To see where your hotel, shopping centre, car dealership, airport, general office building, head office, retail store or hospital ranks, enter your building in the 2013 NEBS, logon to www.energybarometer.com
The Clicks Group head office building in Woodstock, Cape Town has 1 200 employees that use the building. Besides being a facility that has existed since 1960, which is according to the latest records available, the building has still showcased that it can be a top-performer by ensuring efficient use. The Clicks Group head office has measured up to industry standards by achieving the top energy efficiency score in the NEBS 2012, winning this category.
“With the energy industry being complex at the moment, due to energy-efficient products developing at a very fast rate – and not knowing which products are most effective, it becomes a challenge to implement the most appropriate equipment for your building,” said Siglinda Losch – Sustainability Facilitator for The Clicks Group. “This way, a yearly check is done in order to be able to see if the technology being implemented works and gives back the savings as anticipated.”
Employee engagement contributes to the success of the energy saving initiatives at Clicks. Staff members are encouraged to save energy at home and are regularly informed about company energy-saving initiatives. The Group has an online sustainability report where initiatives like these are communicated. Customers are also informed about these initiatives through the Clicks ClubCard Magazine whenever there is an opportunity.
“Luckily, the building has been designed in such a way that energy savings or switch-offs are done from a central point and are adapted to the behaviour of the employees in the building,” continues Losch. Some of the other savings initiatives implemented, that have delivered positive results, include fitting all equipment, like computers and printers with power-save modes. The new bathrooms in the building are all fitted with motion sensors and LED lights. Building lights are switched off whenever there is an opportunity to do so.
A project currently being undertaken is the installation of two heat pumps to replace all the current geysers that are being removed.
To overcome challenges, Clicks found it best to install products in certain areas of the business, measure the performance of the products and evaluate the savings achieved, before further deployment to the rest of the building, once they are proven to deliver financial savings.
The greatest challenge for further energy saving initiatives has been the capital expenditure needed for implementation, and this is almost a fact for most organisations. Technology is expensive and implementing great savings comes at a great cost, so measuring performance assists with justifying capital expenditure.
Contemplating the value of the exercise Losch said, “The Energy Barometer provides us with a clear indication of how we are doing against other buildings. In some instances, we tend to implement technology without knowing how we are performing. This initiative gives us a clear indication that the Group is performing well within the sector.”
NEBS participation takes 2 minutes the register, 10 minutes to complete the whole survey, and there is no charge. This will add tremendous value to facility managers, building owners, and energy and utility manager’s challenges to monitor building performance every year against other in a similar industry.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENERGY BAROMETER SURVEY
The National Energy Barometer Survey (NEBS) is in its 5th year of benchmarking buildings in South Africa. It was developed by Energy Cybernetics, Energy Efficiency Engineering Specialists and is administered by the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF), sole training partner of the AEE in America and the training provider of the SAEE in South Africa. The ultimate objective of NEBS is to create an awareness of consumption levels and the emissions footprint for each facility, with a view to become more environmentally aware and to play a much needed role in energy conservation.