Sunday, September 20, 2020

CDE Consultants say possible for SMEs to reduce energy use

April 11 2010: The Centre for Development of Enterprise (CDE) has come up with a practical energy efficiency plans and ideal organisational structures, which will enable Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) to project their energy needs at any material time.

CDE Consultants have made the point that with the suggested energy saving plans and energy management committees, it would be possible to execute strategies and monitor the improvement of energy consumption in the context of small and medium scale enterprises (SME).

Jean-Benoit Fournier pointed out that while it is crucial to have clear and tested energy saving measures in place, it is important that the proposed measures must be committed to writing in the form of very definite and measurable targets.

For that to be workable, “There will be need for an energy management committee (EMC) within the operational parameters of SMEs, which will be tasked with the role of overseeing the implementation of the current action plan,” said Fournier.

One of the key missions of the EMC would be to integrate energy efficiency management into SME’s daily operations and ensure it becomes every employee’s daily responsibility.

The EMC’s business shall comprise the planning and the operational. The first shall entail choosing priority interventions in the order of their potentials to save energy while the operational aspect would involve carrying out agreed plans and the supervision of training, awareness initiatives and technical studies as well overseeing the implementation pilot projects.

In the same vein, it was indicated that the EMC should be a cross departmental structure composed of heads of critical departments such as Finance, Production and Planning and Studies as well representatives from the Maintenance and HR units.

The members of the EMC will then appoint one of their numbers who ought to be a Senior Electrical or Mechanical Engineer as a coordinator, whereas the company would also need someone serving as an Energy Manager to act as a technical advisor to the EMC.

Interestingly, some of the functions of the Energy Manager include tracking energy purchases, calculation of the periodic energy consumption targets and technical and financial verification of energy bills before payments are made.

Once the EMC, Coordinator and Energy Manager would have been appointed, the next inevitable step would be to replace all inefficient equipments with energy efficient technologies, according to the CDE consultant.

In addition, it was mentioned that in order to empower the EMCs and employees of the SMEs so that they can act in unison in their collective responsibility to be energy efficient, CDE pledged to support small business entities with the requisite skills and appropriate consultancies for capacity building.

As part of the overall activation device for the full operation of the energy efficiency management system, the proposed plans stated that there will be introduced an effective energy management and analysis tool (EMAT).

“The EMAT helps both the committee and anyone charged with that responsibility within the SMEs to be able to understand energy load profiles such that they could where necessary negotiate lower rate with energy suppliers and thereby reducing the costs,” concluded Fournier.
Some of the local SME firms which were picked for study by the CDE consultants, as part of the 20 SMEs from four SADC countries, were Delta Dairies, TOM and First Food Technologies.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

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