headline earnings and is at the mercy of economic and weather conditions. The company, whose largest investment is Pioneer Foods, should recover this year with recent rains and a good maize crop.

Top of PSG investors’ minds is whether it is sitting on another gem like Capitec or Curro. These could come in the form of its investments in energy company Energy Partners or FutureLearn, which provides educational products and services to tutors, which Mouton says have growth prospects and the potential for listing. However, it is difficult, at least from an outside perspective, to see them reaching the scale of Capitec or Curro.

Local focus

While it is taking small steps offshore, it will remain largely South African in the near future. “The core skills of the PSG management team are South African-based and we have significant advantages in South Africa – we understand how the market moves, we have good access to banks and other corporates and we know the lay of the land. We can deliver in SA and we continue to give an above-average return – we have a 21-year history of massive JSE outperformance. We believe you shouldn’t diversify out of ignorance. If you do buy a business abroad simply because you want to diversify, you haven’t done anyone any favours, I cannot buy into that philosophy.”

Yet, PSG’s predominant exposure to SA comes with its own risks, especially considering the downgrade of the country and its banks.

“I think everything will be tougher in SA, everything has a ripple effect – debt becomes expensive, the currency goes and there will be uncertainty in the investor community, who will play wait-and-see rather than invest. But there is a flip side to everything, and as the country becomes more uncompetitive, there will be opportunities.”

Mouton is reluctant to speak out, however, saying he is part of the CEO Initiative, which is largely driven by the big companies, and he would back anything positive they would do.

He does say, however, that PSG did not start with the luxury of significant wealth accumulated in the old South Africa. It is well-documented that it was started with a R7m capital base by his father, Jannie Mouton.

It cannot be easy for Mouton to carry on his father’s legacy of street-smart opportunism to exploit opportunities in potentially big business sectors where there is mispricing, deregulation and the potential for disruption.

His father still comes into the office each day and continues to grab headlines. Recently, the older Mouton, dubbed the “Boere Buffett”, entered the elite dollar billionaire club, according to Forbes.

“Jannie still comes into the office every day – he doesn’t have any other hobbies – but he does take life a little easier. He is more involved in the bigger picture,” says Mouton.

There are certainly visible elements of PSG being a family business. Mouton’s brother was part of the asset management business but recently left, while his sister’s husband works for the group and it has invested in the business of his half-sister’s husband. This may or may not sit well with investors.

Another visible challenge is PSG’s slowness to transform, with its predominantly white male board and top management. Mouton agrees and says while there is improvement, “we are not where we should be”, adding that it is a priority on the group’s agenda.

Mouton is aware of his challenges. His overriding challenge is to keep up the growth momentum, given the rapid growth achieved to date and SA’s increasingly poor growth prospects.

“All I can tell you is that I want to continue making PSG into the same successful business as what my father has done. But the company has grown rapidly in the past 21 years – we will be hard-pressed to achieve that level.”

High-tech thinking

08 May 2017
  Recent advances in energy-efficient technologies mean more accessible and cost-effective alternatives for consumers of power.   The world is getting warmer. According to US government scientists, 2016 was the hottest in 137 years – breaking the record set in 2015, which broke the record set in 2014. No wonder then that researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a report predicting that 700 million new air conditioners would be installed worldwide by 2030, and 1.6 billion by 2050. In terms of electricity use, the report notes, that’s akin to adding several new countries to a world that’s already hot and very heavy on energy usage. It’s too hot, so more people install air conditioners, which use energy and make the world hotter still&...
 
Recent advances in energy-efficient technologies mean more accessible and cost-effective alternatives for consumers of power.
 
The world is getting warmer. According to US government scientists, 2016 was the hottest in 137 years – breaking the record set in 2015, which broke the record set in 2014. No wonder then that researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a report predicting that 700 million new air conditioners would be installed worldwide by 2030, and 1.6 billion by 2050. In terms of electricity use, the report notes, that’s akin to adding several new countries to a world that’s already hot and very heavy on energy usage. It’s too hot, so more people install air conditioners, which use energy and make the world hotter still… And so the cycle goes.
 
This growing problem made Samsung’s announcement at the 2017 Samsung Africa Forum, held in Cape Town, South Africa in late February, feel like a breath of cool, fresh air. Among the new product range was the Samsung wind-free air conditioner. This piece of home tech – powered by the internet of things and controlled via Samsung’s smart home app – disperses slow-moving cool air through 21 000 micro holes. This creates what the manufacturers refer to as ‘a cooler indoor climate and optimal energy efficiency without the discomfort of direct cold airflow’.
 
 
Better still is the claim that the Samsung air conditioner actively lowers power consumption by up to 72% once the desired room temperature is reached.
 
Energy-efficient technologies such as this are good news for homes and businesses looking to reduce their energy bills. They’re also good news for the countries – many of them African – that already count themselves among the hottest and sunniest on the planet. Here, the solution to the deepening energy crisis may lie in the source of all that heat.
 
Across sub-Saharan Africa, solar energy is becoming an increasing source of investment – and hope. In South Africa, the Western Cape government began the year with an energy efficiency-awareness campaign under the slogan, Solar – the Best Way to Save Under the Sun. The campaign promoted the installation of solar water heaters and photovoltaic (PV) panels, emphasising their cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits. As part of the campaign, MEC of economic opportunities Alan Winde visited the Lansdowne Bottling Company in industrial Philippi, which draws all of its electricity from rooftop solar panels and PV cells. ‘The owner told me that his decision to invest in energy efficient infrastructure is already paying off,’ Winde told reporters.
 
‘While their annual energy bill would have amounted to ZAR2.3 million this year, they are expecting it to come out at ZAR1.7 million due to savings as a result of their PV system. They are able to invest these savings into projects to grow their business. This illustrates the significant benefits for businesses of switching to green forms of energy. I am happy to report that many companies in the province have already heeded the call.’
 
 
The ICON system offers efficient and reliable access to power, as do other forms of smart technology
 
Dirshan Patel, owner of the Lansdowne Bottling Company, said the company has already ‘made some savings, which we will look at reinvesting into our business. But our ultimate goal is to see a long-term saving as well as contributing to our environment in a positive way. Going green has always been in our vision and I’m happy that we’ve completed Phase 1’.
 
The second phase involves feeding excess electricity back into the City of Cape Town’s power grid, in exchange for which the company will receive a feed-in tariff.
 
The Lansdowne Bottling Company is not a big one. A family-run business, it began in Cape Town’s District Six in the 1930s, before moving to larger premises. By embracing solar power to the extent that it has, the company is demonstrating how this type of energy efficiency can be implemented – immediately and effectively – by virtually any business.
 

 
Expect more to follow. Solar energy has now reached a point where – according to a recent report by the WEF – it costs less than fossil fuels when used at scale.
 
‘The unsubsidised, levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar photovoltaic, which was highly uncompetitive only five years ago, has declined at a 20% compounded annual rate, making it not only viable but also more attractive than coal in a wide range of countries. By 2020, solar PV is projected to have a lower LCOE than coal or natural gas-fired generation throughout the world,’ the report states.
 
‘Renewable energy has reached a tipping point,’ says Michael Drexler, WEF head of long-term investing, infrastructure and development. ‘It now constitutes the best chance to reverse global warming. Solar and wind have just become very competitive, and costs continue to fall. It is not only a commercially viable option but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns.’
 
As Cala van der Westhuizen, head of sales and marketing for Energy Partners Home Solutions, explained at the launch of the company’s Gauteng division at the 2017 Homemakers Expo in Johannesburg, South Africa is ‘one of the countries with the highest potential for solar energy generation in the world, with approximately 2 500 hours of sunshine per year. Yet there is still a relatively small percentage of the country’s residents who are actually taking advantage of this low-cost alternative.’
 
Energy Partners Home Solutions provides a range of solar and energy saving solutions for the consumer market, including its ICON system, which incorporates energy efficiency, renewable generation and backup solutions to reduce a home’s reliance on grid power by more than 50%.
 

 
Various public-private partnerships have been set up to encourage innovative energy solutions
 
‘Our solution enables home owners to take control of their energy by supplying a set of reliable products that form a fully integrated home energy solution that combines lighting, water heating and renewable energy – all effortlessly managed and monitored from a simple app on your smartphone,’ she said.
 
That trifecta – lighting, water heating and energy – remains at the heart of the continent’s energy efficiency puzzle. Yet it’s a puzzle that governments, local innovators and businesses big and small are working hard on solving.
 
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) recently announced a blanket ban on the manufacturing, importation and distribution of what it calls ‘inefficient’ light bulbs – including most incandescent bulbs.
 
While ZERA is hoping to promote the use of energy-saving fluorescent bulbs, market forces are driving the growth of solid-state lighting.
 
According to a recent Markets and Markets report, the solid-state lighting sector was worth US$118.29 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach US$174.45 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.38%. These energy-efficient LED lights generate better, cheaper and longer-lasting lighting.
 

 
They are also – according to a new study by the University of Bristol – less attractive to nuisance insects compared to traditional filament lamps. Crucially, they’re also relatively easily available.
 
Water heating has also received an unexpected boost at the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa 2016 awards ceremony, where Amahlathi Eco-Tech was recognised as the most promising youth-led business thanks to an innovative power-saving geyser solution – Hot Spot. A glove-like device is retrofitted over a standard geyser element to push hot water from the bottom to the top via thermosiphon. It provides 50 litres of hot water within half an hour at 50°C for households and small commercial users.
 
‘I was one of those people who used to switch the geyser on and off because I wanted to reduce my electricity bill,’ Hot Spot designer Sandiswa Qayi told the Star. ‘I used to wake up at 4.30 am to switch my geyser on to have hot water at 6.30.’
 
South African platinum group metals producer Impala Platinum is working on another, more capital-intensive alternative, installing an 8 MW fuel cell at its Impala Platinum refinery. Hydrogen fuel cells offer near-zero emissions, reliability, noise reduction, efficiency and flexibility – but the costs are high, and they’re not a viable option for every business. Not yet, at any rate. ‘Fuel cells are at a point solar was about four years ago,’ Implats fuel cell co-ordinator Fahmida Smith told Moneyweb.
 
‘The total cost of ownership based on our requirements and heat integration for the 8 MW does show a decrease in energy cost to us over a 20-year power purchase agreement. With economies of scale, the price of capital will decrease as was the case in solar PV.’
 
For many years, the continent faced the problem of efficient energy not necessarily being cheap or accessible. But as solar power reaches its tipping point, and other efficient energy alternatives follow suit, organisations and communities are seeing the benefits – and possibilities – of doing more with less.
 
By Mark van Dijk
Images: Gallo/Getty Images, Energy Partners Home Solutions

Belasting-bespraringsmaatreels vir KMO-entrepreneurs in die Hernubare Energie-sektor:

04 May 2017

Cala van Westhuizen van Energy Partners Home Solutions wat ‘n onder-afdeling van Energie Partners.

To listen to the full interview, please click here

...

Cala van Westhuizen van Energy Partners Home Solutions wat ‘n onder-afdeling van Energie Partners.

To listen to the full interview, please click here

Take advantage of tax incentives

02 May 2017

Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this.

Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions – a division of Energy Partners, says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as many as 2 500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average photovoltaic (PV) system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

VAT-registered businesses that install solar PV systems can already deduct 14% of the total cost of a new system. “...

Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this.

Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions – a division of Energy Partners, says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as many as 2 500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average photovoltaic (PV) system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

VAT-registered businesses that install solar PV systems can already deduct 14% of the total cost of a new system. “Additionally, the Income Tax Act allows business owners to deduct the value of new PV systems as a depreciation expense from their business income tax in the first year. This 100% accelerated capital allowance applies to business solar PV solutions that produce less than 1 megawatt of power,” he explains.

The National Treasury has stated that this allowance is part of its initiative to encourage investment in cleaner energy forms, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to broaden the country’s energy sources.

Tax experts have also warned that South Africans should prepare for a new carbon tax to be imposed in the near future. This will likely see businesses paying substantially more for electricity and fuel. Businesses that already have PV solutions installed by that time, will therefore see an even higher return on investment from their systems.

“Unlike some home or large commercial solar solutions, a solar solution for an SME doesn’t have to be complex or integrated. Most SMEs have no need for a battery system or heat pump, which are costly components. The repayment term of a solar PV system for a commercial installation is close to around four years, depending on certain factors like self-consumption and the tariff structure. With solar panels that have a 25-year production warranty, it is very much like buying 25 years’ prepaid electricity at five years’ cost,” points out Van der Westhuizen.

With the pressure to save costs increasing every day, it makes business sense for SME owners to consider a renewable energy solution.

Energy Partners expands refigeration stronghold

01 May 2017

EP HVAC & Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, has announced the conclusion of three new business transactions with the well-known Multistage Cooling, Fridgetec and Refrigeration Services

To read more, click here

...

EP HVAC & Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, has announced the conclusion of three new business transactions with the well-known Multistage Cooling, Fridgetec and Refrigeration Services

To read more, click here

Businesses making use of renewable energy solutions should benefit from tax incentives

28 Apr 2017

Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this opportunity

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, who says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as much as 2500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average PV system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

Van der Westhuizen say...

Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this opportunity

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, who says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as much as 2500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average PV system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

Van der Westhuizen says that VAT registered businesses that install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can already deduct 14% of the total cost of a new system. “Additionally, the Income Tax Act allows business owners to deduct the value of new PV systems as a depreciation expense from their business income tax in the first year. This 100% accelerated capital allowance applies to business solar PV solutions that produce less than 1 megawatt of power,” he says.

South Africa’s National Treasury has stated that this allowance is part of its initiatives to encourage investment in cleaner energy forms, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to broaden the country’s energy sources.

Tax experts have also warned that South Africans should prepare for a new carbon tax to be imposed in the near future. “The tax would likely see businesses paying substantially more for electricity and fuel. Businesses that already have PV solutions installed by that time, will therefore see an even higher return on investment from their systems,” Van der Westhuizen says.

Van der Westhuizen points to an example of one Energy Partners SME client who saved R10 000 on electricity for the month of January 2017, generating 4 400 kWh of solar power with a 22 kWp system.

“Unlike some home or large commercial solar solutions, a solar solution for an SME doesn’t have to be complex or integrated. Most SMEs have no need for a battery system or heat pump, which are costly components. The repayment term of a solar PV system for a commercial installation is close to around 4 years, depending on certain factors like self-consumption and the tariff structure. With solar panels that have a 25-year production warranty, it is very much like buying 25 years’ prepaid electricity at 5 years’ cost,” Van der Westhuizen says.

“Energy Partners also offers financing options for SMEs, as well as a Performance Lease Agreement, which allows for the installation of the system at a fraction of the cost.”

With the pressure to save costs increasing every day, it makes business sense for SME owners to consider a renewable energy solution. If you are interested in benefiting financially from a solar PV solution to work in your business, contact Energy Partners for a free, no-obligation energy assessment. Visit www.poweryourself.co.za or call 0861 000 606.

SMEs should take advantage of the tax incentives for PV systems

28 Apr 2017
2 May 2017: Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this opportunity.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, who says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as much as 2500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average PV system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

Van der Wes...

2 May 2017: Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this opportunity.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, who says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as much as 2500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average PV system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

Van der Westhuizen says that VAT registered businesses that install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can already deduct 14% of the total cost of a new system. “Additionally, the Income Tax Act allows business owners to deduct the value of new PV systems as a depreciation expense from their business income tax in the first year. This 100% accelerated capital allowance applies to business solar PV solutions that produce less than 1 megawatt of power,” he says.

South Africa’s National Treasury has stated that this allowance is part of its initiatives to encourage investment in cleaner energy forms, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to broaden the country’s energy sources.

Tax experts have also warned that South Africans should prepare for a new carbon tax to be imposed in the near future. “The tax would likely see businesses paying substantially more for electricity and fuel. Businesses that already have PV solutions installed by that time, will therefore see an even higher return on investment from their systems,” Van der Westhuizen says.

Van der Westhuizen points to an example of one Energy Partners SME client who saved R10 000 on electricity for the month of January 2017, generating 4 400 kWh of solar power with a 22 kWp system.

“Unlike some home or large commercial solar solutions, a solar solution for an SME doesn’t have to be complex or integrated. Most SMEs have no need for a battery system or heat pump, which are costly components. The repayment term of a solar PV system for a commercial installation is close to around 4 years, depending on certain factors like self-consumption and the tariff structure. With solar panels that have a 25-year production warranty, it is very much like buying 25 years’ prepaid electricity at 5 years’ cost,” Van der Westhuizen says.

“Energy Partners also offers financing options for SMEs, as well as a Performance Lease Agreement, which allows for the installation of the system at a fraction of the cost.”

With the pressure to save costs increasing every day, it makes business sense for SME owners to consider a renewable energy solution. If you are interested in benefiting financially from a solar PV solution to work in your business, contact Energy Partners for a free, no-obligation energy assessment. Visit www.poweryourself.co.za or call 0861 000 606. 

About Energy Partners Home Solutions

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide.

For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit www.energypartners.co.za

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

SMEs should take advantage of the tax incentives for PV systems

28 Apr 2017

Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this opportunity

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, who says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as much as 2500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average PV system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

Van der Westhuizen say...

Businesses that make use of renewable energy solutions are entitled to tax incentives that could substantially drive down their operating costs. All businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), should take advantage of this opportunity

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, who says that using solar power as an energy source, could be one of the best decisions that an SME can make. “South Africa receives as much as 2500 hours of direct sunlight each year. This means that an average PV system can significantly cut an SME’s electricity costs.”

Van der Westhuizen says that VAT registered businesses that install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can already deduct 14% of the total cost of a new system. “Additionally, the Income Tax Act allows business owners to deduct the value of new PV systems as a depreciation expense from their business income tax in the first year. This 100% accelerated capital allowance applies to business solar PV solutions that produce less than 1 megawatt of power,” he says.

South Africa’s National Treasury has stated that this allowance is part of its initiatives to encourage investment in cleaner energy forms, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to broaden the country’s energy sources.

Tax experts have also warned that South Africans should prepare for a new carbon tax to be imposed in the near future. “The tax would likely see businesses paying substantially more for electricity and fuel. Businesses that already have PV solutions installed by that time, will therefore see an even higher return on investment from their systems,” Van der Westhuizen says.

Van der Westhuizen points to an example of one Energy Partners SME client who saved R10 000 on electricity for the month of January 2017, generating 4 400 kWh of solar power with a 22 kWp system.

“Unlike some home or large commercial solar solutions, a solar solution for an SME doesn’t have to be complex or integrated. Most SMEs have no need for a battery system or heat pump, which are costly components. The repayment term of a solar PV system for a commercial installation is close to around 4 years, depending on certain factors like self-consumption and the tariff structure. With solar panels that have a 25-year production warranty, it is very much like buying 25 years’ prepaid electricity at 5 years’ cost,” Van der Westhuizen says.

“Energy Partners also offers financing options for SMEs, as well as a Performance Lease Agreement, which allows for the installation of the system at a fraction of the cost.”

With the pressure to save costs increasing every day, it makes business sense for SME owners to consider a renewable energy solution. If you are interested in benefiting financially from a solar PV solution to work in your business, contact Energy Partners for a free, no-obligation energy assessment. Visit www.poweryourself.co.za or call 0861 000 606.

Acquisition boosts steam and combustion offering

19 Apr 2017

Energy Partners has announced its acquisition of refurbished coal, oil and gas-fired packaged steam boiler suppliers, Dryden Combustion.

To read more, click here.

...

Energy Partners has announced its acquisition of refurbished coal, oil and gas-fired packaged steam boiler suppliers, Dryden Combustion.

To read more, click here.

Company opens regional office

19 Apr 2017

Energy Partners Home Solutions recently introduced its newly established Gauteng Division at the 2017 Homemakers Expo in Johannesburg.

To read more, click here.

...

Energy Partners Home Solutions recently introduced its newly established Gauteng Division at the 2017 Homemakers Expo in Johannesburg.

To read more, click here.

The Saints Sportsfest promises an amazing Easter weekend for all

08 Apr 2017

The Saints Festival started in 1984, when it was only a rugby festival. As such, we are proud to be hosting the oldest school-boy rugby festival in the country, and more so now that it has expanded to include hockey, tennis, squash, basketball, cross country and football, as well as girls' hockey, squash, netball, and cross country, says Dave Knowles, head of St Stithians Boy's College.

To read more, click here

 

 

...

The Saints Festival started in 1984, when it was only a rugby festival. As such, we are proud to be hosting the oldest school-boy rugby festival in the country, and more so now that it has expanded to include hockey, tennis, squash, basketball, cross country and football, as well as girls' hockey, squash, netball, and cross country, says Dave Knowles, head of St Stithians Boy's College.

To read more, click here

 

 

Prepare for increased electricity tariffs

03 Apr 2017

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%.

As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of S...

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%.

As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs.

There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business. SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions.

SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from the South African Revenue Service. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.

Alternatively, businesses can consider financing options from certain service providers. The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 50 kW. Energy Partners’ Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for larger companies. Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses, eliminating the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions.

There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages.

A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients.

Businesses that achieve notable electricity usage decreases also qualify for tariff reductions from their local municipalities. Negotiating for lower tariffs with one’s municipality can become quite a tedious process, but it is possible and potentially beneficial to the business. Employing a service provider to negotiate on the company’s behalf also simplifies this process considerably.

With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend.

 

Send your comments to vector@ee.co.za

 

 

Energy Partners moves to become largest refrigeration solutions provider in South Africa

03 Apr 2017
 

EP HVAC & Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, this week announced the conclusion of three new business transactions, which form part of the company’s vision to provide customers with the lowest heating and cooling life cycle costs.

Being the leading supplier of outsourced refrigeration solutions, EP HVAC & Refrigeration launched its products for the industrial market in 2015 and followed up with a metered solution for the retail sector in 2016. Since then, new energy efficient refrigeration systems, owned and operated by EP HVAC & Refrigeration, have already been installed at four Pick n Pay and Spar supermarkets as well as several plan...

 

EP HVAC & Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and part of the PSG group of companies, this week announced the conclusion of three new business transactions, which form part of the company’s vision to provide customers with the lowest heating and cooling life cycle costs.

Being the leading supplier of outsourced refrigeration solutions, EP HVAC & Refrigeration launched its products for the industrial market in 2015 and followed up with a metered solution for the retail sector in 2016. Since then, new energy efficient refrigeration systems, owned and operated by EP HVAC & Refrigeration, have already been installed at four Pick n Pay and Spar supermarkets as well as several plants in the meat and dairy industrial sector, where the clients only pay a monthly fee linked to their metered refrigeration consumption.  Head of EP HVAC & Refrigeration, Dawie Kriel, stated that providing customers with options such as outsourced refrigeration requires the best installation and maintenance capacity possible.  “To this end, EP HVAC & Refrigeration identified potential partners that also believed in our vision.”

One such company is Johannesburg-based Multistage Cooling, a well-known name in Industrial Refrigeration for the past 20 years, and a company that has quality work at the core of its existence. The two businesses immediately saw the potential of working together and EP HVAC & Refrigeration concluded its acquisition of Multistage Cooling on the 1st of March 2017.

As part of the acquisition agreement with EP HVAC & Refrigeration, Director of Multistage Cooling, Bob Vuletic, will stay on in his current position at the company for the next three years before taking up a more leisurely lifestyle.

Owners Bob and Vanessa Vuletic have been impressed with the qualities Energy Partners bring to Multistage Cooling.  “We believe that this transaction will strengthen the brand and look forward to help EP HVAC & Refrigeration grow Multistage Cooling into a formidable force in the industry.  They have the same dedication to quality through innovation that made Multistage Cooling a leader in the industry,” said Bob Vuletic.

In addition to the Multistage Cooling transaction, Kriel stated that earlier this year, EP HVAC & Refrigeration also acquired a 74% stake in Cape Town based Refrigeration Solutions as well as Fridgetec Services in Gauteng, both service providers in the commercial refrigeration sector. “Energy Partners has worked for the last two years to cement these partnerships, and we are very excited about what we have achieved. This will enable EP HVAC & Refrigeration to offer highly competitive rates for clients and has placed the company in a unique position to offer a full range of services to the commercial and industrial refrigeration market in South Africa”, Kriel said.

The executive management of these three businesses, Bob Vuletic, Toby Campbell and Dawie Kriel, has more than 90 years of experience in the refrigeration industry between them.  Many of the significant firsts in the industry has been the result of the innovative spirit of this group.  “The new partnerships will also allow EP HVAC & Refrigeration to operate more effectively and maintain our assets, making our outsourced refrigeration offering more affordable for a wider range of customers,” Kriel stated.

“We are excited about the new opportunities the Energy Partners metered cooling model and breadth of supply will provide the group’s existing and new clients. We think that there is a niche for this product and service which will be very attractive to many clients and add value to their existing businesses,” Kriel adds.

“Energy Partners is in the long term energy supply market, and we are actively working to grow our market share, as well as the market at large. Through the strategic business transactions that serve to make Energy Partners more competitive, we believe that we are achieving that goal,” Kriel concluded.

 

 

ENERGY PARTNERS EXPAND REFRIGERATION STRONGHOLD

29 Mar 2017

EP HVAC & Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, has announced the conclusion of three new business transactions with the well-known Multistage Cooling, Fridgetec and Refrigeration Services.

Energy Partners is a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and form part of the PSG group of companies. These new transactions form part of the company’s vision to provide customers with the lowest heating and cooling life cycle costs.

Being the leading supplier of outsourced refrigeration solutions, EP HVAC & Refrigeration launched its products for the industrial market in 2015 and followed up with a metered solution for the retail sector in 2016. Since then, new energy efficient refrigeration systems, owned and operated by EP HVAC & Refrigera...

EP HVAC & Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, has announced the conclusion of three new business transactions with the well-known Multistage Cooling, Fridgetec and Refrigeration Services.

Energy Partners is a leading supplier of energy solutions in South Africa and form part of the PSG group of companies. These new transactions form part of the company’s vision to provide customers with the lowest heating and cooling life cycle costs.

Being the leading supplier of outsourced refrigeration solutions, EP HVAC & Refrigeration launched its products for the industrial market in 2015 and followed up with a metered solution for the retail sector in 2016. Since then, new energy efficient refrigeration systems, owned and operated by EP HVAC & Refrigeration, have already been installed at four Pick ‘n Pay and Spar supermarkets as well as several plants in the meat and dairy industrial sector, where the clients only pay a monthly fee linked to their metered refrigeration consumption.

Head of EP HVAC & Refrigeration, Dawie Kriel, says that providing customers with options such as outsourced refrigeration requires the best installation and maintenance capacity possible. “To this end, EP HVAC & Refrigeration identified potential partners that also believe in our vision.”

One such company is Johannesburg-based Multistage Cooling, a well-known name in Industrial Refrigeration for the past 20 years, and a company that has quality work at the core of its existence. The two businesses immediately saw the potential of working together and EP HVAC & Refrigeration concluded its acquisition of Multistage Cooling on 1 March 2017.

As part of the acquisition agreement with EP HVAC & Refrigeration, Director of Multistage Cooling, Bob Vuletic, will stay on in his current position at the company for the next three years before taking up a more leisurely lifestyle.

Owners Bob and Vanessa Vuletic have been impressed with the qualities Energy Partners bring to Multistage Cooling. “We believe that this transaction will strengthen the brand and look forward to help EP HVAC & Refrigeration grow Multistage Cooling into a formidable force in the industry. They have the same dedication to quality through innovation that made Multistage Cooling a leader in the industry,” says Bob Vuletic.

In addition to the Multistage Cooling transaction, Kriel stated that earlier this year, EP HVAC & Refrigeration also acquired a 74% stake in Cape Town based Refrigeration Solutions as well as Fridgetec Services in Gauteng, both service providers in the commercial refrigeration sector. “Energy Partners has worked for the last two years to cement these partnerships, and we are very excited about what we have achieved. This will enable EP HVAC & Refrigeration to offer highly competitive rates for clients and has placed the company in a unique position to offer a full range of services to the commercial and industrial refrigeration market in South Africa,” Kriel says.

The executive management of these three businesses, Bob Vuletic, Toby Campbell and Dawie Kriel, has more than 90 years of experience in the refrigeration industry between them. Many of the significant firsts in the industry has been the result of the innovative spirit of this group. “The new partnerships will also allow EP HVAC & Refrigeration to operate more effectively and maintain our assets, making our outsourced refrigeration offering more affordable for a wider range of customers,” Kriel states.

“We are excited about the new opportunities the Energy Partners metered cooling model and breadth of supply will provide the group’s existing and new clients. We think that there is a niche for this product and service which will be very attractive to many clients and add value to their existing businesses,” Kriel adds.

“Energy Partners is in the long-term energy supply market, and we are actively working to grow our market share, as well as the market at large. Through the strategic business transactions that serve to make Energy Partners more competitive, we believe that we are achieving that goal,” Kriel concludes.

Who’s doing what in the M&A space?

17 Mar 2017

JSE-listed companies

Indluplace Properties has concluded an agreement to acquire Diluculo Properties from Diluculo Investments for R475 million. Diluculo owns a portfolio of 1 319 residential units with 2 147 sqm of associated retail situated primarily in Gauteng.  M FiTEC International has entered into agreements to acquire 87.01% stake in WIZZIT, a pioneer of cellphone banking for initial purchase consideration of R104.4 million; Magix a company specialising in cyber security for an initial R12.5 million and; Finteq Group, which develops and implements payment solutions for the financial services industry, for an initial purchase consideration of R60 million. M FiTEC will on sell a 30% stake in Finteq to BEE partner Nonuq Empowerment Partn...

JSE-listed companies

  • Indluplace Properties has concluded an agreement to acquire Diluculo Properties from Diluculo Investments for R475 million. Diluculo owns a portfolio of 1 319 residential units with 2 147 sqm of associated retail situated primarily in Gauteng. 
  • M FiTEC International has entered into agreements to acquire 87.01% stake in WIZZIT, a pioneer of cellphone banking for initial purchase consideration of R104.4 million; Magix a company specialising in cyber security for an initial R12.5 million and; Finteq Group, which develops and implements payment solutions for the financial services industry, for an initial purchase consideration of R60 million. M FiTEC will on sell a 30% stake in Finteq to BEE partner Nonuq Empowerment Partners for R7.2 million.
  • ADvTECH has acquired Elkanah House Schools in the Western Cape. The company’s schools division now comprises 90 schools serving some 27 000 pupils. The value of the transaction was undisclosed. 
  • Resilient REIT and Greenbay Properties have acquired Forum Coimbra and Forum Viseu, shopping malls in Portugal, from RPPSE Holdings BV on a 50:50 shareholding basis for a cash consideration €219.25 million (R3 billion). 
  • Niveus Investments, Tsogo Sun and Hosken Consolidated Investments have restructured a deal previously announced in December last year to give Niveus shareholders the opportunity to separately retain, dispose of or increase their interest in the gaming business without affecting their current interest in the other assets held by Niveus. 
  • Sasfin has concluded a binding offer with ABSA Technology Finance Solutions to acquire its entire loan book. In addition to acquiring the loan book, Sasfin will take on ATFS’ staff and acquire ATFS’ information technology systems related to the management of the loan book.
  • Trevali Mining, the Canadian base metals producer, has acquired from Glencore, a portfolio of zinc assets including an 80% interest in the Rosh Pinah mine in Namibia, a 90% interest in the Perkoa mine in Burkina Faso and an effective 39% stake in the Gergarub project in Namibia with an option to acquire a 100% interest in the Heath Steele property in Canada and certain related exploration properties and assets. The aggregate purchase price paid to Glencore is $400 million (R5.2 billion). 
  • PSG subsidiary energy supplier Energy Partners has acquired Dryden combustion for an undisclosed sum. Dryden is a refurbished coal, oil and gas fired packaged steam boiler suppler. 
  • Echo Polska Properties has acquired an effective 70% stake in Galeria Mlociny Shopping Centre via its acquisition of a 70% stake in Rosehill Investments. The deal with Powell Real Estate International, Elsoria Trading, Terbanacle and Terbanacle Investments was valued at €9 million (R126 million). 
  • Labat Africa has announced that its acquisition of a 51% stake in Ormin, reported in January has failed. Information required to complete the due diligence process was not furnished within the required time frame. 
  • Freedom Property Fund has disposed of a property in Gonubie, East London to Struwig Project Managing CC for a total consideration of R13,6 million.

Unlisted companies

  • African Rainbow Capital has entered into a joint venture arrangement with the Buffet KLT Consortium which will focus on empowerment linked property transactions. The joint venture, ARC Real Estate, will provide capital and services to property entrepreneurs and corporates which own real estate. 
  • Consilium Capital Partners, a 100% black-owned company, has announced the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in Consilium Capital SA in a self-funded deal. 
  • Dormakaba South Africa has acquired AWM360 Data Systems, the supplier of Kaba Workforce Management and Access Control Solutions. The value of the transaction was undisclosed. 

… and in Africa

  • ExxonMobil and Eni have signed an agreement by which ExxonMobil will acquire from Eni a 25% indirect interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 block, offshore Mozambique. Eni currently holds a 50% indirect share in the block through a 71.4% stake in Eni East Africa which owns 70% of the Area 4 concession. The agreed terms include a cash price of $2.8 billion. 
  • Australian uranium developer Bannerman Resources has entered a subscription agreement with Namibian company One Economy Foundation to become a 5% loan-carried shareholder in the Etango Project, a significant driver for positive development in the Namibian economy.  
  • SGG Group, a European leader in investor services, has acquired Cim Global Business, a Mauritius-based provider of corporate, trust and fund administration services with offices also in SA and Singapore. 
  • Africa Finance Corporation, a pan-African multilateral development finance institution and project developer, is to invest $25 million in Egyptian petrochemicals company Carbon Holdings. 
  • Sahel Capital, fund managers for the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria and Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers, a Nigerian Private Equity Fund Manager, have executed an investment in Crest Agro Products, an integrated cassava processor in Nigeria.
  • Godrej Consumer Products, the Indian FMCG firm, is to acquire the remaining 49% stake in African hair and skin care firm Weave Senegal in an all cash deal. Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed. 
  • The Direct Pay Online Group has announced the 100% acquisition of the Botswana and Namibia operations of Virtual Card Services. 
  • CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and IFC, a member of the World Bank, will invest $35 million in Africa Logistics Properties (ALP), a developer and manager of modern grade-A warehousing. The funds will be used for developments in Nairobi, Kenya.  

 DealMakers is SA’s M&A publication.

Energy Partners acquires Dryden Combustion

13 Mar 2017

Cape Town - Energy supplier Energy Partners has acquired Dryden Combustion for an undisclosed amount.

The company, which is part of the PSG group, announced last week that it had bought refurbished coal, oil and gas fired packaged steam boiler suppliers from Dryden.

The acquisition will see Jonathan Probert, the current national sales manager for steam and combustion at Energy Partners, taking the reins as Dryden chief executive with company Gordon Slater and Sue Kiley remaining with the business until the end of this year.

Probert said both the companies were excited about the prospects for future growth and development the deal brought into play.

“It is a major step forward in terms of the opportunities it opens up to expand the scope of both compani...

Cape Town - Energy supplier Energy Partners has acquired Dryden Combustion for an undisclosed amount.

The company, which is part of the PSG group, announced last week that it had bought refurbished coal, oil and gas fired packaged steam boiler suppliers from Dryden.

The acquisition will see Jonathan Probert, the current national sales manager for steam and combustion at Energy Partners, taking the reins as Dryden chief executive with company Gordon Slater and Sue Kiley remaining with the business until the end of this year.

Probert said both the companies were excited about the prospects for future growth and development the deal brought into play.

“It is a major step forward in terms of the opportunities it opens up to expand the scope of both companies’ operations, including better penetration into their respective markets, improving efficiencies of both outsourced and user-owned boilers and ancillary equipment and achieving meaningful operating cost savings to the benefit of customers,” Probert said.

Energy Partners is subsidiary PSG group - an investment holding company consisting of underlying investment that operate across industries including financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education.

Other PSG subsidiaries include Impak, Curro and Capitec.

Probert said the acquisition would fall within Energy Partners steam and combustion division.

The division focuses on the supply of steam energy, boiler control and the optimisation of systems.

He said the sale, which took place in January, would enable Energy Partners, to provide the full spectrum of services and equipment to users of steam in industry in Southern Africa and beyond and facilitate a one-stop-shop experience for customers.

Probert added that the deal would also provide a strong foundation for developing new products and services to better cater to the diverse requirements of the market.

“The acquisition enables Energy Partners to extend its reach, bringing substantial value-added benefits to more customers with world class boiler repair and refurbishment capabilities, as well as an array of high-efficiency steam controls and energy optimisation systems.

“We estimate that less than 10 percent of steam users in our market, encompassing industrial, commercial and service organisations, have adopted outsourcing solutions to date.

“Steam users who convert to outsourcing as provided by Energy Partners stand to gain higher production efficiencies regardless of how sophisticated their existing boiler plant is as operated by them in-house,” Probert said.

Energy Partners acquires Dryden Combustion

13 Mar 2017
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Energy Partners acquires Dryden Combustion

13 Mar 2017

Click here to read the article

 

 

...

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Energy Partners acquires Dryden Combustion

13 Mar 2017

Energy supplier Energy Partners has acquired Dryden Combustion for an undisclosed amount.

To read more, click here.

 

 

...

Energy supplier Energy Partners has acquired Dryden Combustion for an undisclosed amount.

To read more, click here.

 

 

Energy Partners acquires Dryden Combustion

13 Mar 2017

Click here to read the article

 

 

...

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Company opens regional office

08 Mar 2017

Energy Partners Home Solutions recently introduced its newly established Gauteng Division at the 2017 Homemakers Expo in Johannesburg. The company was launched in Cape Town last year and has a proven record of reducing electricity costs for homeowners. It has fast become one of the leading residential and small commercial energy solutions company in the greater Western Cape, and has already started installation at a few houses in the Gauteng area. The company provides a full range of solar and energy saving solutions for the consumer market, including the Energy Partners Home Solutions ICON system, which incorporates energy efficiency, renewable generation and backup solutions to reduce a home’s reliance on the grid by more than 50% and often UP to 90%. South Africa is o...

Energy Partners Home Solutions recently introduced its newly established Gauteng Division at the 2017 Homemakers Expo in Johannesburg. The company was launched in Cape Town last year and has a proven record of reducing electricity costs for homeowners. It has fast become one of the leading residential and small commercial energy solutions company in the greater Western Cape, and has already started installation at a few houses in the Gauteng area. The company provides a full range of solar and energy saving solutions for the consumer market, including the Energy Partners Home Solutions ICON system, which incorporates energy efficiency, renewable generation and backup solutions to reduce a home’s reliance on the grid by more than 50% and often UP to 90%. South Africa is one of the countries with the highest potential for solar energy generation in the world, with approximately 2500 hours of sunshine per year. Yet there is still a relatively small percentage of the country’s residents who are actually taking advantage of this low-cost alternative. In addition to their range of products and solutions, the company  also offers various funding options for homeowners looking to reduce their energy spend.

Contact  Cala van der Westhuizen, Energy Partners, Tel 021 941-5140, calav@energypartners.co.za

Going 50% off-grid may be the answer

01 Mar 2017

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...

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Energy savings help businesses

01 Mar 2017

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...

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Businesses urged to find alternative energy sources

14 Feb 2017

Current infrastructure investments at Eskom are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future. Alan Matthews, Head of Energy Partners Home Solutions, says business owners will have to find other sources of energies.

...

Current infrastructure investments at Eskom are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future. Alan Matthews, Head of Energy Partners Home Solutions, says business owners will have to find other sources of energies.

The cost of electricity to correct the top

14 Feb 2017

KULINDELEKE ukuthi izindleko zikagesi zenyuke kule minyaka emihlanu ezayo, okusho ukuthi osomabhizinisi kufanele bacabange izindlela ezintsha zokonga ugesi ezinkampanini zabo.

Lezi zindaba zivele ocwaningweni lwe-Energy Partners okuyinkampani ebheka izindaba zikagesi eNingizimu Afrika.

UNkk Mila Loubser oyiHead of Engineering Intellingence kwa-Energy Partners uthe njengoba inkampani ephehla ugesi itshale imali eningi ithuthukisa ingqalazinda uzozenyusa izindleko zikagesi.

“Ucwaningo lukhomba ukuthi kusukela ngo-2008 ugesi ubunyuka ngo-300% ikakhulukazi loyo okhokhelwa ngamabhizinisi kwazise njalo ngonyaka * -Eskom ubufuna ukuwunyusa ngo-6% kuya ku-8%. Silindele ukuthi uNgqongqoshe wezeziMali uMnuz Pravin Gordhan anyuse intela yesisi esigcolisa umoya i-carbo...

KULINDELEKE ukuthi izindleko zikagesi zenyuke kule minyaka emihlanu ezayo, okusho ukuthi osomabhizinisi kufanele bacabange izindlela ezintsha zokonga ugesi ezinkampanini zabo.

Lezi zindaba zivele ocwaningweni lwe-Energy Partners okuyinkampani ebheka izindaba zikagesi eNingizimu Afrika.

UNkk Mila Loubser oyiHead of Engineering Intellingence kwa-Energy Partners uthe njengoba inkampani ephehla ugesi itshale imali eningi ithuthukisa ingqalazinda uzozenyusa izindleko zikagesi.

“Ucwaningo lukhomba ukuthi kusukela ngo-2008 ugesi ubunyuka ngo-300% ikakhulukazi loyo okhokhelwa ngamabhizinisi kwazise njalo ngonyaka * -Eskom ubufuna ukuwunyusa ngo-6% kuya ku-8%. Silindele ukuthi uNgqongqoshe wezeziMali uMnuz Pravin Gordhan anyuse intela yesisi esigcolisa umoya i-carbon tax ngo-13% okusho ukuthi nabakwa-Eskom bazodlulisela izindleko kosomabhizinisi nabo bonke abasebenzisa ugesi wale nkampani,” kusho uNkk Loubser.

Uthe osomabhizinisi abancane kufanele baqale manje batshale imali kwezinye izinhlobo zamandla abalule kuzo ilanga, amanzi nomoya.

“Osomabhizinisi kufanele basebenzise ugesi ohlanzekile welanga, owomoya nophehlwa emanzini ngoba awunazo izindleko eziphezulu. Lokhu kuzokwenza ukuthi noma i-Eskom enyusa ugesi bangashayeki osomabhizinisi abancane,” kusho uNkk Loubser.

UNksz Cala van der Westhuizen okhulumela i-Energy Partners Home Solutions uthe osomabhizinisi abancane kufanele bakhumbule ukuthi uhulumeni unezinhlelo zokubanika isaphulelo uma besebenzisa ugesi ohlanzekile.

Uveze ukuthi namabhange anoxhaso alukhiphayo olwenzelwe osomabhizinisi abasebenzisa ugesi ohlanzekile.

Uthe ucwaningo lwakwa-Energy Partners olwenziwe emabhizinisi amancane luveza ukuthi ukusebenzisa ugesi welanga kwehlisa izindleko ngo-30% ongasetshenziswa ukwenza ezinye izidingo.

Solar energy generation exceeds expectations in 2016

14 Feb 2017

Western Cape-based consumers and businesses with solar installations have seen a substantial surge in their energy production in the past year, further reducing reliance on the national grid, as well as their energy costs.

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, solar production in the Western Cape exceeded expectations by as much as 10% during December 2016.

"Solar PV systems are typically designed using 20-year averages for irradiation (a measure of sunshine intensity), but individual years can often fluctuate by several percentage points from that average. Solar PV systems produce the most energy on clear, cloudless days and this December had 29 virtually cloud-free days over much of the province," Van der Westh...

Western Cape-based consumers and businesses with solar installations have seen a substantial surge in their energy production in the past year, further reducing reliance on the national grid, as well as their energy costs.

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, solar production in the Western Cape exceeded expectations by as much as 10% during December 2016.

"Solar PV systems are typically designed using 20-year averages for irradiation (a measure of sunshine intensity), but individual years can often fluctuate by several percentage points from that average. Solar PV systems produce the most energy on clear, cloudless days and this December had 29 virtually cloud-free days over much of the province," Van der Westhuizen explains.

According to Van der Westhuizen, Energy Partners Home Solutions has over 40 solar home energy systems installed in and around Cape Town, all of which produced between 7% and 11% more energy than was expected for the month of December.

Taking into account that a well-designed home solar energy solution can cut a household's electricity bill by as much as 70% on average, it is clear that the increase in solar production equated to big savings.

The below graph indicates how much energy the Energy Partners Home Solutions systems were projected to produce on average and by how much they exceeded expectations.

Solar users see surge in their solar production

06 Feb 2017

Western Cape-based consumers and businesses in the Western Cape with solar installations have seen a substantial surge in their energy production in the past year, further reducing reliance on the national grid, as well as their energy costs. 

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, solar production in the Western Cape exceeded expectations by as much as 10% during December 2016.

“Solar PV systems are typically designed using 20-year averages for irradiation (a measure of sunshine intensity), but individual years can often fluctuate by several percentage points from that average. Solar PV systems produce the most energy on clear, cloudless days and this December had 29 virtually cloud-free days over much of the pr...

Western Cape-based consumers and businesses in the Western Cape with solar installations have seen a substantial surge in their energy production in the past year, further reducing reliance on the national grid, as well as their energy costs. 

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, solar production in the Western Cape exceeded expectations by as much as 10% during December 2016.

“Solar PV systems are typically designed using 20-year averages for irradiation (a measure of sunshine intensity), but individual years can often fluctuate by several percentage points from that average. Solar PV systems produce the most energy on clear, cloudless days and this December had 29 virtually cloud-free days over much of the province,” Van der Westhuizen explains.

According to Van der Westhuizen, Energy Partners Home Solutions has over 40 solar home energy systems installed in and around Cape Town, all of which produced between 7% and 11% more energy than was expected for the month of December.

Taking into account that a well-designed home solar energy solution can cut a household’s electricity bill by as much as 70% on average, it is clear that the increase in solar production equated to big savings.

The below graph indicates how much energy the Energy Partners Home Solutions systems were projected to produce on average and by how much they exceeded expectations.

 

SMES TO PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR INCREASED ELECTRICITY TARIFFS

06 Feb 2017
South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy. The large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.  Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%.  This trend will have the largest impact on small and ...
South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.
The large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future. 

Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%. 

This trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business.

SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions. SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.

There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages. 

A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients.

Consequently, businesses that achieve notable electricity usage decreases also qualify for tariff reductions from their local municipalities. Negotiating for lower tariffs with one’s municipality can become quite a tedious process, but it is possible and potentially beneficial to the business. Employing a service provider to negotiate on the company’s behalf also simplifies this process considerably. 

Reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs. With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend. 

Mila Loubser is the Head of Engineering Intelligence and Cala van der Westhuizen is the Spokesperson at Energy Partners.

 

SMEs to prepare for increased electricity tariffs

31 Jan 2017

Reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

“Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%...

Reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

“Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%,” Loubser says.

According to Loubser, this trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Reduce the impact of power costs and supply

“As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business.”

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, notes that SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions. “SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.”

Alternatively, Van der Westhuizen notes that businesses can also consider financing options from certain service providers. "The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 50kW. Energy Partners’ Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for larger companies. Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses, eliminating the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions,” he adds.

There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

“A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients.”

Consequently, Loubser notes that businesses that achieve notable electricity usage decreases also qualify for tariff reductions from their local municipalities. “Negotiating for lower tariffs with one’s municipality can become quite a tedious process, but it is possible and potentially beneficial to the business. Employing a service provider to negotiate on the company’s behalf also simplifies this process considerably,” she adds.

Van der Westhuizen points out that reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs. “With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend,” Van der Westhuizen concludes.

Enquiries: Visit www.energypartners.co.za

Increased electricity tariffs - Smes to prepare themselves for increased electricity tariffs

30 Jan 2017

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

"Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also wa...

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

"Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%," Loubser says.

According to Loubser, this trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business."

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, notes that SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions. "SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions."

Alternatively, Van der Westhuizen notes that businesses can also consider financing options from certain service providers. "The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 50kW. Energy Partners' Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for larger companies. Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses, eliminating the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions," he adds.

There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

"A full solar solution can reduce the average SME's electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients."

Consequently, Loubser notes that businesses that achieve notable electricity usage decreases also qualify for tariff reductions from their local municipalities. "Negotiating for lower tariffs with one's municipality can become quite a tedious process, but it is possible and potentially beneficial to the business. Employing a service provider to negotiate on the company's behalf also simplifies this process considerably," she adds.

Van der Westhuizen points out that reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs. "With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend," Van der Westhuizen concludes.

SMEs must prepare for increased electricity tariffs - expert

30 Jan 2017

Cape Town - The next eight years will likely see an above-inflation year-on-year electricity tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%, according to Mila Loubser, head of Engineering Intelligence, a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners.   The large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future. This will make it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy, in her view.   Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%, her research shows.

"In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If t...

Cape Town - The next eight years will likely see an above-inflation year-on-year electricity tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%, according to Mila Loubser, head of Engineering Intelligence, a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners.
 
The large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future. This will make it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy, in her view.
 
Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%, her research shows.

"In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%,” says Loubser.

This trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are, however, opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business,” she adds.

Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, notes that SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions.

“SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions,” she says.

Alternatively, Van der Westhuizen notes that businesses can also consider financing options from certain service providers. There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

“A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients,” she says.

“With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend.”

SMEs to prepare themselves for increased electricity tariffs

29 Jan 2017
27 January 2017: South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

“Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also wa...

27 January 2017: South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

“Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%,” Loubser says.

According to Loubser, this trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business.”

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, notes that SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions. “SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.”

Alternatively, Van der Westhuizen notes that businesses can also consider financing options from certain service providers. “The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 50kW. Energy Partners’ Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for larger companies. Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses, eliminating the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions,” he adds.

There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

“A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients.”

Consequently, Loubser notes that businesses that achieve notable electricity usage decreases also qualify for tariff reductions from their local municipalities. “Negotiating for lower tariffs with one’s municipality can become quite a tedious process, but it is possible and potentially beneficial to the business. Employing a service provider to negotiate on the company’s behalf also simplifies this process considerably,” she adds.

Van der Westhuizen points out that reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs. “With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend,” Van der Westhuizen concludes.

About Energy Partners Home Solutions

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide.

For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit www.energypartners.co.za

 

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

 

Acquisition boosts prospects for top steam and boiler suppliers

27 Jan 2017

Two reputable and successful South African companies operating in the local industrialand commercial steam power market have joined forces to work together growing their businesses to better serve the market’s needs.

Cape Town-based Energy Partners – Steam & Combustion, a member of the listed PSG Group, has acquired 100% ownership of Alberton-based Dryden Combustion with effect from January 3, 2017.

The companies will continue to operate separately but aim to take full advantage of the close synergies that exist between them to expand and develop their respective businesses.

Together they provide the full spectrum of services and equipment to users of steam in industry in&n...

Two reputable and successful South African companies operating in the local industrialand commercial steam power market have joined forces to work together growing their businesses to better serve the market’s needs.

Cape Town-based Energy Partners – Steam & Combustion, a member of the listed PSG Group, has acquired 100% ownership of Alberton-based Dryden Combustion with effect from January 3, 2017.

The companies will continue to operate separately but aim to take full advantage of the close synergies that exist between them to expand and develop their respective businesses.

Together they provide the full spectrum of services and equipment to users of steam in industry in Southern Africaand beyond, making the combined group a one-stop-shop for clients. 

Energy Partners is a leading supplier of steam energy, combined with boiler control & optimisation systems, while Dryden Combustion is the largest supplier in the region of refurbished coaloil and gas-fired packaged steam boilers. Dryden also supplies new steam and hot water boilers and offers a comprehensive range of oil and gas burners, combined with service &
spares backup for all equipment supplied by them.

“We are very excited about the prospects for future growth and development that this deal brings into play,” said Jonathan Probert, newly-appointed CEO of DrydenCombustion, formerly National Sales Manager – Steam & Combustion for Energy Partners. 

“It is a major step forward in terms of the opportunities it opens up to expand the scope of both companies’ operations,
including better penetration into their respective markets, improving efficiencies of both outsourced and user-owned
boilers and ancillary equipment and achieving meaningful operating cost savings to the benefit of customers,” he stated. 

“It also provides a strong foundation for developing new products and services to better cater to the diverse requirements of the market.”

Outlining the principal benefits both companies stand to gain by joining forces as a result of the acquisition, Probert said that Dryden Combustion’s extensive presence on the ground and close contact with steam-users it serves throughout the region will greatly assist Energy Partners in enabling it to extend its own customer base.

“Due to Dryden’s ongoing provision of after-sales servicesupport and spares to its numerous customers in many sectors, it keeps constantly in touch with developments as they arise, including plans by customers to expand their steam capacity, what boilers are for sale or due to be replaced, and what businesses wish to have their steam outsourced – the main focus of Energy Partners’ business – or wish to operate their own boilers in-house, which is the market Dryden itself caters to.

“The information that is brought to light through the extensive network of contacts Dryden has built up in this way over many years is an invaluable resource that EnergyPartners is keen to make use of to extent its own customer base in the industry,” Probert explained.

The other major benefit now available to Energy Partners is Dryden’s existing boiler repair and refurbishment capabilities.

Dryden has a well-equipped facility for the repair and refurbishment of the boilers it purchases and re-sells into the market.

“Until now Energy Partners has outsourced this work in respect of the boilers it owns and operates in its steam outsourcing business. By making use of Dryden’s facility for the bulk of the repair, refurbishment and maintenance work required on its boilers, the company stands to achieve substantial cost and time savings to the benefit of its customers,” he commented.

Significant benefits are also in the offing for Dryden as a result of the acquisition, the primary one being the additional financial muscle it gains through becoming part of the listed PSG Group stable.

“This means access to additional capital for expansion of its operations when required, in contrast to its previously relatively limited access to capital as a privately-owned entity.”

Another major benefit to Dryden is Energy Partners’ impressive array of high-efficiency steam controls and energyoptimisation systems. “These represent a vital component in Energy Partners’ steam outsourcing business, being a major factor in its success in this highly competitive field. Now Dryden is in a position to offer the same value-added benefits to its customers,” Probert concluded.

Energy Partners, founded in 2008, is a multi-divisional energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions to suit their needs. EnergyPartners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: foodretailretail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics.

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agricultureand educationPSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn; group companies include Energy Partners, ImpakCurro and Capitec.

Outsourcing offers steam users optimal efficiency
Energy Partners has made good progress to date persuading industrial and other steam users to adopt an outsourced solution in place of the traditional system of in-house managed and operated steam.

“In recent years, Energy Partners has been gathering momentum in its ongoing drive towards changing the traditional pattern of steam production management. We have been helped in this through the accumulation of sites, where we can demonstrate the success of the concept to potential new customers.

“By showing our successes to would-be customers, including allowing them the opportunity to confirm directly with our existing customers that outsourcing is effective and yields significant benefits, we provide them with the motivation they need to make the switch,” he explained.

Assured reliability
“Boiler users are understandably reluctant to hand over such a key production process to a third party. They need to be assured that the entity that takes over this responsibility knows exactly what it’s doing and will
operate it reliably,” he adds.

Currently, the local market for steam outsourcing remains largely untapped. “We estimate that less than 10% of steam users in our market, encompassing industrial, commercial and service organisations, have adopted outsourcing solutions to date,” Probert points out.

In providing outsourcing packages to clients, Energy Partners purchases, supplies and installs the boiler plant – or alternatively purchases and takes over ownership of existing plant – and manages and operates it.

“The rationale behind the concept is, firstly, to free the client company of this responsibility to enable it to focus on its core business, and secondly, to ensure that the boiler plantoperates optimally in all respects – at the highest possible production efficiency and lowest cost,” explains Jean le Roux, former COO of Energy Partners – Steam & Combustion and now COO of Dryden Combustion post the acquisition deal.

“Steam users who convert to outsourcing as provided by Energy Partners stand to gain higher production efficiencies regardless of how sophisticated their existing boiler plant is as operated by them in-house,” he says.

Cost savings
“While cost savings from adopting outsourcing vary considerably depending on the level of efficiency of the production and control equipment already in place, all users may expect to reap cost-saving benefits by outsourcing the operation and maintenance of their boiler plant to EnergyPartners.”

The company deploys a high-quality programmable logic controller (PLC) based digital system to control and monitor all the outsourced steam sites it manages and operates on behalf of its clients. The system incorporates a real time monitoring system to ensure sustained operational efficiencyof the boiler plant at all times.

The monitoring system, developed by Energy Partners’ own team of specialist engineers, is one of the main tools in the company’s technologically advanced digital control armoury that gives it a competitive edge in the steam outsourcing market.

“Our monitoring system is offered as an optional add-on to our production control system, but the majority of our clients
accept it as part of their outsourcing package as they recognise the key role it plays in ensuring continuity of optimal performance and reliability of the plant over time,” Le Roux comments.

Further benefits
Other noteworthy benefits offered to boiler users through outsourcing as provided by Energy Partners include: 

  • The outsourcing contract is a comprehensive deal whereby Energy Partners takes full responsibility for all aspects of management, operation and maintenance of the boiler plant, including fuel procurement, waste removal, water treatment and all the applicable regulatory requirements.
  • The client pays only for steam used on a rands-per-tonne basis, while Energy Partners carries all costs relating to the running and maintenance of the plant at optimal efficiency, including those for technological upgrades required from time to time.
  • As part of each outsourcing contract, Energy Partners is committed to paying penalties in the event of interruption of steam supply (in excess of mutually agreed limits) that result in production losses to the client.

SMEs to prepare themselves for increased electricity tariffs

27 Jan 2017
27 January 2017: South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

“Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are al...

27 January 2017: South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for business owners to consider alternative sources of energy.

This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Engineering Intelligence a division that does forecasting, modelling and monitoring in the energy sector for Energy Partners. She adds that the large investments Eskom is currently making in infrastructure are likely to affect energy tariffs in the near future.

“Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%. In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%,” Loubser says.

According to Loubser, this trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business.”

Cala van der Westhuizen, Spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, notes that SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions. “SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar and other renewable energy solutions back from SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.”

Alternatively, Van der Westhuizen notes that businesses can also consider financing options from certain service providers. “The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 50kW. Energy Partners’ Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for larger companies. Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses, eliminating the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions,” he adds.

There are a number of benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

“A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have also resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients.”

Consequently, Loubser notes that businesses that achieve notable electricity usage decreases also qualify for tariff reductions from their local municipalities. “Negotiating for lower tariffs with one’s municipality can become quite a tedious process, but it is possible and potentially beneficial to the business. Employing a service provider to negotiate on the company’s behalf also simplifies this process considerably,” she adds.

Van der Westhuizen points out that reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs. “With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend,” Van der Westhuizen concludes.

About Energy Partners Home Solutions

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide.

 

For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za

 

Medupi power station ready to go

23 Dec 2016

Dark days for South Africa’s economy are finally over as the second unit (Unit 5) of Eskom’s new power station, Medupi, will be fully operational tomorrow when it generates 796MW into the grid, suggesting that the local economy is more than ready for next year.

The power utility said this week that Medupi is now closer to commercial operation on Saturday and this is a significant achievement since its successful synchronisation in September. This will particularly boost heavy industries and small businesses, which were hit hard by load shedding in the past two years, leading to an economic slowdown. Analysts said this is good news for such a major boost before the start of the new year, and that going forward the country can expect manufacturing and mining output to ...

Dark days for South Africa’s economy are finally over as the second unit (Unit 5) of Eskom’s new power station, Medupi, will be fully operational tomorrow when it generates 796MW into the grid, suggesting that the local economy is more than ready for next year.

The power utility said this week that Medupi is now closer to commercial operation on Saturday and this is a significant achievement since its successful synchronisation in September. This will particularly boost heavy industries and small businesses, which were hit hard by load shedding in the past two years, leading to an economic slowdown. Analysts said this is good news for such a major boost before the start of the new year, and that going forward the country can expect manufacturing and mining output to increase after suffering heavy losses in the last two years.

In August, Eskom marked exactly one year of no load shedding and it said that it was largely due to the rigorous plant maintenance programme executed over the past 12 months. “Full load indicated the plant’s ability to meet design output after commissioning. It is a major milestone in the process of optimisation of the unit en route to commercial operation. “We believe that power from this unit will go a long way in strengthening the power supply to the country,” Matshela Koko, Eskom’s acting CEO said.

Medupi is a greenfield coal-fired dry-cooled base load station comprising six units rated at 4 800MW installed capacity and it will be the fourth-largest coal-fired plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world. Some industry analysts said given the latest improved business leading indicator published by the Reserve Bank this week, which showed economic improvement for the next six months, the synchronisation of 796MW into the grid will boost the country’s energy and ignite the economy.

Phanuel Rapule, an independent economist, said it was evident that SA was becoming more energy efficient and there is no doubt that the local economic growth will somehow improve and consumer confidence will be restored. “Power is the key economic driver anywhere in the world. That means the dark days are over, our local energy problems are vastly disappearing and this could be the start of good things to come,” he said. The South African Chamber of Business (Sacci) also welcomed the move and that business had been proactive in seeking solutions to the energy crisis.

The chamber said in terms of energy policy, South Africa urgently requires additional electricity providers in order to take pressure off Eskom. Meanwhile, South Africans who are going on holiday this festive season have been urged to switch off their appliances so they don’t accumulate unnecessary costs on their monthly electricity bill as a result of lights and appliances that continue to draw power, even while the home is unoccupied.

Alan Matthews, spokesperson for Energy Partners, said electricity costs are still on the rise and Energy Partners’ research said there will be above inflation increases in tariffs for at least the next three years. “Consumers must make sure they switch off their appliances while they are away.

Keep in mind that a traditional geyser is responsible for up to 50% of the home’s monthly electricity consumption. “Even when there is no one at home to use hot water, the geyser uses a considerable amount of energy to maintain the water temperature,” he said.

-Thelma Ngoma|thelman@thenewage.co.za 

SA can save on electricity bill by switching off electrical appliances

22 Dec 2016

According to Energy Partners and energy solutions providing South Africa. Holiday markers can save money on electricity bills by switching all electrical appliances when leaving the house. Consumers must not change their mindset only for the festive season but also for the future as South Africans should brace themselves for a possible inflation increase in electricity tariffs in the next three years. Int: Spokesperson : Energy Partners : Alan Matthews

 

...

According to Energy Partners and energy solutions providing South Africa. Holiday markers can save money on electricity bills by switching all electrical appliances when leaving the house. Consumers must not change their mindset only for the festive season but also for the future as South Africans should brace themselves for a possible inflation increase in electricity tariffs in the next three years. Int: Spokesperson : Energy Partners : Alan Matthews

 

Top tips to avoid unnecessary electricity bills this holiday

21 Dec 2016

Many South Africans going on holiday this festive season will continue to accumulate unnecessary costs on their monthly electricity bill as a result of lights and appliances that continue to draw power, even while the home is unoccupied.

This according to Alan Matthews, Spokesperson for Energy Partners, who states that there are both quick and longer-term energy saving solutions that homeowners need to seriously consider before departing for the holidays. “Electricity costs are still on the rise, and Energy Partners’ research indicates that there will be above inflation increases in tariffs for at least the next three years. With that in mind, homeowners should start to adopt an energy saving mind-set at every available opportunity,” he says.

The f...

Many South Africans going on holiday this festive season will continue to accumulate unnecessary costs on their monthly electricity bill as a result of lights and appliances that continue to draw power, even while the home is unoccupied.

This according to Alan Matthews, Spokesperson for Energy Partners, who states that there are both quick and longer-term energy saving solutions that homeowners need to seriously consider before departing for the holidays. “Electricity costs are still on the rise, and Energy Partners’ research indicates that there will be above inflation increases in tariffs for at least the next three years. With that in mind, homeowners should start to adopt an energy saving mind-set at every available opportunity,” he says.

The first step, according to Matthews, should be to switch off the geyser for the duration of the time spent away from home. “Keep in mind that a traditional geyser is responsible for up to 50% of the home’s monthly electricity consumption. Even when there is no-one at home to use hot water, the geyser uses a considerable amount of energy to maintain the water temperature.

“If it is necessary to keep the geyser on while away, reduce its maximum temperature to 60ᵒC or below. It is also possible to install a timer to manage the geyser’s electricity use, and covering the geyser with insulation to reduce heat loss is a good idea,” he adds.

Next, Matthews says that homeowners should ensure that all ‘phantom energy users’ are unplugged. “TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and various other electronics use energy even when not turned on. While each item may only draw a very small amount of power, consider how many appliances are plugged in at your home right now. All of the wasted energy adds up,” he says.

According to Matthews, there is also an opportunity to save energy outside the home by setting the pool pump to run for a shorter period each day. “Homeowners can use their own discretion, but most of the time, there is room for improvement in this regard.”

He adds that homeowners should also use this time to consider options that will save energy and reduce electricity costs throughout the year. “If you have not done so already, something to consider for 2017 is the installation of heat pumps. Heat pumps have the potential to provide hot water at the same temperature while utilising up to 70% less electricity than a regular geyser. Used in conjunction with a solar heating solution, this has the potential to drastically reduce total electricity spend.”

According to Matthews, the initial cost of such a system could be justified over time. “Energy Partners Home Solutions’ integrated home energy systems is a full solution, designed to reduce a home’s monthly electricity spend by around 70%. With a carefully planned and designed solution, the cost of the system’s installation could easily be recovered in five years,” he concludes.

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit http://www.poweryourself.co.za/.

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

 

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

Going 50% off-grid is better than 100%

13 Dec 2016
South Africa is likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next eight years, with some conservative estimates placing the rise in tariffs at between 6% and 8% year-on-year. This figure could be as high as 13% if carbon taxes are imposed, and even higher should the 300% increase over the past three years be any indication. This news is driving some consumers to seriously consider taking their homes completely off-grid. Alternative energy solutions like home solar are becoming increasingly affordable, but powering a home completely from renewable sources is still prohibitively expensive. To power a home 100% you’ll need a large system to generate and store enough energy, especially during the winter when there is a lot less sunlight. H...
South Africa is likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next eight years, with some conservative estimates placing the rise in tariffs at between 6% and 8% year-on-year.
This figure could be as high as 13% if carbon taxes are imposed, and even higher should the 300% increase over the past three years be any indication. This news is driving some consumers to seriously consider taking their homes completely off-grid.

Alternative energy solutions like home solar are becoming increasingly affordable, but powering a home completely from renewable sources is still prohibitively expensive. To power a home 100% you’ll need a large system to generate and store enough energy, especially during the winter when there is a lot less sunlight.

However, that smaller scale solutions could provide significantly more benefits than a fully off-grid option. 

A relatively small solar energy system is all that’s needed to supply up to 50% of a standard-sized home’s energy. A 3 kWp (kilowatt peak) system may supply 50% of the home’s energy needs. On the other hand, making a home 100% grid-independent requires a system that is four or five times larger with large backup capacities as well. We’ve crunched the numbers here at Energy Partners Home Solutions and have found that costs increase sharply after 70% grid independence.

Achieving the optimal 60% to 70% electricity independence starts with replacing some of the home’s heaviest electricity users with more efficient solutions. 

When it comes to lighting, LEDs are great replacements for traditional downlights, as they save far more electricity in the long run. Geysers account for as much as half of the electricity bill in many households, with large unnecessary energy wastage. This can be mitigated by a highly efficient heat pump or, in certain cases, solar geysers. Even these simple, affordable solutions can make a big difference.

The next step is to install solar PV panels and a battery or inverter system. He notes that these are extremely effective in generating and storing energy. 

However, like all solar power systems, they rely on the sun. When there are long periods of sunshine, they can generate and store enough power to allow you plenty of freedom from the grid. Yet one cannot always rely on the sun doing its bit for your electricity generation. On stormy days or in the winter when we only get about one-third of the sunshine we receive in the summer, it is important to still have a connection to the grid.

Energy Partners Home Solutions’ integrated home energy systems is a full solution, designed to reduce a home’s monthly electricity spend by around 70%. With a carefully planned and designed solution, the cost of the system’s installation could easily be recovered in five years. 

Consumers should consider installing a renewable energy solution as soon as it is sensible to do so. A 60% to 70% reduction in energy consumption is not only the most cost effective option, but also easily achievable. 

Cala van der Westhuizen is the spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions.

 

Design Build Expo enables and promotes

09 Dec 2016

The PIA Design Build Expo and Conference saw a great line-up of speakers, an exhibition of building products, movie screenings and a project expo.

With the vision to create healthy networking opportunities within the local built environment and promote up-to-date technical know-how, the first PIA Design Build Expo and Conference was hosted by the Pretoria Institute for Architects (PIA) in conjunction with the Departments of Architecture at the University of Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology in October.

Held at Market @ The Sheds at 012 Central in Pretoria, the two-day event saw a range of technical talks and presentations which ran parallel with architectural movie screenings.

Speakers included Brigitte Prior from Promac Paints, who exp...

The PIA Design Build Expo and Conference saw a great line-up of speakers, an exhibition of building products, movie screenings and a project expo.

With the vision to create healthy networking opportunities within the local built environment and promote up-to-date technical know-how, the first PIA Design Build Expo and Conference was hosted by the Pretoria Institute for Architects (PIA) in conjunction with the Departments of Architecture at the University of Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology in October.

Held at Market @ The Sheds at 012 Central in Pretoria, the two-day event saw a range of technical talks and presentations which ran parallel with architectural movie screenings.

Speakers included Brigitte Prior from Promac Paints, who explained appropriate surface preparation prior to the coating of buildings with a big focus on older buildings that are being revamped. She also discussed reasons for failures.

Dewaal van Heerden from Energy Partners shed some light on the different types and sizes of photovoltaic rooftop installations on commercial buildings, while Alan Matthews gave some tips for architects to advise their clients on.

Inspiring architects with his presentation on contemporary concrete, architect and lecturer Daniel van der Merwe showed exciting, modern building projects and innovative applications of this basic building material.

Braam de Villiers from Earthworld Architects spoke passionately about architecture and manufacturing.

Pretoria Institute for Architecture
Tel: 012 346 1051
Website: www.pia.org.za


Caption: The PPC Cement exhibition stand

Wrong Electricity Tariffs

05 Dec 2016

 

SA businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. "Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility t...

 

SA businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. "Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs," she says.

"There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants," Loubser continues.

Other cases involve possible clerical errors, says Loubser. "We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing."

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. "In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month," she says

Loubser states that businesses need to know how to raise the issue of tariffs with their local municipalities. "The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application."

Loubser adds however that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. "The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company's electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under," says Loubser.

Energy Partners provides billing analysis to its clients, as part of their energy management programmes. "One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in Kwa Zulu Natal that saved R 2.6 million only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs," Loubser explains.

"Businesses are coming under increased financial pressure from all sides, and being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure," concludes Loubser.

Going 50% off-grid is better than 100%

05 Dec 2016

South Africa is likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next eight years, with some conservative estimates placing the rise in tariffs at between 6% and 8% year-on-year. This figure could be as high as 13% if carbon taxes are imposed, and even higher should the 300% increase over the past three years be any indication. This news is driving some consumers to seriously consider taking their homes completely off-grid.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, who says that alternative energy solutions like home solar are becoming increasingly affordable, but powering a home completely from renewable sources is still prohibitively expensive. "To power a home 100% you'll need a large s...

South Africa is likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next eight years, with some conservative estimates placing the rise in tariffs at between 6% and 8% year-on-year. This figure could be as high as 13% if carbon taxes are imposed, and even higher should the 300% increase over the past three years be any indication. This news is driving some consumers to seriously consider taking their homes completely off-grid.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, who says that alternative energy solutions like home solar are becoming increasingly affordable, but powering a home completely from renewable sources is still prohibitively expensive. "To power a home 100% you'll need a large system to generate and store enough energy, especially during the winter when there is a lot less sunlight."

Van der Westhuizen notes however that smaller scale solutions could provide significantly more benefits than a fully off-grid option.

"A relatively small solar energy system is all that's needed to supply up to 50% of a standard-sized home's energy. A 3 kWp (kilowatt peak) system may supply 50% of the home's energy needs. On the other hand, making a home 100% grid-independent requires a system that is four or five times larger with large backup capacities as well. We've crunched the numbers here at Energy Partners Home Solutions and have found that costs increase sharply after 70% grid independence."

Achieving the optimal 60% to 70% electricity independence, according to Van der Westhuizen, starts with replacing some of the home's heaviest electricity users with more efficient solutions.

"When it comes to lighting, LEDs are great replacements for traditional downlights, as they save far more electricity in the long run. Geysers account for as much as half of the electricity bill in many households, with large unnecessary energy wastage. This can be mitigated by a highly efficient heat pump or, in certain cases, solar geysers. Even these simple, affordable solutions can make a big difference," he says.

Van der Westhuizen states that the next step is to install solar PV panels and a battery or inverter system. He notes that these are extremely effective in generating and storing energy.

"However, like all solar power systems, they rely on the sun. When there are long periods of sunshine, they can generate and store enough power to allow you plenty of freedom from the grid. Yet one cannot always rely on the sun doing its bit for your electricity generation. On stormy days or in the winter when we only get about one-third of the sunshine we receive in the summer, it is important to still have a connection to the grid."

"Energy Partners Home Solutions' integrated home energy systems is a full solution, designed to reduce a home's monthly electricity spend by around 70%. With a carefully planned and designed solution, the cost of the system's installation could easily be recovered in five years," he adds.

"Consumers should consider installing a renewable energy solution as soon as it is sensible to do so. A 60% to 70% reduction in energy consumption is not only the most cost effective option, but also easily achievable," concludes Van der Westhuizen.

‘Speen huis net gedeeltelik van Eskom-krag’

28 Nov 2016

Dis beter en goedkoper om jou huis net gedeeltelik van Eskom-krag te speen as om heeltemal onafhanklik tuis elektrisiteit op te wek, meen die mense van Energy Partners, ’n verskaffer van alternatiewe kragstelsels waarin die beleggingsgroep PSG ’n belang het.

Cala van der Westhuizen, woordvoerder van Energy Partners Home Solutions, sê hoewel alternatiewe kragoplossings ál meer bekostigbaar word, is dit nog te duur om ’n huis heeltemal uit hernubare bronne krag te gee. Dit vereis ’n groot stelsel om krag op te wek en te stoor, veral in die winter wanneer daar heelwat minder sonlig is. ’n Relatief kleiner stelsel van 3 kilowatt kan tot 50% van ’n huis se krag lewer, maar koste styg skerp sodra ’n stelsel beoog word om 70% of me...

Dis beter en goedkoper om jou huis net gedeeltelik van Eskom-krag te speen as om heeltemal onafhanklik tuis elektrisiteit op te wek, meen die mense van Energy Partners, ’n verskaffer van alternatiewe kragstelsels waarin die beleggingsgroep PSG ’n belang het.

Cala van der Westhuizen, woordvoerder van Energy Partners Home Solutions, sê hoewel alternatiewe kragoplossings ál meer bekostigbaar word, is dit nog te duur om ’n huis heeltemal uit hernubare bronne krag te gee. Dit vereis ’n groot stelsel om krag op te wek en te stoor, veral in die winter wanneer daar heelwat minder sonlig is. ’n Relatief kleiner stelsel van 3 kilowatt kan tot 50% van ’n huis se krag lewer, maar koste styg skerp sodra ’n stelsel beoog word om 70% of meer van ’n huis se kragvraag te lewer, sê Van der Westhuizen.

Hy sê hoewel daar tans ’n breë afname in verkope van alternatiewe kragstelsels is weens waarskynlik die finansiële druk waaronder verbruikers verkeer, asook die afwesigheid van beurtkrag, het navrae en verkope van Energy Partners se stelsels in die Wes-Kaap gegroei.

 

Energy Partners verwag tuiskragstelsels sal in die volgende paar jaar meer toeganklik raak vir middelklas- tot laerinkomstegroepe. “Tegnologie en prosesse verbeter toenemend. Namate kragkoste styg, dwing dit mense om slimmer te dink oor hoe hulle maandeliks bestee en probeer hulle uitgawes verminder deur in tuiskragstelsels te belê.”

Elektrisiteitspryse sal oor die volgende agt jaar met meer as inflasie styg, word verwag. Konserwatiewe ramings verwag ’n jaarlikse styging van tussen 6% en 8%, en dit kan tot 13% styg as koolstofbelastings afgedwing word. Dit kan selfs hoër wees as ’n mens die 300%-styging oor die afgelope drie jaar as maatstaf neem.

Van der Westhuizen sê die eerste stap is om die swaarste kraggebruikers in ’n huis met doeltreffender oplossings te vervang. Geisers verbruik in talle huise soveel as die helfte van al die elektrisiteit of meer. Hittepompe en songeisers kan dit verlaag. In die winter of op stormagtige dae kry die tipiese Suid-Afrikaanse huis egter net sowat ’n derde van die sonlig as in die somer, en ’n verbinding aan die kragnetwerk is dus belangrik. Volgens Van der Westhuizen kan hul stelsel ’n kragrekening met tot 70% verlaag en kan die koste van ’n tuiskragstelsel in vyf jaar gedek word.

PSG Private Equity het ’n 57,1%-belang in Energy Partners, wat in 2008 gestig is. Energy Partners het in April sy tuiskragstelsel begin bemark, wat ’n stel sonpanele, ’n battery en omsetter, ’n groot warmwatersilinder en ’n hittepomp insluit.

Wrong electricity tariffs... are you paying too much?

21 Nov 2016

Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs,” she says.

“Th...

Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs,” she says.

“There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants,” Loubser continues. Other cases involve possible clerical errors, says Loubser. “We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole of summer, which caused massive over-billing.”

“The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application.” She adds: “The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company’s electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality.”

Wrong electricity tariffs could be costing businesses

16 Nov 2016
As a result of incorrect billing, many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity. And given that many are under increased financial pressure from all sides, being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure.

Companies that have reduced their electricity consumption could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality, says Mila Loubser, head of energy reporting at Energy Partners.

Don't assume

She comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reined in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equ...

As a result of incorrect billing, many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity. And given that many are under increased financial pressure from all sides, being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure.

Companies that have reduced their electricity consumption could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality, says Mila Loubser, head of energy reporting at Energy Partners.


Don't assume

She comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reined in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs.”

“There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants,” Loubser continues.

Clerical errors

Other cases involve possible clerical errors. “We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing.”

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. “In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month.”

Dealing with municipalities

Businesses need to know how to raise the issue of tariffs with their local municipalities. “The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application.”

Loubser adds that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. “The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company’s electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under,” says Loubser.

“One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in KwaZuluNatal that saved R 2,6m only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs,” Loubser explains.

Wrong electricity tariffs could be costing businesses

15 Nov 2016
As a result of incorrect billing, many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity. And given that many are under increased financial pressure from all sides, being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure.

Companies that have reduced their electricity consumption could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality, says Mila Loubser, head of energy reporting at Energy Partners.

Don't assume

She comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reined in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equ...

As a result of incorrect billing, many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity. And given that many are under increased financial pressure from all sides, being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure.

Companies that have reduced their electricity consumption could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality, says Mila Loubser, head of energy reporting at Energy Partners.


Don't assume

She comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reined in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs.”

“There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants,” Loubser continues.

Clerical errors

Other cases involve possible clerical errors. “We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing.”

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. “In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month.”

Dealing with municipalities

Businesses need to know how to raise the issue of tariffs with their local municipalities. “The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application.”

Loubser adds that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. “The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company’s electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under,” says Loubser.

“One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in KwaZuluNatal that saved R 2,6m only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs,” Loubser explains.

SA businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

15 Nov 2016
Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs,” she says.

“There are also many cases w...
Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs,” she says.

“There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants,” Loubser continues.

Other cases involve possible clerical errors, says Loubser. “We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing.”

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. “In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month,” she says

Loubser states that businesses need to know how to raise the issue of tariffs with their local municipalities. “The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application.”

Loubser adds however that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. “The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company’s electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under,” says Loubser.Energy Partners provides billing analysis to its clients, as part of their energy management programmes. “One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in Kwa Zulu Natal that saved R 2.6 million only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs,” Loubser explains.

“Businesses are coming under increased financial pressure from all sides, and being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure,” concludes Loubser.

SA businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

14 Nov 2016
Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs,” she says.

“There are also many cases w...
Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. “Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs,” she says.

“There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants,” Loubser continues.

Other cases involve possible clerical errors, says Loubser. “We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing.”

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. “In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month,” she says

Loubser states that businesses need to know how to raise the issue of tariffs with their local municipalities. “The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application.”

Loubser adds however that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. “The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company’s electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under,” says Loubser.

Energy Partners provides billing analysis to its clients, as part of their energy management programmes. “One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in Kwa Zulu Natal that saved R 2.6 million only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs,” Loubser explains.

“Businesses are coming under increased financial pressure from all sides, and being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure,” concludes Loubser.

Consumers should upgrade to home solar sooner rather than later

26 Oct 2016

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for consumers to consider alternative sources of energy for their homes. 

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, who says that even though the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) is currently reviewing the multi-year price determination methodology and working to prevent high increases, the large investments that Eskom is making in infrastructure are likely to significantly affect consumers’ pockets in the near future.

Home solar, affordable option

“The average increase in tariffs in South Africa since 2008 has been around 300%. According...

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for consumers to consider alternative sources of energy for their homes. 

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, who says that even though the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) is currently reviewing the multi-year price determination methodology and working to prevent high increases, the large investments that Eskom is making in infrastructure are likely to significantly affect consumers’ pockets in the near future.

Home solar, affordable option

“The average increase in tariffs in South Africa since 2008 has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years are likely to see between at least 6% and 8% year-on-year increases in tariffs. If a carbon tax is imposed, this figure could be as high as 13%,” van der Westhuizen says.

He says that homeowners need to make a decision whether to upgrade their homes with renewable energy solutions now, if they have not done so yet. “There are affordable systems and other solutions available that enable homes to save large amounts on energy.”

Most sustainable solutions

At the same time, Van der Westhuizen advises that completely off-grid solutions are not economically viable yet. “While it is possible to take one’s home 100% off-grid, our research shows that this would definitely not be an optimal solution in most scenarios.

” Such systems rely on a large investment in batteries in order to cater for the worst case scenario, the few times per year when there may be three or four consecutive days without sufficient sunshine to adequately provide for the homes daily energy requirements, he says.

“If enough batteries are purchased to allow the home to operate off-grid during these periods, they will be severely under utilised the rest of the time.”

He adds that converting at least half of a household’s energy consumption to a renewable solution makes financial sense, since users will then often only have to purchase electricity from their provider at the lower usage tariffs further decreasing their average cost per kilowatt hour.

Van der Westhuizen states that efficient lighting and water heating can cost from as little as R25,000 [$1,800] and can easily save users in excess of 30% on their electricity bill.

“It is difficult to know what is likely to happen in future, which why we advocate installing a renewable solution as soon as it is sensible to do so. Homeowners are going to be losing out on savings if they wait,” concludes Van der Westhuizen.

'Off-grid more viable as Eskom rates set to soar'

06 Oct 2016

Electricity prices could soar higher than the rate of inflation over the next few years, warn alternative energy proponents.

They say that the costs of large infrastructure investments being made by Eskom will soon be passed on to consumers, despite a review of prices by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Cala van der Westhuizen, of Energy Partners Home Solutions, said tariffs had increased by an average of 300percent since 2008. "The next eight years are likely to see between at least 6percent and 8percent year-on-year increases in tariffs," he said.

"If a carbon tax is imposed, this figure could be as high as 13 percent."

He said leaving the grid entirely might become increasingly viable. Using renewable sources f...

Electricity prices could soar higher than the rate of inflation over the next few years, warn alternative energy proponents.

They say that the costs of large infrastructure investments being made by Eskom will soon be passed on to consumers, despite a review of prices by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Cala van der Westhuizen, of Energy Partners Home Solutions, said tariffs had increased by an average of 300percent since 2008. "The next eight years are likely to see between at least 6percent and 8percent year-on-year increases in tariffs," he said.

"If a carbon tax is imposed, this figure could be as high as 13 percent."

He said leaving the grid entirely might become increasingly viable. Using renewable sources for at least half of consumption might already make some financial sense, since users would then be buying their electricity at cheaper lower-usage tariffs.

Van der Westhuizen said efficient lighting and water heating could cost from as little as R25 000 and can easily save users in excess of 30 percent on their electricity bill. Other systems that can save households 70 to 80 percent on their bill can cost between R100 000 and R180 000.

He said the price was affected by factors such as the complexity of the installation, the type of roof the client had, and whether the client wanted a photovoltaic and inverter solution, or a full installation including a battery, water heater and LED (light-emitting diode) lighting.

The initial cost of such a system could be justified over time because the period it took to pay for itself in electricity savings, usually between two and six years, became shorter with every electricity tariff increase.

"It is difficult to know what is likely to happen in future, which is why we advocate installing a renewable solution as soon as it is sensible to do so."

Gregor Kuepper, managing director of Solar-World Africa, said there were many benefits to investing in alternative energy solutions such as solar PV (photovoltaic) for residential consumers, including reducing electricity bills every month.

Kuepper said a photovoltaic system enabled consumers to fix their electricity costs.

"For example, a kWh of solar energy can be as low as R0.80/kWh for the whole lifetime of the solar system, while homeowners pay already substantially more for a kWh from the grid.

"As we have seen in the past five years, these costs have been increasing constantly and will do so in the future.

"When you are a homeowner you are aware that every investment you make in your home will provide a return. This investment will provide energy savings during the whole lifetime of the solar installation, which results in increasing the value of the property."

Kuepper said solar PV could be easily installed in residential homes, but homeowners should bear in mind the quality of the product, the track record of the manufacturers and the warranty offered. A good quality product will produce more than 30 years clean and emission free energy and provide cost savings, he said.

Solar energy was environmentally friendly as it reduced the user's carbon footprint, since there is no smoke, gas or other chemicals that can cause pollution or harm to the environment, he said.

Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayco member for utility services, said rebates were not offered for the installation of solar technology. "We are aware Eskom was running such a scheme, but are not sure whether this is still in place," he said.

In addition, future price increases would be determined by Eskom and the energy regulator Nersa.

Cape Argus

'Off-grid more viable as Eskom rates set to soar'

06 Oct 2016
Cape Town - Electricity prices could soar higher than the rate of inflation over the next few years, warn alternative energy proponents.   They say that the costs of large infrastructure investments being made by Eskom will soon be passed on to consumers despite a review of prices by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)   Cala van der Westhuizen, of Energy Partners Home Solutions, said tariffs had increased by an average of 300 percent since 2008. “The next eight years are likely to see between at least 6 percent and 8 percent year-on-year increases in tariffs,” he said.   “If a carbon tax is imposed, this figure could be as high as 13 percent.”   He said leaving the grid entirely might become increasingly viable....
Cape Town - Electricity prices could soar higher than the rate of inflation over the next few years, warn alternative energy proponents.
 
They say that the costs of large infrastructure investments being made by Eskom will soon be passed on to consumers despite a review of prices by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)
 
Cala van der Westhuizen, of Energy Partners Home Solutions, said tariffs had increased by an average of 300 percent since 2008. “The next eight years are likely to see between at least 6 percent and 8 percent year-on-year increases in tariffs,” he said.
 
“If a carbon tax is imposed, this figure could be as high as 13 percent.”
 
He said leaving the grid entirely might become increasingly viable. Using renewable sources for at least half of consumption might already make some financial sense, since users would then be buying their electricity at cheaper lower-usage tariffs.
Van der Westhuizen said efficient lighting and water heating could cost from as little as R25 000 and can easily save users in excess of 30 percent on their electricity bill. Other systems that can save households 70 to 80 percent on their bill can cost between R100 000 and R180 000.

He said the price was affected by factors such as the complexity of the installation, the type of roof the client had, and whether the client wanted a photovoltaic and inverter solution, or a full installation including a battery, water heater and LED (light-emitting diode) lighting.

The initial cost of such a system could be justified over time because the period it took to pay for itself in electricity savings, usually between two and six years, became shorter with every electricity tariff increase.

“It is difficult to know what is likely to happen in future, which is why we advocate installing a renewable solution as soon as it is sensible to do so.”

Gregor Kuepper, managing director of SolarWorld Africa, said there were many benefits to investing in alternative energy solutions such as solar PV (photovoltaic) for residential consumers, including reducing electricity bills every month.

Kuepper said a photovoltaic system enabled consumers to fix their electricity costs.

“For example, a kWh of solar energy can be as low as R0.80/kWh for the whole lifetime of the solar system, while homeowners pay already substantially more for a kWh from the grid.

“As we have seen in the past five years, these costs have been increasing constantly and will do so in the future.

“When you are a homeowner you are aware that every investment you make in your home will provide a return. This investment will provide energy savings during the whole lifetime of the solar installation, which results in increasing the value of the property.”

Kuepper said solar PV could be easily installed in residential homes, but homeowners should bear in mind the quality of the product, the track record of the manufacturers and the warranty offered. A good quality product will produce more than 30 years clean and emission free energy and provide cost savings, he said.

Solar energy was environmentally friendly as it reduced the user’s carbon footprint, since there is no smoke, gas or other chemicals that can cause pollution or harm to the environment, he said.

Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayco member for utility services, said rebates were not offered for the installation of solar technology. “We are aware Eskom was running such a scheme, but are not sure whether this is still in place,” he said.

In addition, future price increases would be determined by Eskom and the energy regulator Nersa.

 

Consumers should upgrade to solar sooner rather than later

04 Oct 2016
 

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for consumers to consider alternative sources of energy for their homes.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, who says that even though the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) is currently reviewing the multi-year price determination methodology and working to prevent high increases, the large investments that Eskom is making in infrastructure are likely to significantly affect consumers’ pockets in the near future.

“The average increase in tariffs in South Africa since 2008 has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight y...

 

South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years, making it increasingly important for consumers to consider alternative sources of energy for their homes.

This according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners Home Solutions, who says that even though the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) is currently reviewing the multi-year price determination methodology and working to prevent high increases, the large investments that Eskom is making in infrastructure are likely to significantly affect consumers’ pockets in the near future.

“The average increase in tariffs in South Africa since 2008 has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years are likely to see between at least 6% and 8% year-on-year increases in tariffs. If a carbon tax is imposed, this figure could be as high as 13%,” van der Westhuizen says.

He says that homeowners need to make a decision whether to upgrade their homes with renewable energy solutions now, if they have not done so yet. “There are affordable systems and other solutions available that enable homes to save large amounts on energy.”

At the same time, Van der Westhuizen advises that completely off-grid solutions are not economically viable yet. “While it is possible to take one’s home 100% off-grid, our research shows that this would definitely not be an optimal solution in most scenarios.”

Such systems rely on a large investment in batteries in order to cater for the worst case scenario, the few times per year when there may be three or four consecutive days without sufficient sunshine to adequately provide for the homes daily energy requirements, he says. “If enough batteries are purchased to allow the home to operate off-grid during these periods, they will be severely underutilised the rest of the time.”

He adds that converting at least half of a household’s energy consumption to a renewable solution makes financial sense, since users will then often only have to purchase electricity from their provider at the lower usage tariffs further decreasing their average cost per kilowatt- hour.

Van der Westhuizen states that efficient lighting and water heating can cost from as little as R25,000 and can easily save users in excess of 30% on their electricity bill. The full Energy Partners Home Solutions ICON system (that includes efficiency, renewable generation and backup) that can save households 70 to 80% on their bill ranges between R100,000 and R180,000.

“Of course this price is affected by factors such as the complexity of the installation, the type of roof that the client has, and whether the client just wants a photovoltaic and inverter solution, or a full installation including a battery, water heater and LED lighting.”

According to Van der Westhuizen, the initial cost of such a system could be justified over time, because the period that it takes the system to pay for itself in electricity savings which is usually between two and six years, becomes shorter with every electricity tariff increase.

“With that said, paying that much upfront is still prohibitively expensive for most homeowners. Energy Partners took this into account when we were looking into the affordability of our ICON Energy Hub, which is an all-in-one solution for storing and using solar energy in the home,” he states.

Van der Westhuizen explains that Energy Partners developed its own financing options for the system.“ We are an approved credit provider under the National Credit Act (NCA) and offer the financing ourselves. Our standard terms are prime + 2.5%, financed over five years, with a 10% upfront deposit. We have also developed a long term lease model, where the client can simply lease the system from us instead of having to pay for it upfront,” he explains.

He says that this finance option has increased the sales of the system substantially over recent months. “This proves that many homeowners already see the sense in systems like these. Just over 60 ICON units have been sold, including a large order by Val de Vie Estate in the Western Cape for the next round of development there.”

“It is difficult to know what is likely to happen in future, which why we advocate installing a renewable solution as soon as it is sensible to do so. Homeowners are going to be losing out on savings if they wait,” concludes Van der Westhuizen.

 

Cooling solution to negate need for owning refrigeration plants

16 Sep 2016

Leading energy solutions provider Energy Partners in June launched its new refrigeration solution, which enables clients to buy low-cost cooling without having to buy or maintain a refrigeration plant.

Clients can buy cooling, as they would from a utility, from Energy Partners at an agreed cost for every cooling unit, the number of which is determined by the company’s newly developed refrigeration meter, which has been designed specifically for the new solution.

Energy Partners heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) divisional head Dawie Kriel explains that the input costs of a refrigeration system are electricity, maintenance and finance costs.

He states that the cost of cooling is calculated as a combination of these costs, ...

Leading energy solutions provider Energy Partners in June launched its new refrigeration solution, which enables clients to buy low-cost cooling without having to buy or maintain a refrigeration plant.

Clients can buy cooling, as they would from a utility, from Energy Partners at an agreed cost for every cooling unit, the number of which is determined by the company’s newly developed refrigeration meter, which has been designed specifically for the new solution.

Energy Partners heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) divisional head Dawie Kriel explains that the input costs of a refrigeration system are electricity, maintenance and finance costs.

He states that the cost of cooling is calculated as a combination of these costs, divided by the amount of cooling produced, which results in a kilowatt hour rate for every rand. This rate is payable by the customer while Energy Partners takes full responsibility for all the maintenance needs and costs of the plant.
Kriel says two types of organisation could potentially benefit from this service offering: “ . . . one that currently owns a refrigeration plant, and wants to improve efficiency and reliability without the hassle of operating a plant and . . . an organisation that is planning to have new facilities that require efficient and reliable cooling for its daily operations on a pay-as-you-use basis”.

Currently, the company’s main clients are those in the commercial food retail sector, including new supermarkets and existing stores, where the company actively replaces outdated and inefficient refrigeration plants, he adds. “We also own plants in the dairy industry and logistics arena. The solution is suitable to most facilities that have a refrigeration load for most of the year.”

Commenting on the company’s business model, Kriel states that Energy Partners invests its own capital to improve or replace an existing refrigeration plant and ensure that the operational energy efficiency is optimised. “We then sell ‘cooling’ to the client at an agreed rate for every kilowatt hour while taking full responsibility for all the maintenance needs and costs of the plant,” he highlights.

The rate that Energy Partners has offered to clients will result in efficient, but competitive and cost-effective, cooling. In addition, the company also shares the operational cost savings with existing users in the form of payouts of up to 10% of the refrigeration sold at the end of each contract term, while clients maintain the right to buy the use of the plant back at any time.

Meanwhile, Kriel mentions that a number of enabling technologies have become affordable in recent years, which allow for thermo- dynamic processes to be controlled closer to their theoretically optimum efficiency. This has resulted in significant energy savings and includes new refrigerants, sensors, actuators, controllers and data management systems, he adds.
This has also allowed Energy Partners to offer innovative technical and financial solutions in all the industries in which it operates through significant investment in research and development.

Kriel adds that the cooling solution comes standard with access to a Web- and smartphone-based app that enables clients to keep track of the performance of the refrigeration system, key temperatures, billing and, in the case of existing plant owners, the income they will receive from the plant.
“By understanding the fundamental dilemma our customers face in trying to reduce energy costs, the company has . . . identified opportunities to reduce technical and financial inefficiencies in the energy industry and invest in these opportunities.”

He concludes that the company believes that this cooling solution fills a long-standing gap in the refrigeration industry: “Clients can now focus on their core business and outsource their refrigeration needs, while ensuring optimum efficiency by fixing the cost of cooling.”

Eskom protects its coal

21 Aug 2016

Eskom's reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy's independent power producers (IPP) programme, globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised questions.

Read more here: Eskom protects its coal

...

Eskom's reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy's independent power producers (IPP) programme, globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised questions.

Read more here: Eskom protects its coal

SA energy solutions provider sheds light on independent power programme

17 Aug 2016
Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP) has raised several questions    Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP), which was globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised several questions.   The most pressing of which is the potential effect that this will have on South Africa’s energy future.   This is according to Andre Agenbag, Energy Partners Head of Business Development, a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that there has been some debate around the possible reasons behind the utility’s decision not to enter into fu...
Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP) has raised several questions 
 
Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP), which was globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised several questions.
 
The most pressing of which is the potential effect that this will have on South Africa’s energy future.
 
This is according to Andre Agenbag, Energy Partners Head of Business Development, a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that there has been some debate around the possible reasons behind the utility’s decision not to enter into further agreements with IPPs.
 
“Detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar power can be inconsistent and unpredictable, but these concerns are manageable as part of a larger energy portfolio.”
 
Agenbag explains that the program is divided into a number of subcategories including renewable energy, coal power, gas power, co-generation and others.
 
“This combined portfolio is not only more environmentally friendly, but will also ensure a consistent power supply and lower costs.”
 
While Eskom is not a decision maker in the IPP program, the company remains a major stakeholder and as such it does have the potential to delay its roll-out, he adds.
 
“Eskom is unable to completely block the programme, but may attempt to stall the process through additional red-tape and costs. This will have an array of negative consequences such as lack of foreign investment, less renewable energy in the grid and, worst case scenario, could lead to another period of load shedding.”
 
Agenbag continues that Eskom may be reluctant to sign contracts with more IPPs due to the company’s recent investment in new coal power stations. “With the country’s economic growth forecast of 0.1% for 2016, the demand for power will follow suit and may lead to a situation where there is a higher supply than demand for electricity. In light of this, it is not farfetched to assume that the utility is protecting its investment by refusing to buy more electricity from independent power producers, but at what cost?”
 
“Aside from the environmental benefits, IPPs could potentially generate far cheaper electricity than Eskom currently offers and can therefore benefit the economy in the long run. So far the IPP programme has led to ZAR195 billion in direct investment and brought 2 145MW into the grid,” he continues.
 
“In light of the apparent environmental and economic benefits of the IPP programme, all indications are that the continuation and growth of the programme will best serve South Africa’s energy needs,” concludes Agenbag.

SA energy solutions provider sheds light on independent power programme

17 Aug 2016
SA Energy solutions provider sheds light on independent power programme   Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP), which was globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised several questions. The most pressing of which is the potential effect that this will have on South Africa’s energy future.   This is according to Andre Agenbag, Head of Business Development at Energy Partners – a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that there has been some debate around the possible reasons behind the utility’s decision not to enter into further agreements with IPPs.  “Detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar p...
SA Energy solutions provider sheds light on independent power programme
 
Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP), which was globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised several questions. The most pressing of which is the potential effect that this will have on South Africa’s energy future.
 
This is according to Andre Agenbag, Head of Business Development at Energy Partners – a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that there has been some debate around the possible reasons behind the utility’s decision not to enter into further agreements with IPPs.  “Detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar power can be inconsistent and unpredictable, but these concerns are manageable as part of a larger energy portfolio.”
 
Agenbag explains that the program is divided into a number of subcategories including renewable energy, coal power, gas power, co-generation and others. “This combined portfolio is not only more environmentally friendly, but will also ensure a consistent power supply and lower costs.”
 
While Eskom is not a decision maker in the IPP program, the company remains a major stakeholder and as such it does have the potential to delay its roll-out, he adds. “Eskom is unable to completely block the programme, but may attempt to stall the process through additional red-tape and costs. This will have an array of negative consequences such as lack of foreign investment, less renewable energy in the grid and, worst case scenario, could lead to another period of load shedding.”
 
Agenbag continues that Eskom may be reluctant to sign contracts with more IPPs due to the company’s recent investment in new coal power stations. “With the country’s economic growth forecast of 0.1% for 2016, the demand for power will follow suit and may lead to a situation where there is a higher supply than demand for electricity. In light of this, it is not farfetched to assume that the utility is protecting its investment by refusing to buy more electricity from independent power producers, but at what cost?”
 
He continues, “Aside from the environmental benefits, IPPs could potentially generate far cheaper electricity than Eskom currently offers and can therefore benefit the economy in the long run. So far the IPP programme has led to R195-billion in direct investment and brought 2,145MW into the grid.”
 
“In light of the apparent environmental and economic benefits of the IPP programme, all indications are that the continuation and growth of the programme will best serve South Africa’s energy needs,” concludes Agenbag.
 

SA energy solutions provider sheds light on independent power programme

17 Aug 2016
Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP), which was globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised several questions.   The most pressing of which is the potential effect that this will have on South Africa’s energy future.   This is according to Andre Agenbag, Energy Partners Head of Business Development, a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that there has been some debate around the possible reasons behind the utility’s decision not to enter into further agreements with IPPs.   “Detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar power can be inconsistent and unpredictable, but these concerns are manageable a...
Eskom’s recent reluctance to continue with the Department of Energy’s (DoE) independent power producers programme (IPPP), which was globally acclaimed as a successful and innovative initiative, has raised several questions.
 
The most pressing of which is the potential effect that this will have on South Africa’s energy future.
 
This is according to Andre Agenbag, Energy Partners Head of Business Development, a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that there has been some debate around the possible reasons behind the utility’s decision not to enter into further agreements with IPPs.
 
“Detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar power can be inconsistent and unpredictable, but these concerns are manageable as part of a larger energy portfolio.”
 
Agenbag explains that the program is divided into a number of subcategories including renewable energy, coal power, gas power, co-generation and others.
 
“This combined portfolio is not only more environmentally friendly, but will also ensure a consistent power supply and lower costs.”
 
While Eskom is not a decision maker in the IPP program, the company remains a major stakeholder and as such it does have the potential to delay its roll-out, he adds.
 
“Eskom is unable to completely block the programme, but may attempt to stall the process through additional red-tape and costs. This will have an array of negative consequences such as lack of foreign investment, less renewable energy in the grid and, worst case scenario, could lead to another period of load shedding.”
 
Agenbag continues that Eskom may be reluctant to sign contracts with more IPPs due to the company’s recent investment in new coal power stations. “With the country’s economic growth forecast of 0.1% for 2016, the demand for power will follow suit and may lead to a situation where there is a higher supply than demand for electricity. In light of this, it is not farfetched to assume that the utility is protecting its investment by refusing to buy more electricity from independent power producers, but at what cost?”
 
“Aside from the environmental benefits, IPPs could potentially generate far cheaper electricity than Eskom currently offers and can therefore benefit the economy in the long run. So far the IPP programme has led to ZAR195 billion in direct investment and brought 2 145MW into the grid,” he continues.
 
“In light of the apparent environmental and economic benefits of the IPP programme, all indications are that the continuation and growth of the programme will best serve South Africa’s energy needs,” concludes Agenbag.

IPP programme beneficial for South Africa

17 Aug 2016
Given the environmental and economic benefits of South Africa’s independent power producer (IPP) programme, its continuation and growth will best serve South Africa’s energy needs, says energy solutions provider Energy Partners head of business development Andre Agenbag. Commenting on State-owned utility Eskom’s announcement last month that it will not sign new power purchase agreements with IPPs beyond those selected in the latest bidding round, he notes that while detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar power can be inconsistent and unpredictable, these concerns are manageable as part of a larger energy portfolio.   Agenbag explains that South Africa’s IPP programme is divided into a number of subcategories including renewable energy, coal pow...
Given the environmental and economic benefits of South Africa’s independent power producer (IPP) programme, its continuation and growth will best serve South Africa’s energy needs, says energy solutions provider Energy Partners head of business development Andre Agenbag.
Commenting on State-owned utility Eskom’s announcement last month that it will not sign new power purchase agreements with IPPs beyond those selected in the latest bidding round, he notes that while detractors often correctly claim that wind and solar power can be inconsistent and unpredictable, these concerns are manageable as part of a larger energy portfolio.
 
Agenbag explains that South Africa’s IPP programme is divided into a number of subcategories including renewable energy, coal power, gas power, cogeneration and others, which is more environment friendly and will ensure a consistent power supply and lower costs.
 
He points out that, while Eskom is not a decision-maker in the IPP programme, the company remains a major stakeholder and, as such, it does have the potential to delay the roll-out of further projects under the IPP programme.
“Eskom is unable to completely block the programme, but may attempt to stall the process through additional red tape and costs,” he notes, adding that this will have negative consequences such as lack of foreign investment, less renewable energy in the energy mix and potentially resulting in another period of load-shedding.
 
Agenbag adds that Eskom may be reluctant to sign contracts with more IPPs owing to the company’s recent investment in new coal-fired power stations and the country’s slow economic growth, which may lead to electricity supply being higher than demand.
 
Aside from the environmental benefits, Agenbag says, IPPs could potentially generate cheaper electricity than Eskom currently offers and can, therefore, benefit the economy in the long run.
So far, the IPP programme has led to R195-billion in direct investment and added 2 145 MW to the grid.

Pioneer Foods collaborates with Energy Partners to roll out national solar programme

30 Jun 2016

Pioneer Foods recently joined forces with energy solutions service provider, Energy Partners, to roll out a national solar programme. The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of over 2531 kilowatt peak (kWp) at five of Pioneer’s manufacturing facilities, including Wadeville, Clayville, Bloemfontein, Klerksdorp and Worcester. The project is expected to yield a total savings of R116 million over the next 25 years.

Manie de Waal, head of the solar division at Energy Partners...

Pioneer Foods recently joined forces with energy solutions service provider, Energy Partners, to roll out a national solar programme. The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of over 2531 kilowatt peak (kWp) at five of Pioneer’s manufacturing facilities, including Wadeville, Clayville, Bloemfontein, Klerksdorp and Worcester. The project is expected to yield a total savings of R116 million over the next 25 years.

Manie de Waal, head of the solar division at Energy Partners says, “The solar programme allows the sites to generate electricity for their own consumption at a cost of up to 18% less than that of an electricity supplier. In addition to its savings potential, the installation of these solar solutions will also decrease the company’s carbon footprint. The total annual effective carbon offset for these solar plants is approximately 3800 tonnes per year.”

Energy Partners Now Selling Cooling As A Utility

30 Jun 2016

Leading energy solutions provider and PSG subsidiary, Energy Partners, recently launched its new refrigeration product, which enables clients to purchase low cost cooling without the hassle of purchasing or maintaining a refrigeration plant. Through this agreement clients can purchase ‘cooling’ from Energy Partners as a utility at an agreed upon cost per cooling unit as measured by their newly developed refrigeration meter.  

This is according to Dawie Kriel, Head of HVAC & Refrigeration at Energy Partners, who explains that the cost of our clients’ refrigeration is calculated by adding the maintenance and energy cost and dividing the total by measured cooling consumption (kWhR).  

He says that there are two different types of organisation...

Leading energy solutions provider and PSG subsidiary, Energy Partners, recently launched its new refrigeration product, which enables clients to purchase low cost cooling without the hassle of purchasing or maintaining a refrigeration plant. Through this agreement clients can purchase ‘cooling’ from Energy Partners as a utility at an agreed upon cost per cooling unit as measured by their newly developed refrigeration meter.  

This is according to Dawie Kriel, Head of HVAC & Refrigeration at Energy Partners, who explains that the cost of our clients’ refrigeration is calculated by adding the maintenance and energy cost and dividing the total by measured cooling consumption (kWhR).  

He says that there are two different types of organisations that could potentially benefit from this service offering. “The first type of organisation is one that currently owns a refrigeration plant and wants to improve efficiency and reliability and not have the hassle of operating a plant. The second type is an organisation that is planning new facilities which will require efficient and reliable cooling for its daily operations on a “pay as you use” basis.”  

Energy Partners will invest its own capital to improve or replace an existing refrigeration plant and to ensure that the operational energy efficiency is optimised, explains Kriel. “We then sell ‘cooling’ to the client at an agreed upon rate per KWhR, while taking full responsibility for all the maintenance needs and costs of the plant.”  

Kriel says that the rate will result in an effective cost of cooling, which will be competitive. “In addition, Energy Partners will also share the operational cost savings with existing users in the form of pay-outs of up to 10% of the refrigeration sold at the end of each contract term, while client maintains the right to purchase the plant back at any time.”  

In the event that client requires refrigeration, but does not own a refrigeration plant, Energy Partners’ solution allows clients to purchase cost effective cooling as a utility at an agreed upon rate per KWhR, he says. “In both cases, no capital investment is required and the risk of managing and maintaining a refrigeration plant is managed by Energy Partners.”

Kriel adds that this solution comes standard with access to a web / smart phone based app that enables clients to keep track of the performance of the refrigeration system, their product temperatures, their billing and – in the case of existing plant owners – the income they will receive from the plant.  

“We believe that this solution fills a long-standing gap in the refrigeration industry. Clients can now focus on their core business and outsource their refrigeration needs while ensuring optimum efficiency by fixing the cost of cooling”, concludes Kriel.

Pioneer Foods, Energy Partners in national solar programme

30 Jun 2016

Food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods, in conjunction with energy solutions provider Energy Partners’ solar division, is rolling out a national solar programme, which is about 60% complete.

The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of 2.5 MWp at five of Pioneer’s manufacturing facilities: Ceres Fruit Juices, in Wadeville (780 kW), and Bokomo, in Clayville (440 kW), both in Gauteng; Sasko bakery, in Bloemfontein, Free State (261 kW); Klerksdorp Mill, in the North West (752 kW); and SAD Treefruit, in Worcester, Western Cape (298 kW).

The entire programme will comprise 90 SMA inverters and 7 800 Tier 1 solar modules covering a roof space of 15 600 m2...

Food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods, in conjunction with energy solutions provider Energy Partners’ solar division, is rolling out a national solar programme, which is about 60% complete.

The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of 2.5 MWp at five of Pioneer’s manufacturing facilities: Ceres Fruit Juices, in Wadeville (780 kW), and Bokomo, in Clayville (440 kW), both in Gauteng; Sasko bakery, in Bloemfontein, Free State (261 kW); Klerksdorp Mill, in the North West (752 kW); and SAD Treefruit, in Worcester, Western Cape (298 kW).

The entire programme will comprise 90 SMA inverters and 7 800 Tier 1 solar modules covering a roof space of 15 600 m2. ADVERTISEMENT Installation of the solar systems started in January, with work at the Klerksdorp and Clayville sites completed. The programme is expected to be completed by September, Energy Partners solar division head Manie de Waal tells Engineering News.

While saving on electricity expenses these solar solutions will also decrease the company’s carbon footprint, with the total effective carbon offset for these solar plants amounting to about 3 800 t/y.

Energy Partners Solar will further provide full monitoring, maintenance and cleaning programmes for these sites for 25 years to ensure optimal performance, De Waal says, stressing the importance of monitoring the solar systems daily.

He adds that the company has a dedicated maintenance and cleaning division, which it optimises for each site, based on unique site characteristics.

Energy Partners Solar’s other commercial projects include the installation of a 1 MWp solar plant for JSE-listed capital growth property fund Attacq’s Mooi River Mall, in the North West; a 360 kW plant for food supplier Fruit & Veg City’s distribution centre, in Johannesburg; 475 kW solar plants at two of healthcare services provider Netcare’s hospitals; and a 400 kW solar plant for food supplier Quantum Foods, in Gauteng.

“Our combined pipeline for build and sold projects is 6.3 MW, with 3.7 MW built to date,” says De Waal.

Despite relatively low knowledge levels and industry misconceptions about commercial solar systems, for example, grid-tied systems, price comparisons and return-on-investment calculations, market interest in these systems remain high, he notes.

He emphasises the viable investment of commercial solar power plants for business owners, adding that the company has developed alternative models, such as solar leases and co-ownership models.

“It is important for prospective clients to consider the actual track record in alternative solar models of service suppliers when they enter into these agreements. Structured correctly, these models can add immediate cost benefits to an organisation without any investment of capital.

SA has the ideal conditions for an energy revolution

17 Jun 2016

In May 2016 Germany broke a renewable energy record when 95% of the national power demands were met by renewable energy resources and power prices went negative for a few hours. With approximately 2 500 hours of sunshine per year – among the highest in the world – South Africa has great potential for an energy revolution of its own and a similar capacity with regards to alternative energy generation.

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales for Energy Partners – a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that approximately 95% percent of South Africa’s energy still comes from a single, state-owned utility, while the transition towards renewable energy resources remains slow and sm...

In May 2016 Germany broke a renewable energy record when 95% of the national power demands were met by renewable energy resources and power prices went negative for a few hours. With approximately 2 500 hours of sunshine per year – among the highest in the world – South Africa has great potential for an energy revolution of its own and a similar capacity with regards to alternative energy generation.

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales for Energy Partners – a leading energy solutions provider in the country, who says that approximately 95% percent of South Africa’s energy still comes from a single, state-owned utility, while the transition towards renewable energy resources remains slow and small-scale. “With the Government leaning towards investing in a nuclear power plant rather than alternative energy solutions, the onus of our energy transition will fall into the spheres of the private and residential sectors.”

Van der Westhuizen explains that while businesses will often require a customised approach in order to optimise energy usage, a simple, three pronged approach can be implemented on a large scale in households across the country.

The first step is efficient technology:
All inefficient technology such as old geysers and lights must be replaced with the most efficient water-heating and lighting technology.

Secondly, self-generation of energy is required:
Installing solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the residence will enable home owners to generate electricity at a lower cost than that of purchasing energy from Eskom.

The final and most important step in this process is effective energy storage:
Adding batteries and other storage mechanisms such as oversized water tanks, ensures that the generated energy is not wasted. Solar generated energy can thus be utilised during peak-times when the sun is not necessarily shining, such as in the evenings between 17:00 and 20:00.

The implementation of these three steps can save a household between 50 and 75% off their existing energy bill, says van der Westhuizen. “A wider roll-out of these holistic systems is also the first step toward an energy revolution and will alleviate the overwhelming pressure that currently rests on the national energy supplier.”

“It is distressing that a country so rich in sunshine and wind has been staring down the barrel hole of an energy crises for several years. Perhaps it is time for the private and residential sectors to take power into their own hands and to drive South Africa’s energy revolution,” concludes van der Westhuizen.

Home energy solution integrated into Western Cape estate

17 Jun 2016

Energy solutions provider Energy Partners, which is 57%-owned by holding company PSG Group, celebrated its partnership with Western Cape-based estate Val de Vie last month. The event was highlighted by a polo match and an auction for the benefit of the Hope through Action foundation.

The locally developed Icon home energy system, currently being installed in the new The Vines development at Val de Vie, was also auctioned at the event. These systems, once installed, have the potential to yield savings of more than R10 000/y per household.

Energy Partners home solutions head Alan Matthews says the Icon system is a home power solution that includes a battery and inverter combination, heat pump technology and an oversized hot-water tank as the primary energy storage medium. ...

Energy solutions provider Energy Partners, which is 57%-owned by holding company PSG Group, celebrated its partnership with Western Cape-based estate Val de Vie last month. The event was highlighted by a polo match and an auction for the benefit of the Hope through Action foundation.

The locally developed Icon home energy system, currently being installed in the new The Vines development at Val de Vie, was also auctioned at the event. These systems, once installed, have the potential to yield savings of more than R10 000/y per household.

Energy Partners home solutions head Alan Matthews says the Icon system is a home power solution that includes a battery and inverter combination, heat pump technology and an oversized hot-water tank as the primary energy storage medium. “Each solution will provide a 15% to 22% return on investment, depending on the size of the house, consumption and sun exposure.”

He adds that the Icon comes standard with a user-friendly application, which indicates battery power, as well as current and cumulative savings generated. “Great emphasis was placed on developing a user-friendly home energy solution that will look good in a home – two aspects that set the Icon apart from many of its competitors.”

Val de Vie marketing director Ryk Neethling says the estate looks forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Energy Partners and added that the organisation was a leader in innovation. “We plan . . . to install . . . 120 Icon home energy systems as part of our long-term roll-out plan. Sustainability is a core focus for us and we are excited to minimise our carbon footprint by installing these solutions.”

To conclude the celebration, several local wines and brandy from the Vrede & Lust, Rust & Vrede, Val de Vie and Tokara wine estates were auctioned to raise more than R25 000 for nongovernment organisation Hope through Action. An Icon home energy hub was also auctioned for R225 000 in aid of the charity. 

A panel discussion on preventing load shedding in winter

09 Jun 2016

A panel discusses the fast approaching winter cold and renewable energy, as well as modern consumer energy saving technology could play a role in preventing load shedding. Andries invites the listeners to comment and give their views on the matter. (Int:) Prof Wikus van Niekerk - Director: Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, Stellenbosch University (Int:) Deon Roodt - Director: DFR Engineers (Int:) Karel Cornelissen - CEO: Energy Partners Mention: Eskom

 

...

A panel discusses the fast approaching winter cold and renewable energy, as well as modern consumer energy saving technology could play a role in preventing load shedding. Andries invites the listeners to comment and give their views on the matter. (Int:) Prof Wikus van Niekerk - Director: Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, Stellenbosch University (Int:) Deon Roodt - Director: DFR Engineers (Int:) Karel Cornelissen - CEO: Energy Partners Mention: Eskom

 



Pioneer Foods rolls out national solar programme

06 May 2016

Pioneer Foods recently joined forces with reputed energy solutions service provider, Energy Partners, to roll out a national solar programme.

The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of over 2 531 kilowatt peak (kWp) at five of Pioneer’s manufacturing facilities, including Wadeville, Clayville, Bloemfontein, Klerksdorp and Worcester. The project is expected to yield a total savings of R116 million over the next 25 years.

Niel Tolken, Project Engineer for Pioneer Foods says, “Sustainability is an integral part of the company’s overall strategy. The installation of alternative energy is a part of the organisation’s journey towards minimising its carbon footprint. We are very satisfied with th...

Pioneer Foods recently joined forces with reputed energy solutions service provider, Energy Partners, to roll out a national solar programme.

The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of over 2 531 kilowatt peak (kWp) at five of Pioneer’s manufacturing facilities, including Wadeville, Clayville, Bloemfontein, Klerksdorp and Worcester. The project is expected to yield a total savings of R116 million over the next 25 years.

Niel Tolken, Project Engineer for Pioneer Foods says, “Sustainability is an integral part of the company’s overall strategy. The installation of alternative energy is a part of the organisation’s journey towards minimising its carbon footprint. We are very satisfied with the quality of the installation and we look forward to the anticipated results.”

Manie de Waal, Head of the solar division at Energy Partners adds, “The solar programme allows the sites to generate solar electricity for its own consumption at a cost of up to 18% less than that of an electricity supplier. In addition to its savings potential, the installation of these solar solutions will also decrease the company’s carbon footprint. The total annual effective carbon offset for these solar plants is approximately 3 800 tonnes per year.”

 

SA COMPANY LAUNCHES FIRST LOCALLY DEVELOPED RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BATTERY

06 May 2016

Energy Partners has developed a ground breaking new product, the ICON HOME ENERGY HUBTM, the first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market. A product that, they believe, looks and performs better than anything else in the market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn a 16% or better return on their investment - twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide.

...

Energy Partners has developed a ground breaking new product, the ICON HOME ENERGY HUBTM, the first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market. A product that, they believe, looks and performs better than anything else in the market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn a 16% or better return on their investment - twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide.




We've got the power - S.A tech team takes on Tesla

26 Apr 2016
 

A local tech firm recently introduced an energy solution for South African homes. The Icon Home Energy Hub was designed with the aim of helping consumers better manage and store energy, while saving costs. CNBC Africa's Benedict Pather compiled this report.

...
 

A local tech firm recently introduced an energy solution for South African homes. The Icon Home Energy Hub was designed with the aim of helping consumers better manage and store energy, while saving costs. CNBC Africa's Benedict Pather compiled this report.

SA’s very own take on Tesla’s Powerwall battery

21 Apr 2016

Our very own prospects for a zero-emission South African city of the future are quite a way off, but we have to start somewhere. Right? And that somewhere starts with Energy Partners home solutions. By ‘home solutions’ we’re talking of the electrical kind. Think Tesla and its amazing Powerwall battery. Yes, exactly that.

Pretty much like Tesla’s Powerwall battery and Mercedes-Benz’s residential battery, the Icon Energy Hub concept, from Energy Partners is to save users money in the long run by charging up a battery pack when your home’s off-peak electricity usage is in effect, or rather, when its off-peak and solar charge is at its optimum. The device then allows you to use the battery to power up your home when load shedding hits, or when you...

Our very own prospects for a zero-emission South African city of the future are quite a way off, but we have to start somewhere. Right? And that somewhere starts with Energy Partners home solutions. By ‘home solutions’ we’re talking of the electrical kind. Think Tesla and its amazing Powerwall battery. Yes, exactly that.

Pretty much like Tesla’s Powerwall battery and Mercedes-Benz’s residential battery, the Icon Energy Hub concept, from Energy Partners is to save users money in the long run by charging up a battery pack when your home’s off-peak electricity usage is in effect, or rather, when its off-peak and solar charge is at its optimum. The device then allows you to use the battery to power up your home when load shedding hits, or when you want to completely stay off the grid. If loads exceed solar demand, the device supplements with grid power – the hub also allows users to switch between sources by way of a dedicated smartphone app.

Energy Partners is differentiating itself from competitors by using traditional lead acid batteries in its units, making them as environmentally friendly as possible. The new Icon Energy Hub system will be the company’s first foray into the residential market, which includes a battery and inverter combination, heat pump technology as well as an oversized hot water tank as the primary energy storage medium. Its systems are already evident at the iconic Val de Vie Estate.

There currently aren’t any plans to bring the home battery to the greater parts of South Africa, but if you’re in the Western Cape, the complete unit (holding roughly 6 kWh of electricity) will set you back R170 000 excluding all installation costs.

Musk’s Powerwall has SA competitor

21 Apr 2016

Now there is a homegrown alternative to the Tesla Powerwall, but at a price.

The Tesla Powerwall unveiled in the USA by Elon Musk last year as a solution to home energy storage now has South African competition.

Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of PSG subsidiary Energy Partners, has announced the launch of what it calls South Africa’s “first-of-its-kind residential energy solution” – the Icon Home Energy Hub. The solution allows residential users to improve efficiency in their overall energy usage, generate their own energy and also to store extra solar electricity for everyday use or for backup/electricity security.

However, it comes at a high cost. The full system starts at R167 000, excluding VAT. Systems can also be financed ...

Now there is a homegrown alternative to the Tesla Powerwall, but at a price.

The Tesla Powerwall unveiled in the USA by Elon Musk last year as a solution to home energy storage now has South African competition.

Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of PSG subsidiary Energy Partners, has announced the launch of what it calls South Africa’s “first-of-its-kind residential energy solution” – the Icon Home Energy Hub. The solution allows residential users to improve efficiency in their overall energy usage, generate their own energy and also to store extra solar electricity for everyday use or for backup/electricity security.

However, it comes at a high cost. The full system starts at R167 000, excluding VAT. Systems can also be financed over 5 years. The Tesla Powerwall version with solar panels included starts at R169 000 excluding VAT.

That means it will come down to the exact specifications as well as services available.

According to Alan Matthews, Managing Director of Energy Partners Home Solutions, this product is the country’s first integrated battery and inverter solution specifically for the South African home market and has the potential to minimise the user’s dependence on the national energy grid.

“We believe it is going to revolutionise how South Africans manage and store their energy at home.”

He says that the company embarked on developing the product to assist South African home owners with a solution for controlling their energy spend, especially when subjected to unreliable supply during load shedding by Eskom.

“Like our corporate clients, they too were at the mercy of tariff increases. But, unlike corporate clients, they did not have teams of engineers and strong financial skills to draw on.

“This is why we spent the last 18 months creating this unique solution for homeowners,” he says. “Our solution enables home owners to take control of their energy, by supplying a set of reliable products that form a full home energy solution which combines lighting, water heating and renewable energy.”

The Energy Partner’s solution enables a family sized home to save up to 70% of its electricity bill and earn from a 16% return on their investment.

“That is twice the saving a standard solar solution would provide,” says Matthews.

The Icon Home Energy Hub consists of two components: the Energy Hub Inverter and the Lithium Ion Phosphate Battery.

“The inverter is a critical component in any solar energy solution. Its main function is to take the electricity generated (DC) from the solar panels and convert it into an energy form that can be utilised in the home (AC). The inverter also integrates with the battery to allow all excess generated energy to be stored in the batteries for later usage.”

The full household solution includes: the Icon hybrid inverter; 3.1 kWp poly crystalline panels; Icon 3.6 kWh LiFePO4 battery; 300 litre tank with a total average storage capacity 16 kWh; a 4.7 kW heat pump; mounting structure to mount the panels on the roof and the balance of the system.

The most recognisable global competitor to the Icon is the Tesla Powerwall battery, paired with a Solar edge inverter, he says.

“When this product was launched in South Africa recently it received a lot of attention, but the Tesla solution is focussed around the battery – which is 6.4 kWh. Our solution includes a smaller battery, but also includes a heat pump and an extra-large hot water tank. This means that it delivers almost double the saving and costs less.”

He says that besides the energy bill reduction benefit, the solution also reduces the homeowner’s carbon footprint and environmental impact and makes the user independent of the grid.

“The user can power essential loads for several hours, even if the grid is off, a feature that is simply not possible with grid-tied inverters.”

The solution is extremely flexible; for example, it can be installed without batteries and then 3.6 kWh or 6 kWh of battery capacity can be added as needed. It also includes a remote monitoring platform allowing the user to monitor the status of their system directly on their mobile app.

“The system can be ordered directly from us and we have our own installation capacity. Our consultants are also happy to come and visit those interested at their homes. We are currently only installing in the Western Cape, but plan to launch in Gauteng before the end of 2016. We are currently accepting orders and our first products will ship in June 2016,” says Matthews.

Icon Home Energy Hub, the SA developed energy solution taking on Tesla Powerwall

21 Apr 2016

Move over Tesla and Powerwall, because you’ve got competition in SA. Announced yesterday,Energy Partners unveiled their Icon Home Energy Hub, an all-in-one solution for storing and using solar energy in the home.

This “energy hub” primarily consists of an inverter — designed specifically for the South African market — and a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, available in 3.6kWh or 6kWh. The battery alone supposedly has a 10-year life cycle, or over 4000 discharge cycles.

While Energy Partners were primarily focussing on these two devices, that isn’t all there is to the solution. It’s also comprised of a heat pump, water tank, and solar panels.

The inverter draws power through the solar panels and manages the loads when...

Move over Tesla and Powerwall, because you’ve got competition in SA. Announced yesterday,Energy Partners unveiled their Icon Home Energy Hub, an all-in-one solution for storing and using solar energy in the home.

This “energy hub” primarily consists of an inverter — designed specifically for the South African market — and a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, available in 3.6kWh or 6kWh. The battery alone supposedly has a 10-year life cycle, or over 4000 discharge cycles.

While Energy Partners were primarily focussing on these two devices, that isn’t all there is to the solution. It’s also comprised of a heat pump, water tank, and solar panels.

The inverter draws power through the solar panels and manages the loads when it needed, while charging the battery for night-time or blackout usage. Due to the way the devices are designed, the inverter can make sure 100% of any solar energy stored is used in order to reduce wastage. Depending on the settings, or how low on power the battery is, the inverter will also draw from the electrical grid, as well as use it to charge loads.

According to Energy Partners, the solution can save homeowners up to 70% of their electricity bill, as well as generate a 16% return on investment. The system can be paid back in seven years with the unit having a 20-year life cycle.

Along with its internal design, the aesthetics of the devices have been designed with homeowners in mind as the battery and inverter are the only visible components. Each of these is housed in a white and black casing, which is reminiscent of Apple products. They feature a single LED colour strip, which is the only interface between the user and the power readings. The inverter can display red, blue, and green for different messages, while the battery shows how full it is.

There is an app accompanying the system for notifying users of how much energy is stored in the battery and how much money has been saved on electricity usage.

According to the company, which is backed by PSG Group, this is the first inverter designed for the South African market. Even though it’s developed in SA, it’s not all manufactured here. The company is hoping to manufacture the next version’s inverters in SA.

Even with all of the attractive features, the device comes at a cost and isn’t’ geared towards the average individual, say those living in flats. In total, the complete solution will cost R167 000, excluding VAT. Installation of the system can cost around R10 000, but it’s dependant on the home and setup. Everything is modular, which means customers can purchase the heater and tank initially and expand from there. There is also a five-year payment plan for those who don’t want to put down money upfront.

Right now, 140 units are allocated to the Val de Vide Estate in Cape Town for their next round of development.

Those wanting to get their hands on it will be able to in June, but only if you’re living in the Western Cape. Energy Partners plans to use the province as a sort of testing ground before expanding to other areas. Gauteng will be next with an expected availability in Q3 this year.

When asked about a lower-cost version of the product, a representative stated it is on the cards. At the moment, the company is looking to first grow the current range, but is thinking of ways to save on development and manufacturing costs. Don’t expect a mass-market unit within the next 18 months.

It will be interesting to see how Energy Partners and Tesla eventually battle it out, and if any other competitors will rise in the SA market.

 

How South African businesses can manage energy in 2016

21 Apr 2016

Many South African businesses have lived to tell the tale of load-shedding, frequent power outages and high electricity costs in 2015. And it is not over until it is over.

As the same problems are likely to occur in 2016, an expert is advising businesses to watch out and use the following tips to manage energy this year.

Why going ‘off-the-grid’ is not necessarily a good idea

South Africa has committed to an energy generation infrastructure development plan for 2010 to 2030, known as the Integrated Resource Plan, which stipulates that the country aims to achieve 9 600MW of solar power by 2030.

In order to achieve this ambitious milestone, South African businesses will have to play a key role by carefully planning their future energy solutions....

Many South African businesses have lived to tell the tale of load-shedding, frequent power outages and high electricity costs in 2015. And it is not over until it is over.

As the same problems are likely to occur in 2016, an expert is advising businesses to watch out and use the following tips to manage energy this year.

Why going ‘off-the-grid’ is not necessarily a good idea

South Africa has committed to an energy generation infrastructure development plan for 2010 to 2030, known as the Integrated Resource Plan, which stipulates that the country aims to achieve 9 600MW of solar power by 2030.

In order to achieve this ambitious milestone, South African businesses will have to play a key role by carefully planning their future energy solutions.

Manie de Waal, head of commercial Solar at Energy Partners – an energy solutions provider in South Africa – says that although photo voltaic (PV) solar solutions are rapidly being rolled out on a commercial scale there is still often confusion about the benefits of solar power and how to use it optimally.

“While diesel generators are not a ‘clean’ source of energy, the combination of a diesel generator with a solar PV solution is often the most financially attractive option for businesses looking to safeguard against the effects of load-shedding.”

De Waal explains that businesses that operate during standard office hours usually require energy during solar ‘peak-times’ – when sunlight is abundantly available – but must be clear that a ‘grid-tied’ solar solution (by far the majority of all commercial systems in South Africa) does not provide backup power during load shedding.

“To drive down costs and also ensure continuous supply of power we would often recommend a grid-tied PV solution coupled to a diesel generator. This solution ties into the Eskom power grid and provides power depending on sunlight levels.

“When load shedding strikes, a switch over to the generator occurs. Costs are then minimised with the support of solar power. Utility costs are therefore decreased while simultaneously providing an uninterrupted power supply.”

The generator will kick in immediately once the power supply is interrupted, he says.

“The cost per unit for energy from Eskom is still significantly less than the cost per unit for energy produced by a generator, therefore it is not recommended for businesses to go ‘off-the-grid’ at this stage.”

It is important to consider the size of the generator carefully when coupling it to a solar power as there is a risk of damaging the generator during low load conditions, warns de Waal. “Very specific technology is available and should be implemented when coupling solar power to a generator.”

De Wall stresses that there are also solar solutions with battery storage available which enables excess solar power to be stockpiled and utilised when required, for example in the event of a power outage.

“Battery technology is however still quite expensive in South Africa at the moment and the leading global battery technology is not ideal for the South African climate and energy situation. “Load shedding for example is not a common occurrence in Europe and the US.”

He says another energy solution to consider in 2016 is the installation of heat pumps.

“Hot water production in the industrial sector accounts for a large portion of national energy demand. Heat pumps have the potential to provide hot water at the same temperature while utilising up to 70% less electricity and therefore provides great benefits to organisations with large hot water requirements.”

Regardless of the solution selected by the organisation, an imperative action is to draw a clear distinction between the essential and non-essential circuits, explains de Waal.

“This process of identifying the most important components of the business is called load management and will ensure that the critical loads remain uninterrupted during load-shedding, thereby improving the resilience and business continuity of the organisation.”

“With a vast amount of energy solutions becoming available and more affordable in the country, it is highly recommended for business owners to consult with a reputable energy solutions provider in order to ensure that they do not overspend or implement unnecessary energy solutions. While going ‘off-the-grid’ seems to be a popular concept at the moment, it is not the best solution from a practical and financial perspective,” he concludes.

New residential energy solution launched in South Africa

21 Apr 2016

A residential energy solution, which allows homeowners to generate and store their own electricity, has been officially launched in the Western Cape market by Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of PSG.

Dubbed the ‘Icon Home Energy Hub’, the solution comprises roof-mounted solar panels with a 3.1 kWp capacity and an inverter, which converts direct-current electricity produced by the panels to alternating current. The inverter is integrated with a 3.6 kWh lithium-iron phosphate battery, which is able to store energy for use during higher-tariff peak periods.

Print Send to Friend 6 1 In fact, the full household solution also includes a hot-water tank, a heat pump and a remote monitoring platform allowing the user to monitor the status of their system dir...

A residential energy solution, which allows homeowners to generate and store their own electricity, has been officially launched in the Western Cape market by Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of PSG.

Dubbed the ‘Icon Home Energy Hub’, the solution comprises roof-mounted solar panels with a 3.1 kWp capacity and an inverter, which converts direct-current electricity produced by the panels to alternating current. The inverter is integrated with a 3.6 kWh lithium-iron phosphate battery, which is able to store energy for use during higher-tariff peak periods.

Print Send to Friend 6 1 In fact, the full household solution also includes a hot-water tank, a heat pump and a remote monitoring platform allowing the user to monitor the status of their system directly through a mobile app. However, the company has opted for a modular deployment approach and is willing, for instance, to install only aspects of the overall offering, depending on a homeowner’s requirements.

The full solution will cost R167 000 before value added tax and is designed primarily for medium-sized households with a monthly electricity bill of above R1 500. MD Alan Matthews says such households will save up to 70% on their monthly electricity bill and earn a 16% return on their investment over seven years. The residential offering, he adds, has been developed over the past 18 months to cater for homeowners keen to “take control of their energy” in a context of rising tariffs and supply disruptions. However, it has been has also been sized with due regard to the prevailing lack of certainty about the rules associated with households feeding surplus electricity back into the grid.

“We have opted for a modular approach that enables households to increase their capacity over time should it make sense to do so,” Matthews explains.

The inverters and batteries come with a five-year guarantee and are expected to endure for ten years, with the batteries designed for 4 000 full-discharge cycles. The panels, which are imported mostly from China, come with a guarantee that they will operate at 80% of their rated power capacity for 20 years.

Energy Partners Home Solutions is accepting Western Cape orders for delivery in June and will launch in Gauteng before the end of 2016. It has a backlog of about 60 homes, most of which are associated with a new estate being built in the Western Cape, but it is targeting to install between 0.5 MW and 1 MW of residential systems by the end of 2016.

SA’s first residential energy storage solution launched

21 Apr 2016

Alan Matthews, Energy Partners Home Solutions Managing Director

Energy Partners Home Solutions has announced the launch of South Africa’s first residential energy solution, the Icon Home Energy Hub.

The solution allows residential users to improve efficiency in their overall energy usage, generate their own energy and also to store extra solar electricity for everyday use or for backup/electricity security.

According to Alan Matthews, Energy Partners Home Solutions Managing Director, this product is the country’s first integrated battery and inverter solution specifically for the South African home market and has the potential to minimise the user’s dependence on the national energy grid.

“We believe it is going to revolutionise ho...

Alan Matthews, Energy Partners Home Solutions Managing Director

Energy Partners Home Solutions has announced the launch of South Africa’s first residential energy solution, the Icon Home Energy Hub.

The solution allows residential users to improve efficiency in their overall energy usage, generate their own energy and also to store extra solar electricity for everyday use or for backup/electricity security.

According to Alan Matthews, Energy Partners Home Solutions Managing Director, this product is the country’s first integrated battery and inverter solution specifically for the South African home market and has the potential to minimise the user’s dependence on the national energy grid.

“We believe it is going to revolutionise how South Africans manage and store their energy at home.”

He explains that the company embarked on developing the product to assist South African home owners with a solution for controlling their energy spend, especially when subjected to unreliable supply during load shedding by Eskom. “Like our corporate clients, they too were at the mercy of tariff increases. But, unlike corporate clients, they did not have teams of engineers and strong financial skills to draw on.”

This is why we spent the last 18 months creating this unique solution for homeowners, he says. “Our solution enables home owners to take control of their energy, by supplying a set of reliable products that form a full home energy solution which combines lighting, water heating and renewable energy.”

The Energy Partner’s solution enables a family sized home to save up to 70% of its electricity bill and earn from a 16% return on their investment.

“That is twice the saving a standard solar solution would provide,” says Matthews.

The Icon Home Energy Hub consists of two components: the Energy Hub Inverter and the Lithium Ion Phosphate Battery. “The inverter is a critical component in any solar energy solution. Its main function is to take the electricity generated (DC) from the solar panels and convert it into an energy form that can be utilised in the home (AC). The inverter also integrates with the battery to allow all excess generated energy to be stored in the batteries for later usage.”

The full household solution includes: the Icon hybrid inverter; 3.1 kWp poly crystalline panels; Icon 3.6 kWh LiFePO4 battery; 300 litre tank with a total average storage capacity 16 kWh; a 4.7 kW heat pump; mounting structure to mount the panels on the roof and the balance of the system.

The most recognisable global competitor to the Icon is the Tesla Powerwall battery, paired with a Solar edge inverter, he says. “When this product was launched in South Africa recently it received a lot of attention, but the Tesla solution is focussed around the battery – which is 6.4 kWh. Our solution includes a smaller battery, but also includes a heat pump and an extra-large hot water tank. This means that it delivers almost double the saving and costs less.”

He says that besides the energy bill reduction benefit, the solution also reduces the homeowner’s carbon footprint and environmental impact and makes the user independent of the grid. “The user can power essential loads for several hours, even if the grid is off, a feature that is simply not possible with grid-tied inverters.”

The solution is extremely flexible, for example, it can be installed without batteries and then 3.6 kWh or 6 kWh of battery capacity can be added as needed. It also includes a remote monitoring platform allowing the user to monitor the status of their system directly on their mobile app.”

“The system can be ordered directly from us and we have our own installation capacity. Our consultants are also happy to come and visit those interested at their homes. We are currently only installing in the Western Cape, but plan to launch in Gauteng before the end of 2016. We are currently accepting orders and our first products will ship in June 2016,” concludes Matthews.

SA Businesses must work with Eskom this winter to avoid load shedding

14 Mar 2016

10 March 2016: Eskom CEO Brian Molefe yesterday announced that the utility will use diesel in winter if necessary to avoid load shedding, even if the costs are high. South African businesses can also play a key role in keeping load shedding at bay by investing in alternative energy solutions.

This is according to Manie de Waal, Head – Energy Partners Solar, a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa, who says that in the last five years, the cost of energy has become a growing concern for SA business and is especially troublesome for companies that are heavily dependent on Eskom’s electricity supply. “However, while business leaders know that energy efficiency is already critical for business survival, many avoid following through on the implementation...

10 March 2016: Eskom CEO Brian Molefe yesterday announced that the utility will use diesel in winter if necessary to avoid load shedding, even if the costs are high. South African businesses can also play a key role in keeping load shedding at bay by investing in alternative energy solutions.

This is according to Manie de Waal, Head – Energy Partners Solar, a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa, who says that in the last five years, the cost of energy has become a growing concern for SA business and is especially troublesome for companies that are heavily dependent on Eskom’s electricity supply. “However, while business leaders know that energy efficiency is already critical for business survival, many avoid following through on the implementation due to the misperception that it is too complicated or a costly process.”

De Waal explains that prior to the energy crises in 2008, SA enjoyed abnormally low electricity tariffs and as such both behavioural patterns and optimisation of energy intensive operations did not develop gradually (as they did globally) towards cost effective sustainability. “While behavioural change, i.e. literally getting people to switch off, forms the building block for overall energy optimisation, this will usually only result in 10% reduction - at most. To reach a 20% – 50% reduction in consumption, businesses must invest in their operational asset base, preferably partnering with a reputable energy solutions provider.”

There are multiple funding options available to assist businesses with the transition, the least risky of which is a gain share agreement whereby an energy solutions provider invests in an organisation and is rewarded only based on results achieved.

He explains that in the gain share, or performance rental, funding models the energy solutions provider invests in a company’s energy efficiency by funding the solution - be it solar Photovoltaic (PV), , heating, cooling systems or outsourced steam generation - and is also responsible for the operation of the equipment. “Only when savings are realised, the solutions provider is rewarded for its results. All these types of agreements should be structured that the client is cash flow positive from day one, without carrying performance risk or investing its own capital.”

De Waal warns however that businesses must be sure to partner with a reliable and experienced energy solutions provider, because even though the financial risk is mitigated, operational risk is involved in outsourcing critical business processes. .

He explains that currently, Energy Partners is working on number of gain share funding initiatives including, for example, a recent steam outsourcing project in Wadeville, Johannesburg. “Energy Partners invested in and installed a boiler on the premises and appointed a dedicated team to manage the operations. The client is not invoiced for the service or the hardware, but only for the steam generated. We are literally saving them millions per month.”

Alternative funding options include self-funding; external financing and ‘green’ funding. “If the operation is self-funded, the buyer enjoys the full benefit of the installation and the savings are not off-set against finance charges.” De Waal adds that this option is often chosen by corporates that do not have a tightly constrained cash flow and are comfortable carrying the performance risk of the asset. This type of investment should however always be weighed up against other available investment opportunities which clients ‘understand’ better.

External financing is a bank loan, typically issued at the corporation’s overdraft rate. ‘Green’ funding works on a similar principle, but a preferential interest rate is offered as these funds come from sources that are earmarked for energy saving initiatives. “With green funding, measurement and verification (M&V) requirements are sometimes demanded of the organisation to ensure that the asset is performing at the desired level.”

De Waal says that business owners should ensure that they understand the full cost implication of financing options, especially when the company invests its own capital. “The savings from solar power should, for instance, be very carefully considered against both the opportunity costs of other investments and also against the true cost of Eskom power during the time of day when solar is generated.”

Business owners must understand that bills may go up even while the company is saving, because energy costs are dependent on usage patterns, tariffs and climate. “It is thus imperative to measure energy consumption prior to the optimisation initiative to establish an agreed upon baseline against which savings can be determined.”

“At Energy Partners, we very seldom see a site where saving potential is less than 20% on the current bill and in some cases savings could exceed 50%. The biggest mistake a company can make is to do nothing when there are low-risk solutions available that require no capital investment,” concludes de Waal. 

‘Electricity cost for average SA household will be R30360 in 8 years’ time’

02 Feb 2016

That’s according to a forecast released on Tuesday by Energy Partners which said the “electricity cost for the average South African household will increase from R13509 per annum to R15696 in one year’s time‚ R25206 in 5 years’ time and R30360 in 8 years’ time”.

This comes as the National Energy Regulator of SA is holding public hearings into Eskom application to cover a R22.8-billion adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Energy Partners’ Mila Loubser described this as “one of many exorbitant tariff increases forecasted until 2022 and onwards when electricity price increases are expected to match up with Consumer Price Index (CPI)”.

...

That’s according to a forecast released on Tuesday by Energy Partners which said the “electricity cost for the average South African household will increase from R13509 per annum to R15696 in one year’s time‚ R25206 in 5 years’ time and R30360 in 8 years’ time”.

This comes as the National Energy Regulator of SA is holding public hearings into Eskom application to cover a R22.8-billion adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Energy Partners’ Mila Loubser described this as “one of many exorbitant tariff increases forecasted until 2022 and onwards when electricity price increases are expected to match up with Consumer Price Index (CPI)”.

She said the “the historical impact on actual domestic tariffs for a typical consumer in residential areas will have increased from R0.14 per kWh in 1988 to R 2.18 per kWh in 2016” if Eskom’s latest increase is approved.

 Loubser said “the power situation in South Africa will only fully stabilise by 2022 when a reliable energy supply and standard increases can be expected to be established once more”.

She said her company’s “forecast was based on Eskom’s 2015 submission of an application for price increase of 25.3% as a selective reopener” of Nersa’s hearings.

 “This application was rejected in June 2015 due to significantly overstated costs and a lack of credible long-term planning and certainty. In light of this rejection‚ Eskom will have to borrow funds in order to close the funding gap of R200-billion up to 2018‚” she said.

“With a cumulative increase of 93% expected over the next eight years‚ no organisation or household can really afford not to monitor their energy usage‚ especially in light of the significant savings these initiatives can yield by using only the existing energy infrastructure‚” she added.

 

Energy price increases only expected to equalise by 2022

02 Feb 2016

All cities in South Africa will face an electricity tariff increase of at least 16% in July if Eskom is granted approval to cover a R22.8bn adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year. This is one of many exorbitant tariff increases forecasted until 2022 and onwards when electricity price increases are expected to match up with Consumer Price Index (CPI) - according to the latest energy forecast conducted by Energy Partners, a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa.

Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, points out that the historical impact on actual domestic tariffs for a typical consumer in residential areas will have increased from R 0.14 per kWh in 1988 to R2.18 per kWh in 2016 if this latest increase application is approved. &l...

All cities in South Africa will face an electricity tariff increase of at least 16% in July if Eskom is granted approval to cover a R22.8bn adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year. This is one of many exorbitant tariff increases forecasted until 2022 and onwards when electricity price increases are expected to match up with Consumer Price Index (CPI) - according to the latest energy forecast conducted by Energy Partners, a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa.

Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, points out that the historical impact on actual domestic tariffs for a typical consumer in residential areas will have increased from R 0.14 per kWh in 1988 to R2.18 per kWh in 2016 if this latest increase application is approved. “Our forecast further predicts that the electricity cost for the average South African household will increase from R13,509 per annum to R15,696 in one year’s time, R25,206 in five years’ time and R30,360 in eight years’ time. This will mean a cumulative increase by 93% over an eight-year period.”

Loubser says that an annual increase of around 13% is expected up until 2019 after which increases are expected to drop to 8% per annum. “Our data suggests that the power situation in South Africa will only fully stabilise by 2022 when a reliable energy supply and standard increases can be expected to be established once more.”

She adds that the forecast was based on Eskom’s 2015 submission of an application for price increase of 25.3% as a selective reopener of NERSA’s third multi-year price determination (MYPD 3.) “This application was rejected in June 2015 due to significantly overstated costs and a lack of credible long-term planning and certainty. In light of this rejection, Eskom will have to borrow funds in order to close the funding gap of R200bn up to 2018.”

Due to current circumstances and difficult environment for the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, it is vital to implement smart energy usage, says Loubser. “A first step for businesses and households is the development of an energy management strategy to decrease consumption and lower the base that is used for multiplication with new increased tariffs. Energy Partners have decreased the consumption of our top ten clients on average by 23% and saved more than R1.5bn in a five-year period, simply by implementing energy management programs.”

She explains that these energy management programs can be implemented quite effortlessly if the consumer partners with an expert. “Once these programs are running, further opportunities for saving and optimisation like solar power generation and efficient water heating are constantly identified and executed to further increase overall savings substantially.”

Loubser stresses the importance for energy users to consult with an energy solutions provider that has access to a sophisticated tariff calculation engine. “These calculators can simulate different scenarios of consumption during different periods of the day. This process enables the organisation to identify energy intensive processes and machinery and also sheds light on their tariff system. A simple example of effective load management is to run energy intensive machinery during off-peak times when a lower tariff rate is charged.”

“With a cumulative increase of 93% expected over the next eight years, no organisation or household can really afford not to monitor their energy usage, especially in light of the significant savings these initiatives can yield by using only the existing energy infrastructure,” concludes Loubser.

Electricity prices forecast to surge by 93% in eight years

02 Feb 2016

The power situation in South Africa will only fully stabilise by 2022 when a reliable energy supply and standard increases can be expected to be established once more‚ says energy specialist Mila Loubser. Until then‚ she says South Africans should brace for exorbitant price hikes.

All cities in South Africa will face an electricity tariff increase of at least 16% in July if Eskom is granted approval to cover a R22.8-billion adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Loubser‚ Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners‚ calculates that the historical impact on actual domestic tariffs for a typical consumer in residential areas will have increased from R0.14 per kWh in 1988 to R2.18 per kWh in 2016 if this latest increase appli...

The power situation in South Africa will only fully stabilise by 2022 when a reliable energy supply and standard increases can be expected to be established once more‚ says energy specialist Mila Loubser. Until then‚ she says South Africans should brace for exorbitant price hikes.

All cities in South Africa will face an electricity tariff increase of at least 16% in July if Eskom is granted approval to cover a R22.8-billion adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Loubser‚ Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners‚ calculates that the historical impact on actual domestic tariffs for a typical consumer in residential areas will have increased from R0.14 per kWh in 1988 to R2.18 per kWh in 2016 if this latest increase application is approved.

“Our forecast further predicts that the electricity cost for the average South African household will increase from R13‚509 per annum to R15‚696 in one year’s time‚ R25‚206 in five years’ time and R30‚360 in eight years’ time.

“This will mean a cumulative increase by 93% over an eight year period.”

Loubser said in a statement that an annual increase of around 13% is expected up until 2019 after which increases are expected to drop to 8% per annum.

“Our data suggests that the power situation in South Africa will only fully stabilise by 2022 when a reliable energy supply and standard increases can be expected to be established once more.”

She said the forecast was based on Eskom’s 2015 submission of an application for price increase of 25.3% as a selective reopener of the electricity regulator NERSA’s third multi-year price determination (MYPD 3). “This application was rejected in June 2015 due to significantly overstated costs and a lack of credible long-term planning and certainty. In light of this rejection‚ Eskom will have to borrow funds in order to close the funding gap of R200-billion up to 2018.”

Due to current circumstances and difficult environment for the industrial‚ commercial and residential sectors‚ it is vital to implement smart energy usage‚ said Loubser.

“A first step for businesses and households is the development of an energy management strategy to decrease consumption and lower the base that is used for multiplication with new increased tariffs... A simple example of effective load management is to run energy intensive machinery during off-peak times when a lower tariff rate is charged.”

“With a cumulative increase of 93% expected over the next eight years‚ no organisation or household can really afford not to monitor their energy usage‚” she said.

Average SA household electricity cost will be R30360 in eight years

02 Feb 2016

Eskom getting its way could see the price of electricity experiencing a “cumulative increase by 93% over an eight-year period”.

That’s according to a forecast released on Tuesday by Energy Partners which said the “electricity cost for the average South African household will increase from R13509 per annum to R15696 in one year’s time‚ R25206 in 5 years’ time and R30360 in 8 years’ time”.

This comes as the National Energy Regulator of SA is holding public hearings into Eskom application to cover a R22.8-billion adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Energy Partners’ Mila Loubser described this as “one of many exorbitant tariff increases forecasted until 2022 and onwards when electricity price ...

Eskom getting its way could see the price of electricity experiencing a “cumulative increase by 93% over an eight-year period”.

That’s according to a forecast released on Tuesday by Energy Partners which said the “electricity cost for the average South African household will increase from R13509 per annum to R15696 in one year’s time‚ R25206 in 5 years’ time and R30360 in 8 years’ time”.

This comes as the National Energy Regulator of SA is holding public hearings into Eskom application to cover a R22.8-billion adjustment for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Energy Partners’ Mila Loubser described this as “one of many exorbitant tariff increases forecasted until 2022 and onwards when electricity price increases are expected to match up with Consumer Price Index (CPI)”.

She said the “the historical impact on actual domestic tariffs for a typical consumer in residential areas will have increased from R0.14 per kWh in 1988 to R 2.18 per kWh in 2016” if Eskom’s latest increase is approved.

Loubser said “the power situation in South Africa will only fully stabilise by 2022 when a reliable energy supply and standard increases can be expected to be established once more”.

She said her company’s “forecast was based on Eskom’s 2015 submission of an application for price increase of 25.3% as a selective reopener” of Nersa’s hearings.

“This application was rejected in June 2015 due to significantly overstated costs and a lack of credible long-term planning and certainty. In light of this rejection‚ Eskom will have to borrow funds in order to close the funding gap of R200-billion up to 2018‚” she said.

“With a cumulative increase of 93% expected over the next eight years‚ no organisation or household can really afford not to monitor their energy usage‚ especially in light of the significant savings these initiatives can yield by using only the existing energy infrastructure‚” she added.

Top tips for energy management in 2016

20 Jan 2016

Expert explains why going ‘off-the-grid’ is not necessarily a good idea

South Africa has committed to an energy generation infrastructure development plan for 2010 to 2030, known as the Integrated Resource Plan, which stipulates that the country aims to achieve 9600MW of solar power by 2030. In order to achieve this ambitious milestone, South African businesses will have to play a key role by carefully planning their future energy solutions.

 This is according to Manie de Waal, Head of Commercial Solar at Energy Partners – a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa, who says that although photo voltaic (PV) solar solutions are rapidly being rolled out on a commer...

Expert explains why going ‘off-the-grid’ is not necessarily a good idea

South Africa has committed to an energy generation infrastructure development plan for 2010 to 2030, known as the Integrated Resource Plan, which stipulates that the country aims to achieve 9600MW of solar power by 2030. In order to achieve this ambitious milestone, South African businesses will have to play a key role by carefully planning their future energy solutions.

 This is according to Manie de Waal, Head of Commercial Solar at Energy Partners – a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa, who says that although photo voltaic (PV) solar solutions are rapidly being rolled out on a commercial scale there is still often confusion about the benefits of solar power and how to use it optimally. “While diesel generators are not a ‘clean’ source of energy, the combination of a diesel generator with a solar PV solution is often the most financially attractive option for businesses looking to safeguard against the effects of load-shedding.”

De Waal explains that businesses that operate during standard office hours usually require energy during solar ‘peak-times’ – when sunlight is abundantly available – but must be clear that a ‘grid-tied’ solar solution (by far the majority of all commercial systems in South Africa) does not provide backup power during load shedding.

“To drive down costs and also ensure continuous supply of power we would often recommend a grid-tied PV solution coupled to a diesel generator. This solution ties into the Eskom power grid and provides power depending on sunlight levels. When load shedding strikes there is a switch over to the generator, which costs are minimised with the support of solar power. Utility costs are therefore decreased while simultaneously providing an uninterrupted power supply.”

He adds that the generator will kick in immediately once the power supply is interrupted. “The cost per unit for energy from Eskom is still significantly less than the cost per unit for energy produced by a generator, therefore it is not recommended for businesses to go ‘off-the-grid’ at this stage.”

It is important to consider the size of the generator carefully when coupling it to a solar power as there there is a risk of damaging the generator during low load conditions, warns de Waal. “Very specific technology is available and should be implemented when coupling solar power to a generator.”

He explains that there are also solar solutions with battery storage available which enables excess solar power to be stockpiled and utilised when required, for example in the event of a power outage. “Battery technology is however still quite expensive in South Africa at the moment and the leading global battery technology is not ideal for the South African climate and energy situation. Load shedding for example is not a common occurrence in Europe and the USA.”

He says that another energy solution to consider in 2016 is the installation of heat pumps. “Hot water production in the industrial sector accounts for a large portion of national energy demand. Heat pumps have the potential to provide hot water at the same temperature while utilising up to 70% less electricity and therefore provides great benefits to organisations with large hot water requirements.”

Regardless of the solution selected by the organisation, an imperative action is to draw a clear distinction between the essential and non-essential circuits, explains de Waal. “This process of identifying the most important components of the business is called load management and will ensure that the critical loads remain uninterrupted during load-shedding, thereby improving the resilience and business continuity of the organisation.”

“With a vast amount of energy solutions becoming available and more affordable in the country, it is highly recommended for business owners to consult with a reputable energy solutions provider in order to ensure that they do not overspend or implement unnecessary energy solutions. While going ‘off-the-grid’ seems to be a popular concept at the moment it is not the best solution from a practical and financial perspective,” concludes de Waal.

Increased installations of heat pumps has potential to ease energy crises

13 Jan 2016

Hot water production in both the industrial and residential sectors accounts for a large portion of national energy demand. This is due to old and inefficient technologies, like electrical geysers, still being used to heat water. These technologies can easily be replaced by heat pumps which have the potential to provide hot water at the same temperature while utilising up to 70% less electricity.

This is according to Leon Laubscher, HVAC Engineer at Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa, who says that heating via electrical elements is outdated and highly inefficient. “Heat pumps are a mature and reliable technology that has become much more affordable than pure electrical heating, especially in light of the rapid rise in electricity costs. ...

Hot water production in both the industrial and residential sectors accounts for a large portion of national energy demand. This is due to old and inefficient technologies, like electrical geysers, still being used to heat water. These technologies can easily be replaced by heat pumps which have the potential to provide hot water at the same temperature while utilising up to 70% less electricity.

This is according to Leon Laubscher, HVAC Engineer at Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa, who says that heating via electrical elements is outdated and highly inefficient. “Heat pumps are a mature and reliable technology that has become much more affordable than pure electrical heating, especially in light of the rapid rise in electricity costs. This enables energy solutions providers to ‘lease’ heat pumps to consumers or business owners at a cost below the actual monetary savings that are achieved”

Laubscher says that it is reassuring to see that more South Africans are beginning to invest in heat pump technology and says that the organisation saw a massive spike in demand for heat pumps in 2015. “The wider installation of heat pumps in the country will result in significant pressure being taken off the national energy grid due to the decrease in electricity usage required for water heating applications.”

While all industries and households with hot water requirements can benefit from the installation of heat pumps, organisations with large hot water requirements stand to benefit the most. Processes such as electroplating, clean-in-place (CIP) processes and industrial cooking are just some examples of where these savings can be realised by replacing electrical heating with heat pumps, adds Laubscher. “We are also now developing centralised plants for high density housing, which will have more benefits for the developer and end-user.”

Laubscher warns however that heat pumps must be well maintained to yield optimum results and that many users do not have the resources or expertise to maintain these systems for the duration of their life-cycles. “Many suppliers and installers also take shortcuts and provide an inefficient solution that requires significant upfront capital investment.”

By outsourcing the heat pump solution, the client only pays a monthly outsourcing fee (which is exceeded by the monthly savings), no upfront capital is required and the heat pump is maintained by the supplier, he explains. “Outsourcing hot water requirements is therefore an ideal solution for companies or consumers to test the waters in a risk and hassle free manner, while maintaining the option to purchase the heat pump solution at any time.”

Laubscher explains that a single industrial heat pump solution - including pipework, tanks and pumps - typically takes about five days from start to end of commissioning. “For residential applications this is reduced to less than a day and ‘down-time’ of only half a day can be expected.”

“In light of the option to outsource hot water production now being available for industrial and residential users, this is an ideal time for South Africans to invest in the technology in order to save money and lessen the energy demand in the country,” concludes Laubscher. 

Expect a tight electricity system, says Eskom

13 Sep 2015

Cape Town - Eskom has kept the country's lights on for five weeks, following a gruelling period of load shedding during winter.

However the power utility cautioned on Sunday that the power system will be tight in the coming days owing to maintenance work.

It will undertake planned maintenance on the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme together with Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB).

"As a result, South Africa will get 650 MW instead of the 1 500 MW that is normally imported from Cahora Bassa on a daily basis."

The power utility said this maintenance is expected to be completed on Sunday September 20 with the scheme expected to be back on full power the next day.

It pointed out that the power system will be tight, particularly over t...

Cape Town - Eskom has kept the country's lights on for five weeks, following a gruelling period of load shedding during winter.

However the power utility cautioned on Sunday that the power system will be tight in the coming days owing to maintenance work.

It will undertake planned maintenance on the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme together with Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB).

"As a result, South Africa will get 650 MW instead of the 1 500 MW that is normally imported from Cahora Bassa on a daily basis."

The power utility said this maintenance is expected to be completed on Sunday September 20 with the scheme expected to be back on full power the next day.

It pointed out that the power system will be tight, particularly over the weekday evening peak periods from this coming Tuesday to Friday.

"Eskom will utilise its emergency reserves to augment the capacity shortfall as a result of this planned outage."

According to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners, a national mind-shift towards sustainable energy solutions may have played a significant role in Eskom managing to provide an uninterrupted power supply.

He pointed out that South Africa invested approximately R73bn in sustainable energy solutions in 2014.

The International Energy Agency indicated that sustainable energy formed 18% of the generation capacity mix globally in 2007, 21% in 2012 and 22% in 2013. It is anticipated that an estimated 25% of the world’s energy requirements will be fulfilled through sustainable sources by 2018.

Van der Westhuizen said some experts believe that the rapid growth pattern in renewable technologies in SA, will result in 100% sustainable energy generation by 2025 although he said a more realistic expectation is approximately 30%.

Investment in sustainable energy SA's solution

03 Sep 2015

Written by Infrastructure And Technology news

A mind-shift towards sustainable energy solutions may have played a significant role in Eskom managing to provide an uninterrupted power supply for 18 consecutive days.

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa. He says that with energy technologies becoming more affordable and accessible, and taking into account that 1.3 billion people globally still do not have access to electricity, there is great potential for growth in the sustainable energy sphere. Between 2013 and 2014 the use of sustainable energy in developing countries increased by over 35%.

Van der Westhuizen says that South Africa has ideal weather conditions for the...

Written by Infrastructure And Technology news

A mind-shift towards sustainable energy solutions may have played a significant role in Eskom managing to provide an uninterrupted power supply for 18 consecutive days.

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa. He says that with energy technologies becoming more affordable and accessible, and taking into account that 1.3 billion people globally still do not have access to electricity, there is great potential for growth in the sustainable energy sphere. Between 2013 and 2014 the use of sustainable energy in developing countries increased by over 35%.

Van der Westhuizen says that South Africa has ideal weather conditions for the implementation of 'green' energy and adds that while wind power is most cost effective on a large scale, solar is the preferred form of energy generation for commercial and residential property owners.

Most efficient option

"Taking factors such as cost, availability and reliability into account, photovoltaic solar energy generation is currently by far the most efficient option for businesses and households that want to gain some form of energy independence. In fact, the only regions better suited than Southern Africa for solar energy generation globally are Australia and South America."

He points to the International Energy Agency, which indicates that sustainable energy formed 18% of the generation capacity mix globally in 2007, 21% in 2012 and 22% in 2013. The report also indicated that an estimated 25% of the world's energy requirements will be fulfilled through sustainable sources by 2018. "There are some experts who believe that this rapid growth pattern in renewable technologies in SA, will result in 100% sustainable energy generation by 2025, though a more realistic expectation is approximately 30%."

Cheaper energy

Van der Westhuizen says that besides the most obvious environmental benefits like the significant decrease in pollution, the implementation and privatisation of sustainable energy will also decrease the monetary cost of energy for the end-consumer.

The increased accessibility to this basic resource in the developing world will lessen the strain on the parastatal electricity provider, decrease the cost for the end-consumer and stimulate the economy through job creation. Greater investment in the development of sustainable energy solutions is therefore the ideal solution for the national energy crises," concludes Van der Westhuizen.

Green mind shift helping Eskom

03 Sep 2015

Cape Town - A national mind-shift towards sustainable energy solutions may have played a significant role in Eskom managing to provide an uninterrupted power supply for more than three weeks, according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners.

He pointed out that South Africa invested approximately R73bn in sustainable energy solutions in 2014.

"With energy technologies becoming more affordable and accessible, and taking into account that 1.3 billion people globally still do not have access to electricity, there is great potential for growth in the sustainable energy sphere. Between 2013 and 2014 the use of sustainable energy in developing countries increased by over 35%.,” said Van der Westhuizen.

He added that South Africa has ide...

Cape Town - A national mind-shift towards sustainable energy solutions may have played a significant role in Eskom managing to provide an uninterrupted power supply for more than three weeks, according to Cala van der Westhuizen, spokesperson for Energy Partners.

He pointed out that South Africa invested approximately R73bn in sustainable energy solutions in 2014.

"With energy technologies becoming more affordable and accessible, and taking into account that 1.3 billion people globally still do not have access to electricity, there is great potential for growth in the sustainable energy sphere. Between 2013 and 2014 the use of sustainable energy in developing countries increased by over 35%.,” said Van der Westhuizen.

He added that South Africa has ideal weather conditions for the implementation of green energy. According to the International Energy Agency, sustainable energy formed 18% of the generation capacity mix globally in 2007, 21% in 2012 and 22% in 2013. It is anticipated that an estimated 25% of the world’s energy requirements will be fulfilled through sustainable sources by 2018.

“There are some experts who believe that this rapid growth pattern in renewable technologies in SA, will result in 100% sustainable energy generation by 2025, though a more realistic expectation is approximately 30%. Besides the most obvious environmental benefits like the significant decrease in pollution, the implementation and privatisation of sustainable energy will also decrease the monetary cost of energy for the end-consumer,” said Van der Westhuizen.

"The increased accessibility to this basic resource in the developing world will lessen the strain on the parastatal electricity provider, decrease the cost for the end-consumer and stimulate the economy through job creation. Greater investment in the development of sustainable energy solutions is therefore the ideal solution for the national energy crises.”

Uncertain load-shedding schedules prove costly for food production

21 Aug 2015

BY: ZANDILE MAVUSO CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The erratic implementation of load-shedding schedules is costing the local food production industry millions of rands every month, says energy solutions provider Energy Partners.

“From primary production through to the consumer, the food supply chain is impacted as farmers are dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting,” states Energy Partners heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration head Dawie Kriel.

The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around load-shedding schedules, which sees farmers having to halt manufacturing processes once they are in progress.

In the dairy industry, Energy Partners says, the i...

BY: ZANDILE MAVUSO CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The erratic implementation of load-shedding schedules is costing the local food production industry millions of rands every month, says energy solutions provider Energy Partners.

“From primary production through to the consumer, the food supply chain is impacted as farmers are dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting,” states Energy Partners heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration head Dawie Kriel.

The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around load-shedding schedules, which sees farmers having to halt manufacturing processes once they are in progress.

In the dairy industry, Energy Partners says, the infrastructure to support milk production operates predictably every day according to cows’ biorhythms.

Kriel explains that once the fresh milk is in the silo, it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for processing very carefully to ensure that its quality and safety are maintained. Once in the factory, the milk needs to be kept at a specific temperature and then processed through a series of heating and cooling stages to provide milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and many other products.

Moreover, he points out, the cooling plant is a crucial element and a big energy user in the production process and needs to run 24/7, 365 days a year. Though solar and wind energy can assist, is not ideal for this type of load and has to be integrated with a form of standby power generation.

An efficient alternative is to look at trigeneration or combined cooling, heating and power systems, where heating and cooling are generated simultaneously using one, affordable energy source, such as gas or coal.

Power interruptions also have an impact on the safe handling and storage of perishable foods in the retail sector. The reason for this is that, if the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves, or face unhappy customers that return inedible products.

To minimise the effect of load-shedding for retailers, Kriel says, owners must be as energy- efficient-conscious as possible and energy use must be monitored closely. Also, owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Load Shedding hits SA Food Production

05 Aug 2015

Load shedding is having a severe financial impact on South African food production, according to an expert at energy efficiency firm Energy Partners. According to Dawie Kriel, the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, this affects not only primary food production, but also post-harvest handling and the retail sector.

“The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition,” said Kriel.

His comments follow a plea from the South African Poultry Association earlier this month for government assistance to help them guarantee electricity supply to the nation’s biggest abattoirs as almost-daily load shedding is...

Load shedding is having a severe financial impact on South African food production, according to an expert at energy efficiency firm Energy Partners. According to Dawie Kriel, the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, this affects not only primary food production, but also post-harvest handling and the retail sector.

“The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition,” said Kriel.

His comments follow a plea from the South African Poultry Association earlier this month for government assistance to help them guarantee electricity supply to the nation’s biggest abattoirs as almost-daily load shedding is harming the birds’ welfare and creating health risks.

The slaughterhouses, some of which can process as many as 13 000 chickens hourly, can’t rely on generators as they aren’t able to create sufficient power for their needs, said Kevin Lovell, CEO of the poultry industry body. Lovell told Bloomberg the birds are typically stunned unconscious by electrocution before they are decapitated while hanging upside down.

When power cuts interrupt the process, the birds “have been stunned but they haven’t been killed; they’re hanging upside down and they’re coming back alive”, he told Bloomberg. “It’s a real problem. And it’s a huge waste problem because everything that stops in the process, sometimes hundreds of tons, has to be cleared. You have to clean and sterilise everything and then you have to dump at a medical waste site.” Kriel said on Wednesday that the entire supply chain – from primary production through to the consumer – is impacted in one way or another, because farmers are highly dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting.

“The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around the load shedding schedule. It is very difficult to halt production or manufacturing processes once they are in progress,” said Kriel. “In the dairy industry, for example, a herd of dairy cows and the infrastructure to support milk production run predictably every day according to the animals’ biorhythms. It is not something that can be switched on and off at a moment’s notice.” This was the same problem for the poultry industry. Lovell said while load shedding followed schedules, it was sometimes imposed at a few minutes’ notice.

Kriel said once fresh milk is in a silo it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for careful processing to ensure that quality and safety are maintained. “Once in the factory, it needs to be kept at the perfect temperature and then processed through a series of heating and cooling stages to provide the milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and many other products used daily,” said Kriel.

The cooling plant is a crucial element and a big energy user in the production process. It needs to run 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. “While solar and wind energy can assist, it is not ideal for this type of load and has to be integrated with a form of standby power generation.” Post-harvest concerns Kriel pointed out that reliable energy is of equal importance in the post-harvest sector, as the long-term quality and safety of food products depends on accurate temperature management throughout the process. “If this process is interrupted at any stage, the food product deteriorates in quality and cannot be sold as premium grade or worse, has to be discarded due to food safety concerns. This means food producers are losing valuable income and the country is deprived of quality nutrition,” said Kriel.

Cold chain disruption affects retail sector Power interruptions also have an impact on the safe handling and storage of perishable foods in the retail sector. “If the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves or face unhappy customers who return inedible products,” he said. “Lights, refrigeration, ovens and all other energy intensive elements must be as energy efficient as possible and energy usage must be monitored closely. Once this has been implemented, store owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours,” said Kriel.

Load shedding affecting national food production

02 Aug 2015

Written by CBN

Load-shedding has a severe financial effect on South African food production in the primary production, post-harvest and retail sector. Power interruptions may also be depriving the country of quality nutrition.

This is according to Dawie Kriel, Head of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC&R) at Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa - who says that the interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month.

Kriel explains that the entire supply chain, from primary production through to the consumer, are impacted in one way or another and says that farmers are very dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care an...

Written by CBN

Load-shedding has a severe financial effect on South African food production in the primary production, post-harvest and retail sector. Power interruptions may also be depriving the country of quality nutrition.

This is according to Dawie Kriel, Head of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC&R) at Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa - who says that the interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month.

Kriel explains that the entire supply chain, from primary production through to the consumer, are impacted in one way or another and says that farmers are very dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting. “The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around the load-shedding schedule.

It is very difficult to halt production or manufacturing processes once they are in progress. In the dairy industry, for example, a herd of dairy cows and the infrastructure to support milk production runs predictably everyday according to the animal’s biorhythms. It is not something that can be switched on and off at a moment’s notice.

” He explains that once the fresh milk is in the silo, it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for processing very carefully, to ensure that its quality and safety is maintained. “Once in the factory, it needs to be kept at the perfect temperature and then processed through a series of heating and cooling stages to provide the milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and many other products used daily.” Kriel explains that the cooling plant is a crucial element and big energy user in the production process and needs to runs 24 hours per day, 365 day per year. “While solar and wind energy can assist, is not ideal for this type of load and has to be integrated with a form of standby power generation.

An efficient alternative is to look at tri-generation or combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems, where heating and cooling is generated simultaneously using one, affordable energy source such as gas or coal.” He adds that reliable energy is of equal importance in the post-harvest sector, as the long term quality and safety of food products are dependent on accurate temperature management throughout the process. “If this process is interrupted at any stage, the food product either deteriorates in quality (thus cannot be sold as premium grade) or worse, has to be discarded due to food safety concerns.

This means food producers are losing valuable income and the country is deprived of quality nutrition.” Power interruptions also have an impact on the safe handling and storage of perishable foods in the retail sector, says Kriel. “If the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves, or face unhappy customers that return inedible products.” “To minimise the effect of load-shedding for retailers, owners must ensure that the energy required is optimised by employing an energy solutions provider,” he says. “Lights, refrigeration, ovens and all other energy intensive elements must be as energy efficient as possible and energy usage must be monitored closely. Once this has been implemented, store owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours.” Kriel says that while it is capital intensive to install these solutions initially, it could make the business partly or sometimes even wholly independent of the national energy supplier, especially if the solution is combined with solar power.

“Many energy solutions providers, such as Energy Partners, also provide energy solutions to the food and beverage sector on an outsourced basis which require minimal capital investment. These products and services allow clients to continue with business as usual in an energy efficient and cost effective way,” concludes Kriel.

Chickens, other food production impacted by load shedding

30 Jul 2015
Written by New24.com

According to Dawie Kriel, the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, this affects not only primary food production, but also post-harvest handling and the retail sector.

"The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition," said Kriel.

His comments follow a plea from the South African Poultry Association earlier this month for government assistance to help them guarantee electricity supply to the nation’s biggest abattoirs as almost-daily load shedding is harming the birds’ welfare and creating health risks.

The slaughterhouses, some of which can process as many as 13 ...

Written by New24.com

According to Dawie Kriel, the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, this affects not only primary food production, but also post-harvest handling and the retail sector.

"The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition," said Kriel.

His comments follow a plea from the South African Poultry Association earlier this month for government assistance to help them guarantee electricity supply to the nation’s biggest abattoirs as almost-daily load shedding is harming the birds’ welfare and creating health risks.

The slaughterhouses, some of which can process as many as 13 000 chickens hourly, can’t rely on generators as they aren’t able to create sufficient power for their needs, said Kevin Lovell, CEO of the poultry industry body.

Lovell told Bloomberg the birds are typically stunned unconscious by electrocution before they are decapitated while hanging upside down.

When power cuts interrupt the process, the birds “have been stunned but they haven’t been killed; they’re hanging upside down and they’re coming back alive”, he told Bloomberg.

“It’s a real problem. And it’s a huge waste problem because everything that stops in the process, sometimes hundreds of tons, has to be cleared. You have to clean and sterilise everything and then you have to dump at a medical waste site.”

Entire supply chain impacted

Kriel said on Wednesday that the entire supply chain - from primary production through to the consumer - is impacted in one way or another, because farmers are highly dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting.

"The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around the load shedding schedule. It is very difficult to halt production or manufacturing processes once they are in progress," said Kriel.

"In the dairy industry, for example, a herd of dairy cows and the infrastructure to support milk production run predictably every day according to the animals' biorhythms. It is not something that can be switched on and off at a moment’s notice."

This was the same problem for the poultry industry

Lovell said while load shedding followed schedules, it was sometimes imposed at a few minutes’ notice.

Kriel said once fresh milk is in a silo it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for careful processing to ensure that quality and safety are maintained.

"Once in the factory, it needs to be kept at the perfect temperature and then processed through a series of heating and cooling stages to provide the milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and many other products used daily," said Kriel.

The cooling plant is a crucial element and a big energy user in the production process. It needs to run 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

"While solar and wind energy can assist, it is not ideal for this type of load and has to be integrated with a form of standby power generation."

Post-harvest concerns

Kriel pointed out that reliable energy is of equal importance in the post-harvest sector, as the long-term quality and safety of food products depends on accurate temperature management throughout the process.

"If this process is interrupted at any stage, the food product deteriorates in quality and cannot be sold as premium grade or worse, has to be discarded due to food safety concerns. This means food producers are losing valuable income and the country is deprived of quality nutrition," said Kriel.

Cold chain disruption affects retail sector

Power interruptions also have an impact on the safe handling and storage of perishable foods in the retail sector.

"If the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves or face unhappy customers who return inedible products," he said.

"Lights, refrigeration, ovens and all other energy intensive elements must be as energy efficient as possible and energy usage must be monitored closely. Once this has been implemented, store owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours," said Kriel.

Load shedding is affecting national food production, says Energy Partners executive

30 Jul 2015

Written by Supply Chain News

Load shedding has a severe financial effect on South African food production in the primary production, post-harvest and retail sector. Power interruptions may also be depriving the country of quality nutrition, according to Dawie Kriel, Head of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration of Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider - who says that the interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month.

Kriel explained that the entire supply chain, from primary production through to the consumer, are affected in one way or another and said that farmers are very dependent on electricity for key processes, such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting.

"T...

Written by Supply Chain News

Load shedding has a severe financial effect on South African food production in the primary production, post-harvest and retail sector. Power interruptions may also be depriving the country of quality nutrition, according to Dawie Kriel, Head of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration of Energy Partners - a leading energy solutions provider - who says that the interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month.

Kriel explained that the entire supply chain, from primary production through to the consumer, are affected in one way or another and said that farmers are very dependent on electricity for key processes, such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting.

"The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around the load-shedding schedule. It is very difficult to halt production or manufacturing processes once they are in progress. In the dairy industry, for example, a herd of dairy cows and the infrastructure to support milk production runs predictably every day according to the animal's biorhythms. It is not something that can be switched on and off at a moment's notice." He explained that once the fresh milk is in the silo, it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for processing very carefully, to ensure that its quality and safety is maintained.

"Once in the factory, it needs to be kept at the perfect temperature and then processed through a series of heating and cooling stages to provide the milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and many other products used daily." A crucial element Kriel explained that the cooling plant is a crucial element and big energy user in the production process and needs to runs 24 hours a day, 365 day a year.

"While solar and wind energy can assist, they are not ideal for this type of load and have to be integrated with a form of standby power generation. An efficient alternative is to look at tri-generation or combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems, where heating and cooling is generated simultaneously using one, affordable energy source such as gas or coal." He added that reliable energy is of equal importance in the post-harvest sector, as the long-term quality and safety of food products are dependent on accurate temperature management throughout the process

."If this process is interrupted at any stage, the food product either deteriorates in quality (thus cannot be sold as premium grade) or worse, has to be discarded due to food safety concerns. This means food producers are losing valuable income and the country is deprived of quality nutrition." Power interruptions also have an impact on the safe handling and storage of perishable foods in the retail sector, said Kriel.

"If the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves, or face unhappy customers who return inedible products." Employ an energy solutions provider To minimise the effect of load shedding for retailers, owners must ensure that the energy required is optimised by employing an energy solutions provider, he said. "Lights, refrigeration, ovens and all other energy intensive elements must be as energy efficient as possible and energy usage must be monitored closely. Once this has been implemented, store owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours." Kriel said that while it is capital intensive to install these solutions initially, it could make the business partly - or sometimes even wholly - independent of the national energy supplier, especially if the solution is combined with solar power.

"Many energy solutions providers, such as Energy Partners, also provide energy solutions to the food and beverage sector on an outsourced basis which require minimal capital investment. These products and services allow clients to continue with business as usual in an energy efficient and cost-effective way," concluded Kriel

Load shedding hits SA food production

29 Jul 2015

Cape Town - Load shedding is having a severe financial impact on South African food production, according to an expert at energy efficiency firm Energy Partners.

According to Dawie Kriel, the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, this affects not only primary food production, but also post-harvest handling and the retail sector.

"The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition," said Kriel.

His comments follow a plea from the South African Poultry Association earlier this month for government assistance to help them guarantee electricity supply to the nation’s biggest abattoirs as almost-dail...

Cape Town - Load shedding is having a severe financial impact on South African food production, according to an expert at energy efficiency firm Energy Partners.

According to Dawie Kriel, the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, this affects not only primary food production, but also post-harvest handling and the retail sector.

"The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition," said Kriel.

His comments follow a plea from the South African Poultry Association earlier this month for government assistance to help them guarantee electricity supply to the nation’s biggest abattoirs as almost-daily load shedding is harming the birds’ welfare and creating health risks.

The slaughterhouses, some of which can process as many as 13 000 chickens hourly, can’t rely on generators as they aren’t able to create sufficient power for their needs, said Kevin Lovell, CEO of the poultry industry body.

Lovell told Bloomberg the birds are typically stunned unconscious by electrocution before they are decapitated while hanging upside down.

When power cuts interrupt the process, the birds “have been stunned but they haven’t been killed; they’re hanging upside down and they’re coming back alive”, he told Bloomberg.

“It’s a real problem. And it’s a huge waste problem because everything that stops in the process, sometimes hundreds of tons, has to be cleared. You have to clean and sterilise everything and then you have to dump at a medical waste site.”

Kriel said on Wednesday that the entire supply chain - from primary production through to the consumer - is impacted in one way or another, because farmers are highly dependent on electricity for key processes such as irrigation, livestock care and harvesting.

"The biggest problem for primary production is the uncertainty around the load shedding schedule. It is very difficult to halt production or manufacturing processes once they are in progress," said Kriel.

"In the dairy industry, for example, a herd of dairy cows and the infrastructure to support milk production run predictably every day according to the animals' biorhythms. It is not something that can be switched on and off at a moment’s notice."

This was the same problem for the poultry industry. Lovell said while load shedding followed schedules, it was sometimes imposed at a few minutes’ notice.

Kriel said once fresh milk is in a silo it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for careful processing to ensure that quality and safety are maintained.

"Once in the factory, it needs to be kept at the perfect temperature and then processed through a series of heating and cooling stages to provide the milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter and many other products used daily," said Kriel.

The cooling plant is a crucial element and a big energy user in the production process. It needs to run 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

"While solar and wind energy can assist, it is not ideal for this type of load and has to be integrated with a form of standby power generation."

Post-harvest concerns

Kriel pointed out that reliable energy is of equal importance in the post-harvest sector, as the long-term quality and safety of food products depends on accurate temperature management throughout the process.

"If this process is interrupted at any stage, the food product deteriorates in quality and cannot be sold as premium grade or worse, has to be discarded due to food safety concerns. This means food producers are losing valuable income and the country is deprived of quality nutrition," said Kriel.

Cold chain disruption affects retail sector

Power interruptions also have an impact on the safe handling and storage of perishable foods in the retail sector.

"If the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves or face unhappy customers who return inedible products," he said.

"Lights, refrigeration, ovens and all other energy intensive elements must be as energy efficient as possible and energy usage must be monitored closely. Once this has been implemented, store owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours," said Kriel.

Energy Partners warns against unqualified power companies

03 Jul 2015

Written by Renewables & Energy Efficiency News

The increasing need for both businesses and residential energy users to have access to alternative energy solutions has resulted in a growth in unqualified solar power companies.

This is according to Manie de Waal, divisional head of solar & storage at Energy Partners - an energy solutions provider in South Africa - who says the solar industry is booming as a result of the national energy crises.

De Waal warns that with this rapid expansion there are many operators emerging that may not have the experience and capabilities to deliver the right solution for a client's specific needs. "Residential and commercial property owners must partner with a reliable service provider who can manage the generation...

Written by Renewables & Energy Efficiency News

The increasing need for both businesses and residential energy users to have access to alternative energy solutions has resulted in a growth in unqualified solar power companies.

This is according to Manie de Waal, divisional head of solar & storage at Energy Partners - an energy solutions provider in South Africa - who says the solar industry is booming as a result of the national energy crises.

De Waal warns that with this rapid expansion there are many operators emerging that may not have the experience and capabilities to deliver the right solution for a client's specific needs. "Residential and commercial property owners must partner with a reliable service provider who can manage the generation and storage of solar electricity effectively and efficiently."

Important steps

He says that the first and most important step is to select the right photovoltaic (PV) solution for the specific site and lists the following basic solutions: Firstly, there is the grid-tied PV solution without battery storage. This solution ties into the power grid and feeds the load with the solar power that is generated. While this solution is likely to decrease utility costs, it is not suitable for uninterrupted power supply (UPS) as the solar system is completely dependent on the grid to transport energy.

Secondly, there is a grid-tied solution with battery storage. This solution is also tied into the grid when it is available, but excess solar power can be stockpiled and utilised when required, for example in the event of a power outage.

The last, an off-grid PV solution, has no connection to the grid and acts as the main source of electricity, often assisted by diesel generation in the event of prolonged periods without sunshine.

De Waal explains that the nature of renewable energy is irregular as it depends heavily on external sources. "If combined with storage however, alternative energy solutions such as solar power can drastically minimise the reliance on grid electricity for companies and households.

"In order to reap the full benefits of a solar power solution, it is imperative that the company or resident uses the services of a tried and trusted energy solutions partner to avoid financial loss in the long run," concludes De Waal.

 

Wrong Electricity Tariffs

01 Jan 1970
SA businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. "Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommoda...

SA businesses could be paying too much due to wrong electricity tariffs

Many South African businesses are paying too much for electricity as a result of incorrect billing. This according to Mila Loubser, Head of Energy Reporting at Energy Partners, who says that businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption, could qualify for substantial tariff reductions with their local municipality.

Loubser comments that businesses should not assume that their tariffs will automatically be lowered once they have reigned in their energy consumption. "Municipalities often do not detect that a business has reduced its energy footprint, either because they are using old equipment such as mechanical meters, or they have a billing platform with little flexibility to accommodate changes in the tariffs," she says.

"There are also many cases where municipalities are adding the load of other users to the electricity bill of the business in question. This often happens to tenants in shopping malls, or areas where there are multiple units and small loads that landlords are allocating to tenants," Loubser continues.

Other cases involve possible clerical errors, says Loubser. "We have one client, for example, who continued being charged winter tariffs throughout the whole summer, which caused massive over-billing."

The biggest problem driving this trend, according to Loubser, is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the electricity consumers. "In our experience, businesses, whether they are large or small, often continue paying for higher rates without examining their bills at the end of every month," she says

Loubser states that businesses need to know how to raise the issue of tariffs with their local municipalities. "The best advice for companies, is to talk to the right people at the municipality, otherwise they will sit in queues for days. It is also vitally important to prepare all possible data in advance (their surveyor general diagram, account info and meter number). Ideally, the business can also include the check meter half hour readings, which is usually the best proof to the municipality that there is merit in their application."

Loubser adds however that this could still be an onerous process for businesses to tackle on their own. "The best course of action is to involve an energy manager to conduct an audit of the company's electricity spend. The consultant can calculate the effective rate, find out whether the business qualifies for tariff reductions, and whether there is room to further reduce energy consumption. Finally, the consultant will help the business owner to negotiate successfully with the municipality. A typical tariff switch project usually takes between one and four months, depending on which municipal jurisdiction the client falls under," says Loubser.

Energy Partners provides billing analysis to its clients, as part of their energy management programmes. "One of our biggest success stories so far, is a bakery in Kwa Zulu Natal that saved R 2.6 million only by changing their tariff. The tariff switch also happened at exactly the right time, because the client was ramping up production and was in a position to benefit the most from optimised electricity costs," Loubser explains.

"Businesses are coming under increased financial pressure from all sides, and being able to reduce one of their biggest expenditures just might make the difference between success and failure," concludes Loubser.

 

Icon Home Energy Hub, the SA developed energy solution taking on Tesla Powerwall

01 Jan 1970

Move over Tesla and Powerwall, because you’ve got competition in SA. Announced yesterday,Energy Partners unveiled their Icon Home Energy Hub, an all-in-one solution for storing and using solar energy in the home.

This “energy hub” primarily consists of an inverter — designed specifically for the South African market — and a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, available in 3.6kWh or 6kWh. The battery alone supposedly has a 10-year life cycle, or over 4000 discharge cycles.

While Energy Partners were primarily focussing on these two devices, that isn’t all there is to the solution. It’s also comprised of a heat pump, water tank, and solar panels.

The inverter draws power through the solar panels and manages the loads when...

Move over Tesla and Powerwall, because you’ve got competition in SA. Announced yesterday,Energy Partners unveiled their Icon Home Energy Hub, an all-in-one solution for storing and using solar energy in the home.

This “energy hub” primarily consists of an inverter — designed specifically for the South African market — and a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, available in 3.6kWh or 6kWh. The battery alone supposedly has a 10-year life cycle, or over 4000 discharge cycles.

While Energy Partners were primarily focussing on these two devices, that isn’t all there is to the solution. It’s also comprised of a heat pump, water tank, and solar panels.

The inverter draws power through the solar panels and manages the loads when it needed, while charging the battery for night-time or blackout usage. Due to the way the devices are designed, the inverter can make sure 100% of any solar energy stored is used in order to reduce wastage. Depending on the settings, or how low on power the battery is, the inverter will also draw from the electrical grid, as well as use it to charge loads.

According to Energy Partners, the solution can save homeowners up to 70% of their electricity bill, as well as generate a 16% return on investment. The system can be paid back in seven years with the unit having a 20-year life cycle.

Along with its internal design, the aesthetics of the devices have been designed with homeowners in mind as the battery and inverter are the only visible components. Each of these is housed in a white and black casing, which is reminiscent of Apple products. They feature a single LED colour strip, which is the only interface between the user and the power readings. The inverter can display red, blue, and green for different messages, while the battery shows how full it is.

There is an app accompanying the system for notifying users of how much energy is stored in the battery and how much money has been saved on electricity usage.

According to the company, which is backed by PSG Group, this is the first inverter designed for the South African market. Even though it’s developed in SA, it’s not all manufactured here. The company is hoping to manufacture the next version’s inverters in SA.

Even with all of the attractive features, the device comes at a cost and isn’t’ geared towards the average individual, say those living in flats. In total, the complete solution will cost R167 000, excluding VAT. Installation of the system can cost around R10 000, but it’s dependant on the home and setup. Everything is modular, which means customers can purchase the heater and tank initially and expand from there. There is also a five-year payment plan for those who don’t want to put down money upfront.

Right now, 140 units are allocated to the Val de Vide Estate in Cape Town for their next round of development.

Those wanting to get their hands on it will be able to in June, but only if you’re living in the Western Cape. Energy Partners plans to use the province as a sort of testing ground before expanding to other areas. Gauteng will be next with an expected availability in Q3 this year.

When asked about a lower-cost version of the product, a representative stated it is on the cards. At the moment, the company is looking to first grow the current range, but is thinking of ways to save on development and manufacturing costs. Don’t expect a mass-market unit within the next 18 months.

It will be interesting to see how Energy Partners and Tesla eventually battle it out, and if any other competitors will rise in the SA market.