Ackermans energy saving scheme a success


Left to right – UGU Engineering Solutions MD Wayne Walker, Jonathan Pratt, general manager for operational support at Ackermans, and UGU Engineering Solutions COO Dave Lesley at the award ceremony in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN –  ACKERMANS, the South African-headquartered multinational retailer, is reveling in the success of its multi-million Rand project to reduce its energy footprint.

In 2013, the organisation, in partnership with UGU Engineering Solutions, embarked on Project Save Watts (SWATTS) at cost of R33,4 million and received a R15 million rebate from Eskom, the power utility.

The main aim of the project was to reduce the energy footprint of the business and achieve the highest possible return on investment through
reducing electricity costs.

The scope of the project including assessing the technology, control mechanisms and behavior relating to energy usage in All Ackermans outlets nationwide and beyond borders as well as creating an ongoing integrated energy management programme that could be driven by Ackermans management team and which UGU Engineering Solutions plays a central role.

The scheme has been implemented at Ackermans stores in South Africa and completed in outlets in Lesotho Namibia and Swaziland among others.

The installation of energy-efficient lights and online meters was central to SWATTS, as well as making staff aware of the importance of conserving energy.

Through the project, the retailer has cut its electricity consumption by half, equaling up to R17 million per year as well as reducing carbon
emissions by more than 13,5 tonnes.

Not only has the scheme achieved its objectives.

It has emerged as an award-winning combination, with the latest accolade a coveted Energy and Water Efficiency Project of the Year Award at the just-ended African Utility Week in Cape Town, South Africa.

Judges hailed the SWATT scheme as an “excellent project with well-documented savings. There are great savings and improved operations
through the use of technology.”

Ackermans beat four other finalists to the award, much to the excitement of company officials.

“Ackermans wants to be the Number One value retailer in South Africa. We aim to be a cost-efficient company,” said Jonathan Pratt, Ackermans General Manager: Operational Support.

“SWATT is part of a broader initiative of Ackermans to be a ‘green company’ and a socially-responsible one,” he added.

He expressed gratitude to the Cape Town-based UGU Engineering Solutions for the success of the SWATTS.

“We are proud to have partnered with UGU, who are an award-winning company. We are also proud of the award at received at African Utility Week as well what we have achieved through SWATTS.”

Following the success of the first phase of the project, Pratt disclosed plans were on course to implement Phase Two.

“SWATT is an ongoing exercise,” Pratt said.

He expected the business case study of the second phase to be complete by July or August and implementation for 2016.

Pratt called for concerted efforts to address the country’s perennial power challenges.

“I appeal to other business to understand we all have a responsibility to contribute and put energy back on the national grid and complement Eskom,” he said.

– CAJ News






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