Energy efficiency in the office using light motion sensors (Part 2)

We spoke to Kerry-Lee du Toit, Energy Manager for Barloworld of Automotive, including the divisions of Avis Fleet, Avis Budget and Barloworld Motor Retail.  Kerry headed up a team who were responsible for installing motion sensor lights at Avis Fleet Head Office in Isando. In part 2 we look at the bigger picture regarding energy management. Be sure to read part 1 where we looked at the inception of this exciting project.

The best way to be energy efficient

According to Kerry, the best and most cost effective way to save energy is to switch off. “We can have energy efficient equipment but if it runs all night it makes very little or limited difference. Cost savings is definitely important and the business case needs to work, but energy saving is also very important from an environmental and ethically responsible point of view. As the price of electricity increases, and with the understanding that South Africa has significant constraints on our electricity generation capacity, we need to be more diligent around switching off, conserving energy and making sure that we don’t waste – we need to be a responsible stakeholder.”

The energy management team is targeting the behaviour of switching off. Meaning that if someone forgets to switch off there will be a control mechanism in place to do this for them. So their goal is not to change the way the business runs, but to help it be more efficient by reducing waste and unnecessary expenditure as a result of leaving lights and air-conditioners running when it is not needed.

What does energy management in Barloworld Automotive involve?

Working with an energy management strategic framework, the team looks at various areas from procurement to measurement. The latter involves installing electricity meters at various sites in the business and using the data captured for energy management purposes, specifically to reduce the amount of energy consumed.

Measurement aspect in the energy management strategic framework helps sites to visually look at the existing ways that energy is used, how this can be optimised, and help identify areas where further intervention and efficiency initiatives can assist in saving electricity.

More efficient lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) fall into this category of energy efficient initiatives. Initiatives are then monitored to ensure that they continue to deliver value. For example, when a revamp on a dealership is performed the energy management team check to make sure consumption remains at the optimum or lowest point. This includes night audits to ensure that the control measures that were implemented are working correctly.

The energy management team conduct site level training on how to use their electricity metering data which is a tool that can be accessed remotely via the web. This is a tool that helps sites to manage their consumption and identify areas where they can reduce consumption and identify wastage.

The team works closely with the property department, specifically the Properties Executive – Eugene Cox, who is responsible for carrying out revamps throughout the division. As Eugene revamps a site, he will implement all possible efficiency initiatives, both on water and electricity that are feasible and within scope; and energy efficiency is an important part of this.

Avis Fleet are committed to finding sustainable solutions. Find out more about our Green Fleet solution here.

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