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Jasco demonstrates the power of Energy Optimisation with internal energy-saving initiative

01 August 2014
Jasco demonstrates the power of Energy Optimisation with internal energy-saving initiative

11 June 2014

In a powerful demonstration of the benefits of Jasco Power’s Energy Optimisation business unit, the Jasco Group has embarked upon a comprehensive energy saving initiative at its head office in Midrand, Johannesburg. The first phase of this project, which involved an overhaul of the lighting system, resulted in a demand reduction of 53.95, with estimated annual kilowatt hour (kWh) energy savings of 178126, translating into an estimated financial saving of almost R90 000 a year. Headed up by Kevin Norris, Executive Director of Jasco Power and Energy, the project has already saved a total of 100820.92 kWh since October 2013, resulting in reduced pressure on the national grid and lower energy costs.

“At Jasco we believe in leading by example, so it was important for us to ensure our own energy consumption was optimised to highlight the need for and benefits of such a venture. In addition to helping the organisation save significant amounts of money on an on-going basis, reducing our carbon footprint in such a manner is also an important part of any journey toward good corporate citizenship. Our decision to focus on lighting first was based on a number of factors, including the Eskom rebate program that was in place at the time for lighting, as well as the ability of such a venture to yield quick and noticeable returns,” says Norris. 

The process began in January 2013 with the installation of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), which provides an accurate reading of consumption in real time. This was then continued with a high-level energy audit of the Jasco head office in September. This focused on the three areas that are typically responsible for the majority of energy consumption, namely lighting, heating and cooling. In addition, the co-location data centre at the facility was taken into account. The first step for Jasco was to identify the number of lights and the type of globe used at each lighting point, as well as the load factor of the lighting, in other words the period of time over 24 hours that the lighting is used. Additionally, a historic overview of the past 12 months’ worth of electricity bills was conducted to identify the accuracy of billing, the current tariff and so on.

“By putting the AMI in place we are able to deliver verified and accurate metre readings of the facility, to ensure that a baseline can be established. It also enables us to draw relationships between people flow and power usage, and integrate people flow, temperature and energy usage into our baseline to flatten out the variations. This is the foundation upon which savings potential is calculated. The first trend we noticed was that the power producer was estimating readings rather than physically conducting them, which was resulting in a consistently higher charged usage compared to actual usage readings from our metres. Ensuring accurate billing is a critical step in leveraging optimised energy consumption, so this was an area that needed to be addressed as a matter of priority. Taking care of this, along with quick wins such as changing the lighting, enables us to optimise demand and connection charges as well as consumption, which often yields further savings,” says Norris.

The lighting intervention involved a complete retrofit of existing lighting with more energy efficient alternatives, reducing energy consumption on lighting by up to 85%. A total of 735 lighting fixtures were identified on the premises, and standard globes were replaced with Compact Fluorescent (CF) globes in accordance with the criteria of the rebate program. In order to make the entire lighting grid even more efficient, LED globes could have been utilised, however, the benefits of the rebate were weighed against the cost of the LED and the most economically efficient course of action was implemented.

“From the start of our energy efficiency program, our AMI instruments have shown a consistent downward trend in our energy consumption that have exceeded the expectations laid out at the start of this initiative. Energy optimisation is not simply about changing the light bulbs, it requires continuous monitoring to identify where improvements can be made, and how change can effectively be managed. The design of our solution enables us to measure separate areas, such as the datacentre and each wing individually, or even per floor, per heating unit and so on. This level of granular detail enables a comparative analysis that is critical in any optimisation venture,” Norris adds.

“Once quick wins such as lighting have been implemented, along with measuring and monitoring through the AMI, other interventions can be identified such as motion sensors on lighting, remote switching on geysers and so on. After completing the optimisation of consumption on our lighting system we are now in a position to begin further phases of our program, such as the implementation of solar panels on the roofing of our parking structures. This will help to further offset the pressure on the national grid and create further cost reductions,” he concludes.

For further information contact:

Kevin Norris
Executive Director
Jasco Power and Energy
011 746 6800
kevin.norris@jasco.co.za