Migrating from Energy Efficiency to Energy Effectiveness

Embracing “ENERGY EFFICIENCY” through strategic consumption is the new buzzword for all those who attended a public lecture presented by Mr Dhevan Pillay, owner of Letamik International and Managing Director of LTM Energy on 08 April 2015. The message was clear to all, being an “Energy Efficient Ambassador” has rippling personal benefits as well as benefits that could uplift South African corporates and the economy. In other words, “extra money” in one’s pockets, Pillay.

Presented to a full house at Howard, Pillay‟s “The H Factor”: Migration from Energy Efficiency to Energy effectiveness lecture cast a new light on ways to combat the huge price hikes, which will have a significant impact on our electricity bills.

He went on to highlight areas of balance and Eskom‟s enormous challenge to serve the community and South Africa under constraints to “Keep The Lights On”. However, as proclaimed world-wide and emphasised through “Earth Hour” intervention, through joint efforts and the will to progress, innovation in action has given birth to amazing savings for humanity, households and businesses.

South Africa remains one of the world's least energy efficient nations. We use approximately 40% of Africa's electricity, and are the 11th highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Our national addiction to energy has led to the situation where our reserve margin is unsustainably low, and the reliability of our electricity supply is under threat. Our energy habits are systematically destroying our economy, our environment and our health.

Energetic and interactive in approach, Pillay who is a former UZKN Master of Science graduate and currently an external examiner for masters in Engineering students, demonstrated that there are better ways to combat one’s electricity bill by changing one’s mindset, adhering to and being guided by the operational efficiency and maintenance of appliances, and in addition, allowing yourself to change with energy efficient consumption and technologies. Mr Pillay explained how the national energy demand challenged him to think innovatively and extend his ideas on benefiting from energy savings. A drive that has been an “eye-opener” to the customers, their families and the community, in particular the awareness of what a little bit of effort does in creating understanding and savings.

When Eskom’s net reserve margin was underscored earlier this year, the energy demand outstripped the supply and the country experienced the first waves of load shedding, said Pillay “Managing your budget is serious business,” expressed Mr Pillay. “But it is a “no brainer” to resist being an energy efficient ambassador today. We are not asking to take you out of your comfort zones but rather, it’s the simple things that you and I can do to make a difference,” he said.

Mr Dhevan Pillay passionately presents the “H” Factor
Mr Dhevan Pillay passionately presents the “H” Factor

The lecture presentation illustrated that with the coinciding price hikes in electricity and water, a ripple effect will permeate into fuel and transport services, education and facilities alike, thus resulting in a decreased goods budget for today’s South African citizen.

The benefits of energy efficiency propose cost reduction, mitigating risks of punitive measures, added financial gain - both carbon credits and tax incentives -, and efficiency for the natural environment.

“Switch off Something (SOS)! Isolate Something (IS) non-essentials! Natural Lights! Appliance Maintenance! Install pool pump timers, Solar Water Heaters, and energy efficient settings to your Under Floor Heating (UFH), electric blankets and likely variables!” These were some of the technologies highlighted in Pillay’s lecture.

“It is a long trip from your geyser to your tap so use hot water only when necessary,” advised Pillay. “Compact Fluorescent Lights may look funny but can save you money,” he highlighted.

The smart meter is an advanced intelligent meter that measures Kilowatts, KWhs, corresponding rands and cents and carbon emissions subject to every home / office and appliance you own. “This encourages energy savings through just being aware of real- time usage even within my own household,” expressed Mr Pillay.

Mr Lundi Mgwiliandm, CEO of Vukani Electrical commended the lecture‟s vibrancy, information sharing and enlightenment. “I found Mr Pillay‟s lecture very exciting, entertaining and simultaneously informative.” Remarked Dr Peter Krumm from the School of Physics. Thank you for the useful tips and for making energy efficiency look so easy, said UKZN Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, in his closing remarks. “Mr Pillay is always full of surprises” alluding to actors deliberately interrupting his presentation to enact a brilliant SKIT in keeping with the theme of energy efficiency.

With his persuasiveness, Mr Pillay has already influenced thousands of South Africans to change their energy consumption habits. He has truly shown to be an Energy Efficiency Ambassador; a South African who has made real changes in his own home’s energy consumption and is reaping both financial and environmental rewards from it.

Feedback from the some of the Key stakeholders, bears testimony to the impact Dhevan is having on South Africa's customers:

"Please convey our sincere gratitude to Dhevan Pillay for the excellent presentation to staff of the Chamber of Mines. He really did a wonderful job, as was gathered from the enthusiastic participation of staff, from all levels. If only we could spread this message far and wide, we would be able to make a significant difference to electricity usage in the country..."…..Dr Frans Barker., Senior Executive: Chamber of Mines

"Dhevan addressed a full auditorium of people at BHP head office and his presentation was interesting and inspiring detailing how we can make our own homes more energy efficient and how we can achieve significant savings on our monthly electricity accounts "..... The Chairman of BHP Billiton

"Since you have already influenced so many South Africans to change their energy consumption habits, we would like to spread your message more broadly to the South African public by profiling you as an Energy Saving Champion: a South African who has made real changes in his own home and is producing both financial and environmental rewards from it. We believe you to be a persuasive, powerful figure that is a living example of the cause we are all promoting." Arcay Media reporter

By growing a culture of activism around energy savings, we can take control of our energy situation and ensure a better future for all. We should harness and embrace the “H” (human) factor as there is power within all of us to make a difference…Together we can!! He said

By: UKZN: Lunga Memela