interim measures while waiting for Eskom to restore normal electricity supply

Interim measures while waiting for eskom to restore

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interim measures while waiting for Eskom to restore normal electricity supply. 29% have taken a more long-term approach, while 19% are undecided. The installation of alternate sources of electricity such as solar power has been considered by a small group of 22% and only 21% of respondents have arranged for an energy audit. On the other hand, 60% have provided incentives or otherwise active- ly encouraged staff to conserve energy by, for example, turning off lights or air conditioners, and 46% have rewired some of their operations to pro- tect equipment against power outages. Only 19% have considered the long-term impact of unstable electricity supply in business plans, while 31% are Journal of Energy in Southern Africa • Vol 19 No 1 February 2008 9 29.2% 12.8% 15.4% 3.6% 39.0% 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Table 2: Changes in electricity consumption behaviour Behaviours likely to change Strongly disagree Neutral/ Agree + + disagree undecided strongly agree The electricity crisis has resulted in my company having to reconsider future investments in South Africa 37% 36% 27% My company will in future maintain a good working relation- ship with Eskom to encourage a better flow of information 16% 46% 38% Energy considerations will be a major aspect of any future building plans 9% 18% 73% We will in future have to maintain on-site generators 39% 19% 43% The crisis has resulted in building stronger relationships with suppliers and customers to cooperate to overcome these future electricity problems 24% 46% 29% There is nothing much my company can do to improve our energy consumption 26% 10% 64% Energy conservation has become a major focus point of our future strategy 28% 38% 34%
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unsure about the potential changes necessary, and 50% do not believe it will impact on their business over the long-term. Discussion We have seen that unstable electricity supplies severely threaten the survival of small and medium enterprises. This is even more pronounced when the businesses do not have sufficient prior knowl- edge of the irregular outages. The major impacts on sustainability are the loss of revenue and customers during downtime, the failure to complete contracts on time, and an increase in overhead and unantic- ipated loss of productivity. The evidence that not many companies have considered alternatives like solar energy could be due to the cost and the long payback period ( Mail & Guardian , 17 March 2006). A solar water heater could cost anywhere between $650 and $1 400. The payback for such an item could be anywhere between 5 and 10 years depending on usage. The implementation of photovoltaics with batteries is seen by respondents as expensive and still quite a clumsy technology in comparison with grid-con- nected power. Additional barriers for proceeding with alternative sources of energy are more likely due to a lack of relevant information and access to up-front financing for the necessary infrastructure.
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  • Spring '11
  • Mohammad
  • Energy Policy, Energy development, Peak oil

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