News from the SAEE Past President

07 September 2016

A message from the SAEE Past President Mr Karel Steyn...


07 September 2016


August and therefore woman’s month have come and gone. Question is: “Will it have a lasting impact on the lives of women?” I would like to believe it will – but only time will tell.

Although not completed as yet, thank-you to all those who complimented on the series of member-newsletters covering energy audits. Initial concerns that some may find it boring seem to be unfounded, with almost everyone learning or finding something useful.

All indications are that South Africa will be getting a carbon tax – sooner than later, everything considered! With the tax burden already being high with government seemingly needing more money all the time, the general feeling is that government only wants more money from taxpayers and that it is not really about carbon emissions or climate change at all…

31 August 2016


With woman’s month ending this week the last of some interesting research: “The richest woman in Africa is Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Her net worth is approximately $3.4 billion which makes her the 8th richest person in Africa and 569th richest in the world (” Also see the special offer in the banner on the right.

24 August 2016


Another interesting research result regarding women: “45% of the athletes in this year’s Olympics are females, the highest in the games’ history. The 1900 Games in Paris had just 22 women out of a total 997 athletes (2.2%) (,” Also see the special offer for woman owned energy businesses in the banner on the right. In fact, I would advise that you always read that within the banner not to miss out on anything!

17 August 2016


While it is still woman’s month, let me share some interesting research results with you: “Gender bias: There are just under 7 million South African adults (18% of SA adults aged 15 and more) that disagree with the statement “Women should occupy senior positions in government and at work”. Of those that disagree, 45% are female. (AMPS2015B).


10 August 2016


The weekly newsletters continue with the energy audit series from a reputable source. This weekAnalysing energy use and production patterns are dealt with (note some words may have been changed and portions deleted – refer to the guidebook for the original wording). Analysing energy use and production patterns is an important and crucial part of an energy audit. 

4 August 2016


August is not only supposed to be the last cold month of winter during which electricity is typically more expensive, but it is also the month dedicated to woman. We all have important women in our lives and usually do very little to acknowledge that. We often forget what they really mean to us.

In the modern post-WW2 era, there have been notable political women leaders. Golda Meir, Maggie Thatcher, Indira Ghandi, Benazir Bhutto stand out, Cristina Kirchner less so. Some were major reformers (Maggie), others mothers to their nation (Golda). Some were thoroughly detested (going strictly by Kissinger).

27 July 2016

We continue this newsletter with the energy audit series as promised. This week the activities of Inventory and measurement of energy use is covered (note some words may have been changed – refer to the guidebook for the original wording). These activities will also highlight if an auditor already knows enough to perform good energy audits.

4. Inventory and measurement of energy use... 

21 July 2016

We continue this week’s newsletter with the energy audit series based on the guidebook from an extremely well-respected source which provides detailed guidelines for energy auditors regarding the key elements when preparing for an energy audit, conducting an inventory and measuring energy use, analysing energy bills, benchmarking, analysing energy use patterns, opportunities, conducting cost-benefit analysis, preparing energy audit reports, and undertaking post-audit activities.  


13 July 2016

As mentioned in a previous message; Conducting an energy audit is one of the first steps in identifying potential for energy savings. This newsletter is the 2nd in the series based on the guidebook from an extremely well-respected source which provides detailed guidelines for energy auditors regarding the key elements when preparing for an energy audit, conducting an inventory and measuring energy use, analysing energy bills, benchmarking, analysing energy use patterns, opportunities, conducting cost-benefit analysis, preparing energy audit reports, and undertaking post-audit activities. This specific newsletter also includes the first of a variety of tools that may be used for auditing purposes. Energy audits are usually an eye-opener for management as it often provides unknown information which can lead to the business being more efficient if acted upon. This week we deal with Preparation for the Energy Audit… 


6 July 2016

The 4th Industrial Revolution - A reason to be excited?
There has been a great deal said about the 4th Industrial Revolution. But what is it and should we in the energy sector concern ourselves with it?  First came steam and water power; then electricity and assembly lines; then computerization… So what comes next?
Some call it the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0. Whatever you call it, it represents the combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems. In short, it is the idea of smart factories in which machines are augmented with web connectivity and connected to a system that can visualize the entire production chain and make decisions on its own.


29 June 2016
Something really good happens with energy audits….#1
Last week the question posed was “Are your energy management initiatives working?” The question is only relevant where energy efficiency measures have already been implemented. Perhaps this was not applicable to you. However, should you be interested in doing so, you then need to start with something else, i.e. Energy Audits.


22 June 2016
Are your Energy Management Initiatives working?
The only way possible to answer the question would be to do some work on the numbers involved before and after an Energy Management initiative is implemented and then to provide factual results as the answer. Any other way would be guessing, wishful thinking or lies.
Marcus Aurelius stated that “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” The factual results referred to should therefore be established in a way that will convince those who need to believe it. They do not want anyone’s opinions or perspectives, but facts! To achieve the mentioned, the process and method must be agreed upfront. Fortunately we already have a well-documented National Standard which is 100% aligned to world best practices in this regard, that can be used for guidance. The SANS 50 010 for Measurement and Verification (M&V) of Energy Savings.


15 June 2016
ISO 50 001 – More than you think!
Mrs Steyn and the kids usually complain that my clothes are outdated and make me look older. I thought it was the grey hair… According to them, I only wear “old peoples” clothes and have no idea about colour matching. Winter with its chilly weather is on us, so last Saturday I decided to get myself a new jacket. Mrs Steyn knows best and she came along to ensure that we went to the appropriate shops and that she would provide the necessary assistance, matching colour and style! At the first shop we found that even the largest size available did not fit me. At the next shop the same thing! I gave up after visiting the third shop. I know that I need to lose some weight but larger men easily find jackets. The lesson learned? These shops may have the colour and the style but the shops that stock Chinese merchandise have confusing sizes. The Chinese are generally smaller people and the sizing they use does not make any sense for South African men. It would be much easier if they had sizes aligned to the normal measurements used in South Africa!


1 June 2016
Our Shrinking World…
Although Gradus is not an SAEE member he asked me a question per email earlier this month. Although he expected a single simple answer I responded and provided him with five valid options with contact details to investigate and choose from. He was surprised, I am sure.


26 May 2016
An Additional Tax Benefit
I must again take this opportunity to congratulate Aberdare Cables, in Port Elizabeth and Saint-Gobain Construction Products Gyproc, in Cape Town, who are among 32 companies worldwide to receive an Energy Management Insight Award from the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), in partnership with the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) in forming a high-level global forum promoting policies and programs to advance clean energy. Read more here. These businesses are being recognised for helping to build global insight on the benefits of energy management systems in industrial or commercial facilities.


18 May 2016
Disruptive Nuclear: Energy of the Future?
The last newsletter for 2015 included a number of predictions from experts on what 2016 might hold for the energy industry. This newsletter will touch on one of the predictions made. The reason for dealing with this specific prediction is threefold.  The media exposure for nuclear, evidence of an increase in nuclear activities, and my belief that humans will in future have safe and portable nuclear the size of a toddler’s school case, to be used anywhere for travelling, office, home, etc. (a previous newsletter touched on this).


4 May 2016
Energy Audits at Night-Time…
Firstly a summary on everything that has happened during the past weeks that you may not be aware of.
Most importantly and something which should be noted is that the SAEE Executive Committee is looking into membership in general. The idea is to create more categories with benefits aligned thereto and then increasing the membership fees. We are well aware that the economic environment is tough and it may be difficult for members to deal with increased membership fees...


6 April 2016
Energy Ratings vs Energy Performance!
Energy efficiency ratings, appliance labelling and various other energy bench-marking systems vs energy efficiency performance! Is there a difference, what does it mean and is it important to understand? 


3 February 2016
The Value of "Free"...
The year 2016 started with bang! In fact, the transition from 2015 to 2016 was actually one important matter on another presenting many opportunities for those of us in the energy market. Some were upset because they were too late to use an opportunity, while others were ready and able. As the saying goes “Success is where Preparation and Opportunity meet”. The SAEE should be no different.


27 January 2016
South African Leaders in Energy Management eligible for New Global Award
Organizations certified to ISO 50001 standard to elevate South Africa’s profile in clean energy
The ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard is becoming more and more important the world over. The COP21 decisions make this standard more important than ever before.
I am extremely happy to announce that the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) has been chosen, and the SAEE Executive Committee agreed, to host a prestigious new awards program to recognise companies or organisations that use an ISO 50001-certified energy management system (EnMS) to save energy and reduce costs. The Energy Management Leadership Awards should generate broader global use of these proven systems and help to attain national and global climate goals. The program is sponsored by the Energy Management Working Group (EMWG) of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which is an active group of forward-thinking energy ministers from around the world. South Africa is a member of the EWMG.


20 January 2016
Making New Year Resolutions Reality …
Welcome to 2016. I hope you are refreshed after the break. And if you didn't have a break, I hope you are refreshed anyway.  December 31 is usually the day we list the things that we want to get done in the next year. Goals like shedding 30 kg, or writing a book, or banking a million. Wild goals!  January 2 is usually the day that we break each one of those.  May we suggest a more workable approach? Keep the goal in mind because that is the final destination. But focus on the process.


2 December 2015
Predictions for 2016 …
I contacted a few friends, colleagues and others who know what’s happening in industry and asked them to provide us with predictions as to what they expect to happen in 2016 that will have a significant impact on us. I also took one or two from interesting articles found. Predictions are dangerous as it could come true and reflect on those who made such. None the less, some provided very similar predictions, some way out of the norm, with some contradicting one another. I tried to deal with these without making significant changes. You may find a few obvious, a large number most interesting and quite a few very surprizing. Here goes with the predictions for next year (2016):


25 November 2015
Section 12L Tax Allowance Basics … #3
In a previous newsletter, here I covered the basics of evaluating a 12L project, the benefits and comparison of M&V to tax practitioners which also included information on how to quote for and evaluate M&V was dealt with here. We however did not cover the actual cost of M&V which most in industry believes to be excessively high. This newsletter tries to deal with this topic in a bit more detail.

18 November 2015
Your Business Face More Compliance and More Threats...!
The SAEE Energy Efficiency Convention was a huge success by all measures. Thank-you to one and all who made this possible! It is so unfortunate for the unethical few who benefitted or used weaknesses in the admission arrangements to derive a benefit without paying. It seems fraud and pathetic behaviour has become ingrained in some individual’s daily lives. The reality is that some still need to learn that you will never own that which you did not earn!


3 November 2015
The 10 Years of the SAEE Convention
Ten powerful years! The number of years the Energy Efficiency Convention will be presented next week on the 11th and 12th November 2015. The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) is slightly older than the convention because it was started with the farsightedness of the very first SAEE president, a few years after. However, the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency Convention or SAEEC as it has become known is an integral part of the SAEE. So much so, that the one can almost not exist without the other.


21 October 2015
Section 12L Tax Allowance Basics … #2
Finally, back to the second part on 12L Basics… The requirements and evaluation of projects were covered in a previous message, available here. It was also clearly stated that an independent and SANAS accredited measurement and verification (M&V) body must provide all the necessary documentation to qualify for the Section 12L Tax Allowance. The cost of adhering to these M&V requirements are generally raised as the main issue of concern.


9 October 2015
Choosing a Training Course…
First of all, allow me to congratulate Standard Bank and Real Time Energy for winning prestigious Association of Energy Engineers (AEE - USA) awards at the World Energy Efficiency Congress (WEEC) last week. I trust this will have exceptional value to both organisations and South Africa. Well done, keep up the good work and let us continue to show the world that SAEE members can compete and be counted among the best of the world when it comes to energy management! A decision has been made to submit all relevant annual SAEE award winners/members to also compete for future AEE awards. So, do not delay – get your or other submissions in before it is too late (the link on the right of this newsletter) ! 


23 September 2015
Which Energy Sources for SA? Nuclear? Renewables? Coal? …
Firstly, I promised a follow-up message on the 12-L tax allowance, but due to the public holiday tomorrow making this a short week with many possibly only browsing through messages like this, motivated me to publish something on the heading…
I'm an energy manager, an energy measurement and verification professional and involved in the energy field for more than 25 years. I am therefore very conscious for the need to be energy efficient, limit the impact on the environment and everything related to energy. I am however not an expert in any specific field regarding the generation of energy and hence my frustration with what's usually in the news.


16 September 2015
Section 12L TAX allowance basics… #1
The SANEDI committee evaluating projects submitted for the Section 12L Tax Allowance really has its hands full. The amounts of projects submitted have increased exponentially with many submissions making it unnecessarily difficult. Extensive roadshows were held over a number of months and on request, to inform anyone wanting to know more. These workshops dealt with all the basic requirements. It also provided for almost unlimited time for questions and answers. Why is it then still so difficult for this committee to make speedy decisions on applications?


2 September 2015
Basic Energy Management Principles and Benefits
No load shedding for a few days. However, the stopping of a Koeberg unit and summer, with increased power station maintenance schedules, is nearing and will in all probability bring with it again the challenges of balancing the supply and demand of electricity. With load-shedding almost a daily occurrence, energy security becomes vitally important! Energy security, or the availability of energy, is important to everyone, but especially for hospitals, airports and those who cannot do without energy for even very short periods.

19 August 2015
Should you do that Energy Management Course?
Many adverts state: “5 Day MBA in Energy Management”. A real MBA should take much longer than 5 days to complete. This advert might seem somewhat of an anomaly and similar to an ad claiming to sell “newly manufactured genuine antique furniture” – “newly manufactured” and “genuine antiques” do not go together! It just goes beyond fundamentals. Does this type of advertising help those who want to learn and develop themselves? Perhaps not…


4 August 2015
The Abuse of Power!
Perhaps it time to stop beating around the bush… We all know of people in powerful positions that misuse power (money?) to get away with fraud, rape, jail-sentences, drunk driving and even murder. We know of only a few who use (or have used) their power for the greater good. This newsletter is however not about THOSE people in power, but about YOU and ME.


22 July 2015
Business Survival and the Energy Industry
The economic climate in South Africa is extremely tough and businesses struggle to survive! Those in the know believe the interest rate will start to increase at any time, the high fuel and electricity prices are affecting the disposable income of South African’s and that the economy is heading towards a recession. What does this mean to the energy industry?...

8 July 2015
Revival of the ESCO Industry - the Answer to SA’s Energy Challenges!
Past newsletters covered the possible solutions to addressing South Africa’s energy challenges but the importance of development and training gets highlighted time and time again. Herewith another addition to the range of possible solutions. In this newsletter the importance of good Energy Services Companies (ECSOs) to assist businesses to address excessive energy use or wastage are being touched on. If this can be addressed it would also deal with South Africa’s energy challenges. However, before dealing with the ESCO issue, this statement needs clarification as to why dealing with energy efficiency will address the energy and climate change predicaments we are currently experiencing...

25 June 2015
Knowledge and Networking - the Answer to SA’s Energy Challenges!
In my working life I have been, and still are, very privileged to learn from professors, doctors, scientist and other extremely learned individuals. However, I've also learned as much from lower level workers, peers and others. Enoch (long since passed away), as one of my team leaders many years ago; showed me how to do something which management and others believed impossible. He also came up with some very simple but brilliant solutions for some of the challenges we had during those years. Some of these individuals who crossed my path became mentors, with most of them also friends. My experience is that those who truly have valuable knowledge and skills which others should know about, are very eager to share such. In fact, when asked, they would usually provide more than necessary and even invite you to contact them should you want to know more! Yes, I am indeed learning from everyone...

10 June 2015
To Do…? or Not To Do…?
Two things happened during the past week which I would like to write about:
Firstly, I formally thanked a young man for going the extra mile after assisting me, without him or his company having any promise, or expectation, of any remuneration or future benefit for it. I copied his manager with the message who responded back as follows: “Thank you for the very positive feedback. We don’t just work for the money – Getting acknowledgement  from our customer is what really makes it worthwhile…”, and secondly...

27 May 2015
Is Innovation the Answer to SA’s Energy Challenges?
The question: “Can innovation solve our energy shortage challenges?” can be dealt with once we are clear as to what innovation means. The Wikipedia definition reads: ”Innovation is the process of making changes to something established by introducing something better and, as a consequence, new.”
To apply the definition practically we could refer to the new Powerwall, a wall-mounted lithium-ion electric battery for homes and small businesses, or the Tesla Powerpack, a heftier version of the same core product designed for utility scale use which has been all over the news the past few weeks. Batteries, or Lithium-ion batteries, is very well known, however Tesla Energy changed it and made it into something which many believe could be a game changer for making it possible to go off-grid at a reasonable price (in the USA anyway) with a lifespan double that of existing batteries. The possible uses of this improved technology increase by the day as users identify more and more opportunities for its application. This example fits well with the Wikipedia definition. Furthermore, Elon Musk stated that Tesla is not only an automotive company but also energy innovation company, a statement which then also supports the Wikipedia definition.

7 May 2015
Business Opportunities
The SAEE is committed to increase energy efficiency, utilise innovative energy service options, enhance environment management programmes and operations, and improve equipment performance – while, importantly, bolstering the bottom lines of organisations.
Energy management is essentially that: a management function in a company.  It is therefore imperative that business owners and senior management embrace the energy management system in a company, to ensure that it is effective.  Only too often do companies merely ‘add on’ aspects of an energy management programme to already existing operations.  This approach, however, is generally never applied to other company departmens like Human Resources or Finance and Admin that are considered as critical functions for efficiently running an organisation.  Ideally, a company should embark on a strategic energy management programme, allocating expertise, resources and budget.  However, in reality, energy management is often overlooked or neglected due to a lack of priority and funding...

29 April 2015
Industry Development and Training
To identify the ability in people and to develop and train that ability is the answer to many challenges a country might have.  As mentioned in the previous newsletter; the knowledge and skill levels in South Africa in all related areas, but specifically in the energy management industry, is critical for successfully managing energy shortages, finding/developing and implementing projects, increasing economic growth, creating job opportunities etc. Training and development is crucial in reaching the objective to combat the energy crisis.  We have seen positions being advertised for suitably qualified people in the energy management industry increase over time, with some positions even being advertised via the SAEE special newsletters...

22 April 2015
From the SAEE President
The SAEE realises the importance and value of good professional newsletters and is in the process of revising the current format of the eee-news, official newsletter of the SAEE. During this time where no newsletters will be issued, the gap will be filled with  writing from the President’s pen. I hope in future I can proceed this way of communication, depending on my available time and the value the newsletters’ add. This first newsletter from my desk, will be a bit generic covering a number of matters in limited detail, with next newsletters focussing on specific matters of importance – and it will be shorter as well, I promise.


The SAEEC is a proud chapter of the AEE.