Companies can benefit from being able to show how well their energy saving initiatives were performing. Photo: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN – South African businesses are placing greater importance on not only reducing their energy consumption, but also communicating their energy-saving abilities to the world. 

This was according to Mila Vicquery, the head of energy reporting at Energy Partners Intelligence – a division of Energy Partners and part of the PSG group of companies – who said many of South Africa’s large companies had put robust energy-saving strategies in place, which included energy efficiency measures as well as renewable power generation. 

“From what we have witnessed, an increasing number of these businesses have now also started to look for ways to monitor their energy consumption more comprehensively, in order to better present this information to the public,” said Vicquery.

What is driving the move towards reduced consumption, is it for cost cutting purposes or saving the planet or both?

Responding to questions posed by Business Report Vicquery said there were two reasons for the drive to reduce energy consumption:

  1. Growing businesses’ profit – by minimising their utilities’ cost;
  2. Putting their brand in the “right”(green) light, being sustainable, environmentally friendly with minimised carbon emissions, gearing towards cleaner renewable energy sources.

Vicquery said the average monthly bill for a business, such as a retailer was R200 000 and the targeted reduction is 35 percent of the bill.

She said these companies could indeed benefit from being able to show how well their energy saving initiatives were performing. “Just looking at our own clients, we have seen organisations make massive strides that are worth showcasing to investors and stakeholders. To name a few, one of our clients in the healthcare industry has managed to save on their energy spend by R220 million so far, and another in the food retail industry has reached accumulated energy savings of around R1.8 billion. 

"Companies that can show their efforts to reduce operating costs and expand on their profit margins in this way, make themselves much more attractive to investors for potential partnerships.”

Vicquery said while many energy consultants and service providers were able to monitor an organisation’s energy use across all of their locations, presenting this data still had some challenges. 

“Sifting through the vast amounts of data gathered while monitoring an organisation’s energy consumption, and reworking the information in a format that give clients the most comprehensive overview takes time. 

This is why the industry standard is to simply provide monthly or quarterly reports to clients, that will address their exact sustainability, environmental or utility management needs,” she said.