The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has joined the 49M energy saving campaign.

49M is an energy initiative endorsed by government and business partners and supported by ordinary South Africans who have changed the way they use electricity to ensure savings.

The popular energy saving campaign, which is attracting more and more participants, urges South Africans to reduce their energy consumption by at least 10 percent by simply changing the way they use electricity.

Richard Flame group manager for Properties Infrastructure and Services at the CSIR says the company is excited to be a part of the 49M initiative.

“Reducing energy usage is always high on the CSIR’s agenda. The CSIR has since 2006 set itself stretched annual targets. These targets have been met and exceeded annually,” explains Flame.

He says this was achieved after a number of energy efficiency initiatives were introduced at the CSIR. Those initiatives include changing old high energy lighting to more efficient lighting. Depending on the area and need for hot water, geysers were either switched off or adjusted to 55 degrees.

“Behavioural change has contributed to reduction of energy usage. We encourage our employees to switch off the lights in the board rooms, toilets and other areas where no one is using the lights. Last year the CSIR installed real time meter energy meters and monitors at all sites and buildings to assist in monitoring the energy usage and demand. Building occupants will also be able to see in real time how much energy they use in the building. This information will assist them to manage electricity usage more efficiently. So far 49M has partnered with more than 70 businesses that have pledged to cut down on their electricity consumption. The businesses that have already signed partnership pledges include mining houses AngloGold Ashanti and other top companies. The campaign is also targeting tertiary institutions and ordinary residents.

49M spokesperson, Andrew Etzinger said he was pleased that more and more companies were prepared to come on board and ensure the energy saving campaign achieves its mandate of achieving at least 10% energy saving by 2015.

“We are pleased that CSIR has come on board as we increase our efforts to persuade companies and individuals to do more to save electricity,” states Etzinger.