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ENERGY: Lighting Largest Energy Saving LED Deal in Africa to Date


Recent Gauteng Business News

Royal Philips Electronics (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG) and Eskom (The South African state-owned utility company) recently announced the largest energy saving LED lighting deal in Africa to date. Under the agreement, 200,000 Philips MasterLED lamps are being distributed through Karebo Systems at discounted prices throughout South Africa to professional users of lighting such as hotels, banks, offices and retail outlets. These businesses and their staff will benefit from maintenance savings, great quality light and an enhanced sense of well-being.

The project aims to replace 50W Halogen bulbs with 7W and 10W LED lamps, which provide the same amount of light, and last significantly longer. The collective electricity savings potential of this deal is estimated to be 58GWh per year equal to R41 million and would save up to 60,000 tons of CO2. Based on calculations of 40-43W less power consumption, each lamp has the potential to annually save 280KWh of electricity equal to R200. In fact every four lamps installed will save the equivalent of three trees in terms of CO2 absorption. And the changeover just involves a simple switch of a bulb.

Andrew Etzinger Senior General Manager for Integrated Demand Management at Eskom says: “Just like most other countries, both developed and developing, South Africa is facing an energy-constrained future and it is in Eskom’s interest to encourage electricity consumers to reduce consumption where possible. Although we are investing in new power stations to generate enough electricity to meet medium- to long-term demand, improved efficiency is the most practical solution to ensuring our electricity supply will be secure in the short-term”.

“Eskom is committed to using tried-and-tested technology, such as LEDs, in line with our energy efficiency drive and a low carbon future. As an added benefit, a reduction in electricity consumption brings commercial and industrial consumers’ savings on their cost of doing business, reduces their impact on the environment and ensures that the country is not confronted with a situation in which demand exceeds supply”.

The Importance of the LED Lighting Deal

Ronald de Jong, Executive Vice President and Chief Market Leader, Philips says, “The world needs relevant innovations to respond to today’s global changes and secure a bright future. We are very pleased to partner with Eskom and Karebo Systems on this initiative. We share many of the same values, including reducing our impact on the environment and using innovation to drive our sustainability initiatives. Encouraging a shift to LED lighting solutions underscores our commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility in growth markets like South Africa.”

The project is being organized by Karebo Systems whose task is to organize distribution throughout South Africa and ensure that the envisaged savings are achieved. “The key is to ensure that these energy saving lamps end up in the intended sockets” says Ravi Govender, Director, Karebo Systems. LED technology is a relatively new technology and Eskom must be applauded for supporting this initiative by assisting in removing the initial cost barriers to entry into the market for technologies of this nature. The rollout of these lamps is also a wonderful job creation opportunity in South Africa. It is a definite win-win for all parties involved – especially the end user.”

The Difference the LED Lighting Deal Can Make

The energy efficiency benefits of LED lighting are clear; LED light bulbs today offer sparkling high quality light, an increased life time of up to 50,000 hours and reduced maintenance costs. On the professional side, LEDs also offer unprecedented freedom of design. In lighting applications they offer flexibility in terms of color, form factor and integration with controls.

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