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 Meet the 2012 judges

Energy efficiency the real winner at the Eskom eta Awards


4 December 2013.  For over two decades, the Eskom eta Awards have been recognising and rewarding excellence in energy efficiency. The awards encourage entries across a variety of spectrums, including the commercial, industrial, residential, innovation and youth sectors.

The organisers of the awards are continuously and consistently impressed by the level of innovation that emerges from the ever-growing pool of entries.

This year entries were accepted in eight categories and the winner of each category received a cash prize of R30 000, and the runners-up received R5 000 each. As usual the quality of entries didn’t disappoint with some truly astonishing innovations, designed with energy saving in mind, being presented to the panel of judges.

The winners of the prestigious Eskom eta Awards were announced at the annual awards evening, held at the University of Johannesburg on 4 December. The entrants who came from across the country are all passionate about energy efficiency and have done something remarkable to help reduce their electricity consumption.

These prestigious awards were initially established in order to create awareness and encourage action in the energy efficiency field. They have grown from strength to strength, and form part of Eskom’s drive to ensure a sustainable electricity supply long into the future.

This year saw impressive submissions that ranged from an innovative smokeless stove designed for use by those without electricity through to a highly sophisticated system that has reduced the electricity consumption at the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Mine.  

“In South Africa we have a strong culture of problem solving and we are overflowing with talent. This is a powerful combination, especially when tackling important issues like energy efficiency. More and more South Africans are looking for ways to save energy every year. Learners want to make a difference, households are cutting costs, and large companies are working hard to reduce their use of electricity and save vital resources and we applaud their efforts at the Eskom eta Awards,” said Dr Steve Lennon, Eskom Group Executive of Sustainability.

Young designers impress with simple solutions

The winner in the individual young designer’s category this year was Aritia Reyneke. She developed a bio-fuel cooking solution using 85% ethanol to water. Her solution is a clean bio-fuel that is safe and healthy for consumers, burns quickly and is a viable alternative to wood and paraffin.

The team from Clarendon High School Coelacanth Enviro Club took home the top prize in the young designer’s group category. This group investigated more energy efficient approaches to cooking by conducting tests on the Snappy Chef induction cooking system versus traditional cooking methods including a hot plate and a gas cooker. They found that cooking on gas was most efficient. They also developed a set of guidelines on efficient cooking practices that can help ordinary households and even professional chefs cook more efficiently.  


Runners up in the young designer’s category were Matthew Hoare, Innes Jordan, the Embonisweni Primary School Enviro Club and Teen Energy.


Residential space hotly contested

In the residential category Karebo Systems took top honours for their impressive mass rollout programme. Their aim was to reduce 80 MW worth of peak load through low-cost energy efficiency installations.  Karebo exceeded Eskom’s expectations and achieved an 86 MW reduction in peak energy demand. 

Since mass rollouts are dynamic in nature and project data changes on a daily basis, Karebo developed a cloud-based software system to manage the process and to keep track of all the data points. The system integrates a customer relationship management function to automate registrations, appointments and customer notifications via email and SMS.

Karebo donated their winnings to the community category finalists to help these development programmes extend their work in their local communities.

4D and A Architects and Holms and Friends were runners-up in the category.

Commercial giants demonstrate green commitment

The winner in the competitive commercial category was Makro, who implemented extensive energy management systems across six stores with the aim of saving energy, reducing running costs, improving the in-store environment and customer shopping experience and becoming more sustainable.

The group has implemented various energy management systems in their stores including a campaign to “switch the lights off”. They installed lighting control switches, energy efficient lighting, heat reclaiming facilities, thermal storage systems as well as independent electricity check meters, and as a result they have been able to decrease their demand by 36% with a monthly saving of 219 000kWh.

The runners up in the commercial category included City Lodge Hotels, Combined Motor Holdings and Shared Energy Management who all implemented effective savings programmes.

Industrial sector keen to show their credentials   

In the industrial category Glencore Merafe and Arcelormittal Saldanha Works were joint winners for their impressive energy efficiency installations that have had a serious impact on their electricity consumption.

When Glencore Merafe PSV realised that one of their Rustenburg plants was becoming increasingly energy inefficient in 2004 they decided something had to be done to improve their energy consumption.

Glencore Merafe PSV is a producer of ferrochrome and through pelletizing and sintering of chrome ore fines, which in its natural form uses huge amounts of energy, sought to treat the ore to make the smeltering furnaces more energy efficient. By utilising these technologies, the energy efficiency of the ferrochrome furnaces at the Rustenburg plant improved significantly resulting in massive savings of 150 711 MWh, and the installation has a pay-back period of just two years.

Joint winner ArcelorMittal was in a similar situation when two years ago they identified energy as a critical issue for ensuring long-term sustainability of its Saldanha Works Plant. Drastic changes were needed to turn things around.

The energy strategy the plant adopted looked at all aspects of energy savings potential and consisted of 15 energy projects - from technology, to energy optimisation, systems, and ISO 50 001. The flagship achievement was the operational efficiency innovation, which saw the plant reduce their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption by 40% converting to a total saving of an astonishing R170 million over three years. 

Runner up in the industrial category was TEMM International.

Leading through innovation

The innovation category is always an exciting one and encourages real out- of-the-box thinking. This year saw several unique solutions that offer serious energy savings. Winner of the category was Shield Technologies, a welding solutions specialist.

Their innovative weld spatter product called Spatter Guard HT Plus reduces the amount of spatter caused when welding. Weld spatter is normally removed using energy intensive methods such as manual grinding and needle descaling. By developing a product that prevents weld spatter Shield Technologies reduces the dependence on grinding and needle descaling which in turns delivers impressive electricity savings and a reduction in the amount of compressed air needed.  

The judges were so impressed by the standard of entries in the innovation category that they decided to award a Special Award in the innovation category to AngloGold Ashanti.  

This year an AngloGold Ashanti team led by Jean Greyling, a Water and Energy Engineer, at Mponeng Mine designed an integrated energy model for deep level mining that aims to reduce the operational costs of the mine.

The sophisticated single thermal hydraulic model captures all the environmental related processes including pumping, refrigeration, ventilation and compressed air processes at a mine. The highly accurate system which cost R1.8 million to develop, enables engineers to understand process interactions and interdependencies in order to optimise energy utilisation.  

The model identified and corrected several operational problems with current infrastructure, and savings of 2.5MW on the water reticulation network were achieved at a mine with a demand load of 120MW.

Runners up in the innovation category were African Clean Energy for their smokeless stove and Pioneer Plastics for their low-cost biogas system.  

eta finalists show that saving at home is easy

For many people energy saving at home is a daunting task but the Eskom eta Award finalists show that small changes can have a big impact both on your pocket and the environment. 

Don Boroughs won the energy saving in household category for the impressive savings he has made at home. Over a period of 16 years, Don has managed to reduce the electricity consumption in his home by 75%, with a saving of about R20 000 per year.

This achievement is not the result of one magic silver bullet, but of a hundred small changes that include installing a solar geyser, reliance on a wood-fired closed-combustion fireplace and gas heating. LED lighting is used throughout, and a variable speed pool pump which uses a fraction of the power of ordinary pumps, was also installed.

Runners up were Braam Dalgleish and Rod McGregor Mann who both showed serious commitment to reducing the electricity consumption in their homes. 

Rewarding achievement in energy efficiency awareness

In the energy efficiency awareness category the competition was stiff and as a result joint winners were announced. The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Savings Campaign and Energy Efficiency Leadership Network under Dr Peter Mukoma were both recognised for their impressive contribution to energy efficiency awareness.

In 2009 Sarah Ward from the City of Cape Town launched an Electricity Savings Campaign in the residential and commercial markets to become a more resource efficient city and reduce the City’s carbon footprint.

The residential sector accounts for 43% of electricity consumption while the commercial sector uses 40% of the city’s energy. As a result the City launched a campaign to encourage people to take responsibility for reducing their consumption. The campaign guided residents on how to save using clear information to achieve a reduction of between 26% and 40% in mid to high income households. 

The commercial campaign saw the Energy Efficiency forum launched. The forum is a partnership between the City, Eskom and the South African Property owners Association which aims to achieve savings in commercial properties using an information sharing and networking platform.

The National Business Initiative (NBI) is a voluntary business organisation made up of leading national and multinational companies that aims to promote a sustainable and equitable society. In 2011 the NBI established the Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (EELN) in partnership with the Department of Energy and Business Unity of South Africa to address the energy challenges facing business in South Africa.

Thanks to Dr Mukoma’s amazing energy, the EELN has 59 signatories including some of South Africa’s largest companies, who have all committed to supporting the Energy Efficiency Pledge to achieve energy savings, reduce energy intensity and carbon emissions.

The network also connects business with key government stakeholders on energy efficiency issues.

Lorraine Jenks was awarded a Special Award in this category for her ongoing work in educating the tourism and hospitality industries on taking a greener approach to business. She established two directories that help the industry and individuals source green products and she also conducts training in the industry in collaboration with Eskom’s IDM programme.  

Runner up was the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (Soltrain) an innovative initiative that aims to encourage the switch from a fossil fuel based energy supply to a renewable energy based supply by training suppliers in the renewable energy sectors.

Community endeavours recognised

Energy efficiency projects in local communities are often highly effective, showing real benefits for those involved. The winner in this category was the Green Building Council of South Africa for their Cato Manor Green Street community project.

When the COP 17 climate change talks were approaching, the Green Building Council of South Africa sought to demonstrate the range of socio-economic, health and environmental benefits which are possible from the implementation of resource-efficient interventions in low-income houses. The Cato Manor Green Street Project in Durban, the first green street retrofit in South Africa, is the result.

Fifty six low-cost houses in a small cul-de-sac road in this historic township benefitted from a green upgrade through the installation of solar water heaters and LED street lights, insulation paint, insulated ceilings, heat insulation cookers, rain water harvesting tanks and other green interventions. In addition to the improved quality of life for the residents, these households have saved up to 27% on their electricity costs.

Runner ups in the category was Project 90 X 2030 and the Vuka-uzenzela project.

“At Eskom, we believe that it is our role, along with government and business, to encourage this emerging mindset of energy efficiency among South Africans. It is essential for the country’s future that we all become energy savers and use electricity efficiently. Through the eta Awards, we hope to recognise more citizens who use electricity sparingly, and who can inspire others to do the same,” said Dr Lennon.


15 November 2012

Energy efficiency comes out tops at the Eskom eta Awards

The nine winners of the prestigious Eskom eta Awards were announced at the annual awards evening on 15 November. The entrants who came from across the country are all passionate about energy efficiency and have done something remarkable to help reduce their electricity consumption.

This year the quality of entries didn’t disappoint with some truly astonishing innovations designed with energy saving in mind. From a geyser that heats water using compost right through to South Africa’s first 6 Star Green Star accredited building at Vodafone head offices.

Dr Steve Lennon, Eskom Group Executive of Sustainability says: “South Africa is bursting with talent and nowhere is this more evident than at the annual Eskom eta Awards. More South Africans are looking for ways to save energy. Learners want to make a difference, householders are cutting costs, and engineers and large companies are working hard to reduce their use of electricity and save vital resources.”

The Eskom eta Awards have been acknowledging and rewarding good work in energy efficiency since 1985 with winners receiving R30 000 each and the runners-up taking home R5 000.

Since first being established the awards have grown in leaps and bounds and now feature nine categories. Some of these include: commercial, industrial, innovation, energy efficiency awareness and champions as well as a young designers category dedicated to unearthing youngsters with real passion for energy savings.  

The winner in the individual young designer’s category this year was 12 year old Daniel von Eschwege who designed a cost-effective solar water geyser system that can reduce a household energy bill by 40%. He hopes to produce these DIY packs and help poorer communities access hot water at an affordable price. The runners-up were Daniella Oosthuizen and Keegan Cordeiro.

The team from Bay College in Plettenberg Bay took home the top prize in the young designers group category. The group of grade 8 learners looked at how to reduce electricity consumption during cooking. By comparing cooking using a microwave, a stove-top and a clay oven they found that using a clay oven is the most energy efficient method. Runners up were the Pretoria Boys High School team and the Cornwall College team.

In the residential category the City of Cape Town won for their lighting retrofit programme. The city is replacing all incandescent light bulbs in traffic lights and street lights across the city. Since 2009 when the programme began, 15 370 megawatt hours have been saved, which is the equivalent of approximately 17 million MWh a year. The runner up in this category was the Ellies Renewable Energy Power Save project.

In the commercial sector there is always enormous scope for improving energy efficiency and this year did not disappoint. V&A Waterfront won for their comprehensive energy saving initiatives that included fitting lighting controls right through to energy efficient lifts and escalators. Across the precinct they have managed to save 11, 261, 449 kWh of electricity or R5.6 million while reducing their demand on the grid by 10.53%.  ABSA and Spier Wine Farm Hotel were runners-up in this category.

In the industrial category Magnet Electrical took home the coveted prize for their ammonia heat pump hot water system project, the first ammonia heat pump of its kind in South Africa at the time of implementation. The heat pump offered a solution for reducing the amount of power used to produce hot water that Rainbow Chicken requires for ablutions and hygiene at their plant.  AngloGold Ashanti was runner-up in this category.


The innovation category is always an exciting one and encourages real out- of-the-box kind of thinking. This year the team at Grosskopff, Lombart, Huyberechts and Associate Architects won this coveted award for their innovative design of the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre. This unique building is the only 6 Star Green Star accredited building in the country and features a double glazed façade with sun-tracking blinds, a slab cooling system, cool radiant panels, 100% fresh air, rain water harvesting and the treatment of grey water (water from wash basins).

Runner-up was Frikkie Bruwer for his solar water heater for intermittent energy source that ensures a constant supply of warm water, even when there is intermittent energy supply, by using a stratification method.


Louise Williamson won the energy saving in households prize this year and we could all take a leaf out of her book. Williamson and her family decided to go green and have been living off the grid for 56 months. The family uses solar power for cooking, powering the fridge and deepfreeze and in the four years on the farm have saved 33 908 kWh or made a saving of R20 000.  

In the energy efficiency awareness category Gareth Burley’s Green Hour radio programme took home top honours. The weekly radio programme airs on Kingfisher FM, a community radio station in Port Elizabeth. The idea behind the programme is to create awareness around energy efficiency and showcase the good news stories coming out of South Africa. The runners-up were Creatrix and the NAA-SA go2natural partnership.


The official eta Awards energy efficiency champion this year is Barry Bredenkamp. Barry has spent his whole life working in the energy and electricity sectors and he has been instrumental in introducing energy efficient lighting into South Africa in 2000. He also set up the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the National Energy Efficiency Agency in South Africa in 2007. Bredenkamp is a true energy efficiency champion who believes in the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency.  Andre Nel and Vivienne Walsh were runners-up.


Getting the support and buy-in of South African communities is essential and the community category recognises those individuals working hard to help ordinary South Africans become energy efficient. This year the judges were impressed with two projects so have awarded two winners in this category.


Billy Hadlow was rewarded for this innovative power in a bottle project that aims to provide solar power to informal settlements. Khaya Power is a five litre plastic container converted into a solar energy power pack that can supply electricity to a house. The pack contains a 12 volt battery, a DC socket and is fitted with LED lights. Khaya Power is charged with solar energy during the day and can supply LED lights, a small TV, rodent repellent device, a DVD player, a radio and cellphone charger with electricity for a period of eight hours.

The other joint winner was Seven Schools Club from Nelspruit. This group of seven schools included: HS Sakhile, Primary School Inkhanyeti, High School Khutsalani, Phatfwa High School, Sandzile Primary School and Embonisweni Primary School and Tsembaletfu Primary School. These schools joined forces to establish a recycling campaign. They have raised R5 380 by recycling 16 244 kgs of waste, while 53 473.92 kilowatt hours of energy have been saved.   

“At Eskom, we believe that it is our role, along with government and business, to encourage this emerging mindset of energy efficiency among our 49 million (and growing) population. It is essential for the country’s future that we all become energy savers and use electricity efficiently. Through the eta Awards, we hope to recognise more citizens who use electricity sparingly, and who can inspire others to do the same,” said Dr Lennon.

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