Fin24

Firms must help curb Eskom hikes - expert

2012-07-17 15:40

Cape Town – Companies have an obligation to help Eskom alleviate the strain on the national grid, an expert warned on Tuesday.

Tim James, MD of sustainableIT, said whether we like it or not, all South Africans need to contribute to a collective goal of energy reduction.

He has urged companies to be proactive in reducing their electricity costs. "To contain Eskom's price hikes there is no doubt that companies need to be investing in and adopting energy efficiency as a business priority.

"This will not only assist in alleviating the strain on the national grid, but also help companies contain their own operating costs," James said.

Last Friday, businesses and consumers were sent into a tailspin after a report detailing a drastic rise in electricity tariffs by state-owned power utility Eskom was leaked to the press.

The report, which has not yet been confirmed by Eskom, stated that the company plans a hike of at least 14.6% per year over each of the next five years – more than double the inflation target.

This could climb to 19% if the government introduces its carbon tax as planned.

James said that although lighting and air conditioning are primary sources of electricity wastage, companies should not overlook the impact their IT infrastructure (eg servers and PCs) has on power consumption.

"If businesses start by implementing best practices in their IT environments, they can already make a huge dent in their utility bills," he said.

"By properly power managing a desktop for example, the savings amount to as much as 1kWh per day which at today's average corporate rates is over R1 per day in savings.

"Taking into account thousands of workstations, these numbers add up to significant cost reductions."

Analysis done at one of the top four banks in the country showed that over 90% of their PCs were left running overnight, largely for IT administration purposes.

"A simple, tech solution can enable wake-on-lan technology that reduces PC energy (without interfering with nocturnal security patching) and shut machines down when they aren't required," said James, adding that in this example the monetary savings could be many millions.  

James urged companies to start actively investing in such technologies in response to the price hike.

"With the latest round of price hikes and the historic trend over the past few years and what is still to come, there is no doubt that customers need to be taking a serious look at investing in energy efficient technologies.  

"Eskom rebates are available to assist companies through this process and those that don't invest, do so at their peril," he warned.

 - Fin24

Comments
  • Henk - 2012-07-17 16:04

    YEs lets switch of all the IT equipment. We do not have a need for such western things in South Africa!

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-17 18:27

      Just close down all business and problem solved. You have started this at Pilgrims Rest havent you

      ianon.ym - 2012-07-17 18:37

      'Companies have an obligation' - are you kidding? Where was your obligation, when it was pointed out to you, so many years ago, that you needed to increase your capacity, for the secure supply of the countries future power needs?

  • TheMonk Za - 2012-07-17 19:04

    Dear Mr Tim, what are you smoking? Can I have some please? For how long do you haveitalls want us to pay pay pay? Pay more, for less?

  • flysouth - 2012-08-21 20:15

    He fails to mention that there is one compelling reason to let your computer run all the time and never switch off, except when lightning is around perhaps. That is that the machine will last longer and perform better throughout it's life as a result of very stable internal temperatures. Or should we just accept that we are all being transported back in time 100 years to a time when electricity was truly 'magic' stuff and in very scarce supply? Fact is we have the societies we have, advanced and sophisticated as a result of energy production in abundance on those countries which have seen to it that abundance is available - and curbing such abundance is already having hugely damaging and retrogressive impacts on SA industry and will shortly have similar ill-effects on individuals and families in the way they live.

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