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The Icologie team has entered 2011 energized for a jam packed year. With the energy crisis and rolling blackouts fresh in our minds and the looming electricity tariff increase in July this year, 2011 has naturally taken on an “energy” focus. Icologie has a number of energy related initiatives underway including the City of Cape Town’s Electricity Savings Campaign, the Accelerate Cape Town Green Champions Energy Breakfast and  Energy Awareness Training at 4 City of Cape Town buildings where energy retrofits have recently been undertaken.

City of Cape Town’s Electricity Savings Campaign

Energy costs are rising fast, and saving electricity has become a fact of life. From 2009 to 2013 residential electricity bills are likely to double, or even triple – maybe more – with the biggest increases still to come.  The City of Cape Town has spent considerable time researching what simple actions residents can take to save electricity. There are  “no cost” actions which enable residents to save at least 10%. Investing less than R1 000 will save more – up to 30%. And investing in options like solar water heating and insulation will save the most – altogether residents can save up to 50% of a home’s electricity cost. These practical tips are the focal point of the City’s Electricity Saving Campaign that is is about to be launched and is planned to be run for the next  three years. See www.savingelectricity.org.za for more infomation on what you can do at home to save.

Accelerate Cape Town- Green Champions Breakfast

With the increase in energy costs and impact of coal based energy on climate change we need to seriously consider alternative and renewable energy sources in South Africa.  This fourth Green Champions Breakfast to be held on 17 feb 2011,  is focused on energy use in buildings.  Whether your organisation is planning to build a new office or store, or to refurbish existing premises, there are many lessons in sustainability to be shared. Join us for two insightful case studies from organisations with recent experience both with new and retrofit building programmes, and get the latest data on energy benchmarking for buildings see our news event on the web for more info or to register.

City of Cape Town’s Climate Change and Energy: Energy Awareness Training project

The City of Cape Town, with the assistance of Shared Energy Management (pty) Ltd, recent retrofitted four of their buildings with energy efficiency measures.  The City have tasked Icologie with providing an “Energy Awareness” training programme to capacitate their staff in energy efficiency awareness, methods and practices, with the objective being to bring about electricity savings through lasting behavioural change. The project would involve training and capacity building interventions including green team support and is currently kicking off with the first round of traning interventions. As part of the project posters have been developed to educate staff on things they can do withing the buildings to save energy, these are some of the tips that have been included in the posters:

General Tips for users to save energy in office buildings:

  1. Know your building- familiarise yourself with the “building user guide” on how equipment works so that you can operate it optimally
  2. Enable the hibernation mode setting or turn off your computer screen completely when you leave- screensavers don’t save energy
  3. Avoid using the standby mode for all equipment, rather switch equipment off at the wall when not in use- standby mode still consumes energy
  4. Unplug chargers and adapters -they use energy even when not in use
  5. Last person leaving the office?  Switch off all equipment and lights on your way out if timer switches are not in place
  6. Turn off non-essential lighting, see where you can use daylight or task lighting instead
  7. Install energy-efficient light bulbs (CFL or LED)- they use significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs and last much longer
  8. If showering at the office, take a 2 minute shower (and sing shorter songs!)-this uses less energy to heat the water
  9. Photocopy in batches (and double sided) as less stop-starting of the copying machine reduces the energy consumption

10.  Switch off the air-conditioning, the heating & when nobody is in the office to save energy

11.  Hot? Do not tamper with the settings on the air-conditioning units, rather make use of blinds and curtains to reduce direct sunlight, or take a layer of clothing off (if an air-conditioned building do not open the windows as this makes the aircon work harder to chill the space using more energy)

12.  Cold? Avoid the use of portable heaters rather put on more clothing when cold

13.  Avoid opening and closing fridge and oven doors to contain the cold/ heat inside

14.  Use the kettle to boil water and only boil the amount you need- boiling a full kettle is wasteful if you are only making 1 cup of coffee!

Keep a lookout for the Smart Office Handbook currently being drafted by the City and due for release soon- for these tips and more information on greening your office!!!!


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