Wednesday, 14 October 2020 16:31


South Africa’s largest energy efficiency initiative, the SA Industrial Energy Efficiency Project, has won the highest international accolade for an energy programme – the International Energy Project of the Year, awarded by the global Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). The award was accepted by national project manager, Alf Hartzenburg of the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC-SA) at the AEE International Virtual Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 14 October. AEE members and executives from around the world responded with enthusiastic accolades when the summary of the IEE Project achievements was read by the chairperson of the awards committee.  


The Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project, which has been led since 2010 by the NCPC-SA and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), received the award in recognition of its efforts of transforming the energy use patterns in South African industry, and mainstreaming energy management systems across economic sectors. Since its first implementation projects in 2011, the IEE Project team has assisted industrial companies to save 6.5 TWh of energy, translating to cumulative cost savings of R5.3 billion in these companies.



According to national project leader and NCPC-SA spokesperson, Alf Hartzenburg, what sets this project apart is that it partners with and equips industry to tackle practical energy management in companies of all sizes.


“Through expert-level training of industry professionals, demonstration of actual impact and methodologies aligned to international standard ISO50001, the project partners have ensured that both the skills and the appetite exist to implement energy management.  The benefits are made clear in the energy savings, which result in direct financial savings on utilities and other energy sources, and we don’t leave the companies to go it alone, but support them with skills and financial linkages, where possible.”



Hartzenburg believes that the return to operations post lock-down offers companies an ideal opportunity to consider changes that will ultimately save them operating costs, thus aiding in the recovery process and long-term sustainability. “SANS/ISO 50001, the energy management best practice standard, actually saves companies money. We are offering companies technical support to comply with this standard, and even some financial support if they want to apply for certification through SABS.”


The IEE Project has a strong focus on gender mainstreaming and promoting the participation of women in energy. To date, 43% of the professionals trained through the project were female.


The IEE Project also includes awareness-raising in its activities, as evidence strongly supports the idea that sustained energy savings are brought about through behaviour change. This active communication approach made the project an even stronger candidate for the AEE International Award which encourages projects with “significant success in savings and/or visibility”.






Read the full media release.


Download a copy of the SA Industrial Energy Efficiency Project Fact Sheet.



For more information, contact:

Julie Wells

Communication Manager, NCPC-SA

Cell: +27 (0)74 899 9819

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.