Energy Services Company (ESCO)

Eskom's DSM programme offers greater financial support to businesses and municipalities.

A new, more aggressive Demand Side Management (DSM) programme from Eskom is directly financing viable DSM projects, ensuring improved energy efficiency and load shifting across South Africa. The revised Energy Efficiency DSM Policy, approved by the National Energy Regulator in May 2004, mandates that Eskom's DSM programme fully fund viable load management projects and contribute 50% towards viable energy efficiency projects.  This new policy dramatically improves the financial payback for any business, municipality, or major consumer of electricity.

THE ESCO PROCESS

The strength of this new model is the ability of consumers to take advantage of the expertise of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). This has greatly increased the capacity of the DSM programme to support efficiency and load shifting projects. The energy audit process begins with the completion of a simple questionnaire followed by a site audit by the ESCO. If feasible, a project outline proposal is submitted to Eskom. Based on a positive audit, a detailed project proposal is submitted to Eskom DSM, who evaluates it technically and financially. If deemed to be cost-effective, Eskom funds the ESCO to implement the project.

ENERGY SAVING IN THE COMMERCIAL SECTOR

Eskom provides incentives to commercial users to move electricity load out of the peak periods. The aim in the commercial market is to provide a profitable investment opportunity to building owners by identifying areas where electricity usage can be optimized and better managed. This involves the implementation of an upgrade strategy that significantly saves electricity through the appropriate use and choice of energy-efficient lighting, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other related building efficiency measures. Optimal usage of these systems greatly reduces consumption during the full 24-hour period and reduces electricity accounts.

ENERGY SAVING IN THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

The Eskom load management activity in the industrial sector is focused on giving industrial consumers an incentive to shift load from peak periods to off-peak periods during the day. Industries would be able to manage their own load shifting activities without disrupting normal industrial process flow or imposing on their workers' environment. Load management can be investigated or considered in many instances.

A few examples are:

  • water pumps that feed into or from dams;
  • cooling equipment incorporated into cold storage facilities;
  • heating equipment that operates in collaboration with heat storage facilities;
  • material handling equipment that works in conjunction with silos and stockpiles; and
  • production equipment and plant utilities that do not need to run all the time and can be scheduled to run off peak.



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