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South African vehicle retailer Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) could cut more than a third from its annual power bill following successful energy efficiency pilots at its Johannesburg car dealerships.
Energy efficiency pilots at three of CMH’s highest energy-using dealerships triggered power savings of between 30 to 50 per cent over a five-month period.
Power use fell by an average 50,000-kilowatt hours (kWh) at three pilot sites, generating average annual saving of ZAR 733,356 per dealership (GBP £61,200; AUD $90,507; USD $96,738).
These large, rapid, energy savings saw CMH achieve paybacks on energy efficiency investments within eight months.
The positive results provide a strong business case to support the phased adoption of energy efficiency investments across the motoring group’s 60 dealer sites, says CMH CEO, Jebb McIntosh.
“We have begun a process of measuring electricity consumption at our larger dealerships. We have generated reductions through new metering, more efficient lighting, automated timing devices and greater awareness of consumption.
“In the initial phase, consumption at our pilot sites fell by up to 50 per cent. This is a terrific result,” said Mr McIntosh.
“In the year ahead we will extend the energy-monitoring and efficiency programme to all our dealerships. Once we have a baseline established our site directors will be able to report on consumption savings.”
CMH’s energy efficiency investment included a range of passive and behavioural changes, including power factor correction, wireless automation, occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting and new power tariff contracts based on advice, installation and support from LEMS Energy Management, which specialises in energy efficiency and power continuity solutions.
Powerful energy analysis software lies at the heart of CMH’s ability to target and track its energy efficiency program.
The ClearSkys web-based platform is capable of automating the capture, tracking and analysis of CMH’s energy and water use data across the company’s 60 dealerships.
ClearSkys is powered by global sustainability software provider, CarbonSystems, an Australian company independently ranked as a top ten global energy and carbon management software vendor.
The cloud-based application streamlines the capture and reporting of all quantitative and qualitative source data across energy, carbon, environmental and social responsibility portfolios. CarbonSystems software is being used to drive and evaluate business sustainability initiatives in more than 25,000 locations around the world.
CarbonSystems’ CEO David Solsky said: “Businesses today need a new kind of business intelligence to manage their energy, carbon and environmental performance.
“With powerful data management and the right decision support tools, organisations can increase efficiency, reduce costs and deliver sustainable outcomes that transform their business.”
South Africa's state-owned power firm Eskom has a mandate to double electricity prices over the next three years to curb demand and build greater power generating capacity.
Spiraling power prices, threatened blackouts and looming carbon tax are spurring many South African companies to cap energy use in a bid to stay competitive. Rising energy prices were a key driver for CMH to assess opportunities to energy cost savings in its business.
Combined Motor Holdings Limited is an investment holding company. The Company is engaged in retailing of motor, car hire, marine and leisure and financial services. Its services segment provides management support and expertise for the business segments. The Company's dealerships include Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Peugeot, Citroen, Nissan, Nissan Diesel, Honda, Ford Mazda, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, Lexus, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Suzuki, Kia, Lamborghini and investment cars. Its subsidiaries include Bonerts, CMH Autogas Products, CMH Car Hire, CMH Holdings, CMH Luxury Motors, CMH Luxury Motors, CMH Marine and Leisure and Combined Motor Finance.
Working in collaboration with CarbonSystems, we were able to develop an overarching data entry sheet specifically for online-NGERS reporting. This in turn took any confusion out of the data entry at the front end I believe we can even further streamline the process for the next reporting period.
James Peacock, Executive Manager, Environmental Sustainability, CBA.