Energy efficiency programmes for SMEs to enable benefits beyond energy savings – Mauritius Acting PM

‘Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need to develop energy efficiency systems as well as manage energy utilisation since the SME sector as a whole consumes a significant amount of energy thereby contributing to energy efficiency improvements’.

This statement was made today by the Acting Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, at the opening of a half-day workshop on ‘Survey on Energy Use and Energy Efficiency in the Industrial and SME sectors’ held at the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower, in Ebène. The purpose of the workshop was to disseminate the findings on energy use and energy efficiency in the industrial and SME sectors.

In his address, the Acting Prime Minister highlighted that improving SMEs’ energy efficiency is a key way to increase their profitability and competitiveness. This will also ensure the reduction in SMEs’ energy costs as well as improving greater energy efficiency with regards to SMEs’ product quality and output, reducing risks and liabilities, enhancing resilience and enabling new business opportunities, he said.

It is economically viable, Mr Collendavelloo pointed out to have an efficient utilisation of energy since Mauritius depends heavily on the import of charcoal and diesel to produce electricity. Hence the need, he stressed, to implement modern energy production technologies such as Liquefied Natural Gas since it is a clean fuel and contributes to improved product quality and reduces maintenance costs. At present, 86% of our energy produced come from fossil fuels such as charcoal, petrol and heavy oil. The transport sector accounts for 54% of total energy use; the industrial sector 21%; domestic uses 13%; commercial 10%; and agriculture 0,4%.

The Acting Prime Minister underlined that Government’s objective is to reduce energy consumption by 10% by 2030. Several measures are being implemented such as energy efficiency labelling of electrical appliances with the aim of providing information on energy consumption and efficiency to help customers make better purchasing decisions; energy audits in 88 buildings in the public and private sectors; Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Scheme for Cooperative Societies; and Home Solar Project targeting 10 000 households of vulnerable families.

For his part, the Chairman of the Energy Efficiency Management Office (EEMO), Mr Kendall Tang, underlined that SMEs often focus on the day-to-day tasks of the core business, leaving limited time and resources to investigate energy efficiency opportunities. SMEs, he recalled, face various barriers that deter them from adopting energy efficiency measures such as lack of time and resources to explore energy efficiency options, and lack of information about where and how energy is used in their companies. SMEs usually do not have internal capacity to develop and implement energy efficiency projects, and rarely view efficiency as a priority, especially during the early SME development phase, he said

Moreover, Mr Tang dwelt on the importance of investing in energy efficiency in SMEs which will create a virtuous circle of sustainable production leading to improved image, attracting better talent and more customers, motivated teams, added profits and reduction in energy cost and greenhouse gases emissions.

The study

The Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities entered into a contract with the Service Provider (StraConsult Ltd) in November 2017 for the contract of ‘Survey on Energy Use and Energy Efficiency in the Transport, Industrial and SME Sectors’.

The deliverable for the project was to calculate the energy use per sub-sector of the building, including instrumented measurements, with breakdown showing electricity consumption, fossil fuel use and renewable energy use, the surface area and peak capacity of solar photovoltaic installations, solar water collectors present, annual use of standby generators, annual use of electricity for heating and/or cooling purposes, cost of fuel used, and annual production.

The survey covered the calculation of Energy Use Intensities (EUI); breakdown of energy use and to display through appropriate charts; and, the relationship of EUI and fuel economy for the different subsectors and categories.

Source: Government of Mauritius

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