S Africans save loads of energy

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    Pretoria – South Africans have saved 1 800 megawatts worth of electricity through energy efficient lighting, says power parastatal Eskom.

    According to the parastatal, 43.5 million compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were rolled out in the country as part of Eskom’s National Efficient Lighting Programme between 2004 and 2010. Through this, South Africans have helped save enough electricity to power a city the size of Durban.

    Eskom’s Senior General Manager of Integrated Demand Management, Andrew Etzinger, said the success of the programme is attributable to the millions of energy-conscious and environmentally-concerned South Africans.

    “Eskom is thrilled by what has been achieved through this programme. The electricity saved as a result of the marked reduction in consumption by lighting in homes and buildings across the country brings us closer to achieving our energy savings targets,” he said.

    The 43.5 million CFLs is the highest number to be rolled out in the world in one country through a single campaign. Mexico is planning to roll out 30 million CFLs, which will place them second to South Africa.

    Eskom, however, emphasised the gap between the supply and demand of electricity will remain tight until the first unit of the Medupi power plant starts generating electricity in 2012. The power station is located in Limpopo.

    The parastatal urges the public to continue saving electricity.

    The programme was launched to encourage people to switch from incandescent bulbs to energy efficient CFLs (which are miniature versions of full-sized tubular fluorescents and are extremely energy efficient), in line with global trends. CFLs use up to 80 percent less electricity than a traditional incandescent light bulb, while providing the same amount of light.

    These light bulbs were distributed for free to consumers across the country in exchange for incandescent bulbs.

    The environment friendly light bulbs, which used to cost between R60 and R80 per bulb, have now come down in price, coming in at R15 per light bulb on average.

    “Over the past six years, we seem to have overcome all of the barriers that once discouraged the widespread use of CFLs. Now that they are more affordable, easily accessible and can be used in almost any setting that we’d use a normal light bulb, the adoption of CFLs is really starting to gather momentum in this country, as it is elsewhere in the world,” said Etzinger. – BuaNews

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