PHI-2 has embarked on an exciting and timely industry initiative regarding energy audits. The South African National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC-SA) has an undertaking with PHI-2 to conduct fully subsidised energy audits at interested pack houses and cold stores in the fresh fruit industry as part of its Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Improvement Project.

The IEE is a collaborative initiative between the South African government (the dti and the Department of Energy), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the UK Department for International Development. The NCPC-SA at the CSIR is the custodian of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project in South Africa.

The objectives of the IEE are to contribute to the sustainable transformation of industrial energy usage practices in South Africa; to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to demonstrate the impact of energy efficient practices as a means of increasing profitability.

Mr Koos Bouwer was appointed by PHI-2 to coordinate this one-year initiative for the fruit industry. Mr Bouwer is no stranger to the industry, especially in the field of energy efficiency auditing and the optimisation of energy systems. Mr Bouwer was also a beneficiary of PHI-1 for his project, ‘Efficient energy usage in the supply chain’. Further details on this project can be obtained from the second section (PHI-1) of this publication.

The initiative on energy efficiency audits was rolled out in January 2012, when Mr Bouwer embarked on a campaign to raise awareness in the industry. It will be followed by regional workshops during which the NCPC-SA will deliver presentations to interested companies on the nature and process of the project. Companies that wish to participate in the initiative will be required to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the NCPC-SA after the workshops. The NCPC-SA will then proceed to assign energy consultants to conduct three-day audits at designated pack houses and cold stores.

The energy consultants will discuss individual reports with the owners of the pack houses and cold storesoncompletion of the audits. These reports will include identified savings options, results on feasibility, quantification of behavioural changes and the expected payback periods for energy savings investments, amongst other things.