28 August 2013 – Tsogo Sun has pledged its support for the 49M energy efficiency campaign. To ensure the objectives of the company’s environmental programme are met, Tsogo Sun has been in partnership with Heritage for the past three years and property-specific environmental management systems aimed at energy, water, waste management and responsible procurement have been developed for all its casinos and hotels.

Energy usage at Tsogo Sun hotels comprises primarily of the consumption of electricity. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is utilised for cooking, for limited space heating and for water heating at three properties and diesel is utilised primarily for backup generators. Electricity consumption at Tsogo Sun’s South African-owned properties decreased during the year by 3% to 252 million kWh, mainly due to the installation of energy-efficient lighting at properties, consumption measurement and behavioural change initiatives at the units. The replacement of element water heating systems with heat pump technologies has been completed.

Tsogo Sun has been working with Eskom since May 2006. In DSM1, involving hotels in the Western and Eastern Cape, the implementation of heat pumps, hot water demand control and efficient lighting resulted in 1.0 MW demand saving and 6.5 GWh energy saving. In DSM2, which saw the initiative rolled out to the rest of the group’s South African hotels, efficient lighting retrofits, involving changing incandescent lamps for compact florescent lamps, and hot water demand control (i.e. load shifting power from old hot water boilers and tumble dryers outside peak hours) saw a 2.77 MW demand saving and 6.5 GWh energy saving.

DSM 3 saw the element water heaters (boilers) at 39 hotels being replaced with heat pumps, bringing 4.2 MW demand savings and 14.4 GWh energy saving. Finally, DSM4 involved replacing all 35 and 50 W diachronic down light lamps with 7.0 W and 10 W LED lamps throughout the group’s hotels and casinos. This replacement was undertaken over two months and was successfully completed in the first week of December 2012, with 107,214 LEDs installed throughout all Tsogo Sun facilities nationally, resulting in annual energy savings of 23,911 MWh.

“From a baseline that was established using the April 2009 to March 2010 period, we have achieved a saving of 12.8% or 19 GWh,” Rob Collins, chief marketing officer of Tsogo Sun says. “One of the most successful interventions implemented during this period has been the introduction of an energy dashboard throughout all hotels, which effectively measures and monitors energy demand and consumption, water consumption and LPG gas consumption, has analysis tools and also has a warning system, with a proactive alarm system that sends SMSs to maintenance managers and general managers of the properties.”

However, Collins says there is more to come, “We will meet the terms of the 49M pledge and reduce our energy consumption by a further 10%.” Tsogo Sun will be focusing on behavioural changes to achieve this target. “Savings can only be sustainable when there is buy-in from employees, and eventually guests. Behavioural change can only be made when you can measure and, to this end, we have established an energy steering committee consisting of the operational directors, facility managers, financial managers, and development consultants, energy resource optimisers and Station 7, which is chaired by Tsogo Sun’s managing director of hotels, Graham Wood. This committee meets every month to review the energy and water performance and develop strategies for improvement.

A great deal of emphasis is placed on behavioural changes. The operational standards are reviewed and adjusted with energy efficiency in mind. A 10% target for behavioural savings was set in the middle of 2012 and 7% savings have been achieved over six months. The 2013 target is again a 10% energy reduction on the previous year and our energy consultants are currently undertaking a utility management awareness road show to take the message to staff at all levels in the organisation.

Particularly heartening, according to Collins, are some of the behavioural innovations that the hotels are coming up with, such as a traffic light in the laundry that flashes red in peak hours and green outside of peak.

Tsogo Sun’s pledge signing brings to 117 the number of government and business partners that have endorsed the 49M initiative. South African businesses that have adopted appropriate energy efficiency measures in order to maximise cost saving and competitiveness include T – Systems, CSIR, Mhlathuze municipality, Umjindi municipality, Medi-clinic group, AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American, Goldfields, Samsung, MTN, MassMart, Pick n Pay and other top companies. The campaign is also targeting tertiary institutions and ordinary residents.

Source: – the online power journal of Africa