Eskom DSM and similar energy efficiency ‘assistance-type’ programmes has in my opinion created a culture of expectance before initiatives are taken to implement energy efficiency projects in a majority of companies. The DSM approach, whilst creating significant awareness and being overwhelmingly successful to ensure the lights stay on when we needed - has not actually created a sustainable mind-shift. But it did what it had to do when it had to do it. Yes, an ESCO and energy ‘expert’ market quickly mushroomed when Eskom DSM started their programmes. Now that DSM is gone, most of these knowledgeable companies and skills that have been developed are virtually ‘hanging in the air’ so to speak and struggling to make ends meet.
Industry is just not as keen to embark on energy efficiency projects due to them not being able to “get something out of it”, other than the savings. ESCO’s and other energy consulting-type firms and entrepreneurs that relied on the DSM programme have had to become very creative in changing their offerings to be able to successfully quote for jobs.
On a daily basis we receive enquiries at the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF), and of late the questions asked have moved from mere, “What is the course about?”, followed by a booking or not, or, “Where can I buy product ‘X’?”, or helping to find a Certified Professional for a project; to in the last few months me feeling like a career guidance officer brainstorming with enquirers as to how they can use their training or qualification they received from the AEE to get business in.
Yes, there are some tenders out. Some emulating another ‘assistance-type’ solution to clients, but it’s a tough industry this energy industry which is the backbone of the ‘green skills’ and environmental jobs the government wants to grow. Tenderers are finding that they have to tender and quote to the bone offering lean quotations whilst having to cover increasing expenses to keep businesses afloat.
Is the problem not that the real benefits of sustainably implementing energy management to ensure continuous energy efficiency with all the related benefits have not been the focus, but rather project for project? Offering a client a properly constructed energy management plan is the only way one can make sure the project(s) that have been implemented remain optimal in delivering what the client needs, and more importantly, it gives the energy market a lot more credibility than just churning out one-off projects.
At the EnTF we are very in favour of, besides enabling South Africans to become internationally qualified as energy professionals through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), but also passionate about making sure companies get started correctly so that they can continuously benefit from optimal energy management. Which is why we believe ISO50 001:2011 Energy Management System standard is the only way to go, whether it is for Certification purposes or for merely ensuring continuous benefits from energy efficiency improvements are gained. We offer workshops where we have skilled staff to get you going towards ISO50 001 in three full days which includes all your key staff to take part and understand the journey your company needs to be on to become truly sustainable.
This approach provides the client with enough information to make informed decisions to implement an energy management policy and plan according to a standardized approach so that the maximum energy savings targets can be set, met and sustained in the long-term and that maximum return on any energy efficiency and renewable investments are achieved. After the session the client will have a clearer understanding of:
What needs to be done on the site to achieve optimal energy management
Where energy could be saved at significant energy use areas
Estimates of what energy savings could be expected
What needs to be further investigated for more accurate energy saving targets
Who needs to be trained and to which level
Which services would need to be outsourced
Which services could be catered for in-house
How much needs to be invested in the short, medium and long-term
Which technologies and retrofits need to be considered
Which incentives and rebates could be pursued
What is required to continuously save energy
Below you will find our course dates for next year, and some news on where we have been to promote the qualification of AEE professionals in Southern Africa, amongst other things. Remember, in-house and customised training is our speciality.
Yolande De Lange
Energy Training Foundation (EnTF)
New training programs
After many requests, the EnTF is excited to announce that it will be including some new training programmes:
- Measurement and Verification Standard of South Africa (MVST-SA)
- Based on SANS50 010:2011, a one day training course on how to use the standard for M&V purposes
- ISO14 001 Environmental Standard Training
- Based on the standard and how to implement it
- Suncy PV solar introductory course
- After popular demand, this course is now available in Johannesburg and Cape Town, not only North West any longer
- CEM Exam Prep
- Another course developed and by popular demand, and already done this year very successfully. Aimed at persons whom have already attended CEM, written the examination but need assistance before rewriting to pass. A small class set-up with a lot of tips by one of our top trainers, Louis Lagrange.
- Another AEE Certification programme on the cards for 2015
- Watch this space!