The annual awards recognise the outstanding accomplishments of individuals and companies for their work in energy efficiency in South Africa. The patron of the year cannot be nominated, but is rather identified and selected by the SAEE board.
According to Lydia Marais of the SAEE, Alf was recognised for his significant contribution in the field of energy consumption and the resulting reduction in the use of energy resources through his role as IEE Project head at the National Cleaner Production Centre, South Africa (NCPC-SA). Since 2011, the NCPC-SA has reported energy savings of 2,140 gigawatt hours of energy, valued at over R1.76 billion in participating companies through the implementation of energy management systems and energy systems optimisation in industrial plants. Alf has been part of the IEE Project almost from the beginning, having joined the NCPC-SA in 2011, following a 35-year career in industry. As a senior member of the team, he has not only led significant energy efficiency projects, but has become a prolific trainer and mentor and is passionate about training and empowering others to be effective in energy management.
During his address at the 2016 SAEE Conference, Alf spoke about the importance and challenges facing many companies when measuring their energy performance. “The right understanding and measurement of energy performance and the definition of appropriate energy performance indicators are critical steps for the development of a meaningful baseline and the implementation of an effective and successful energy management system (EnMS) that saves energy, money and creates value and business benefits for the organisation.” Alf is a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation certified expert in four disciplines – EnMS, as well as Steam, Fans and Compressed Air Systems Optimisation, and is one of a handful of local experts also qualified to present expert-level training, locally and internationally. He is also an AEE Certified Energy Manager and Certified Measurement and Verification Professional. He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town and holds Diplomas in Textiles, Production Management, Business Administration and Financial Management.
As a result of his extensive expertise and experience, Alf presents numerous Energy Systems training workshops countrywide and has grown to be recognised as a leader in his field. He is also a co-opted member, in an advisory capacity, of the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and is one of five United Nations European Union Green Flower Ecolabel trainers in South Africa.
In terms of the way forward, Alf says, “This award is a key milestone and a timely boost for the IEE Project as we address the significant targets of the second phase: capacitating government and coordinating interdepartmental collaboration; data-rich implementation projects; establishment and funding mechanism to drive implementation and finally, gender mainstreaming in all the key activities. What is critical for me in the next three years is to nurture the exceptional IEE Project team, to pursue specialist competencies and assume leadership roles beyond my tenure at the NCPC-SA.”