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Exclusive interview with Wendy da Cruz, Management System Consultant

Wendy da CruzPlease tell us more about the type of projects that you are working on?
My involvement is in Energy Management System (EnMS) projects based on the international standard ISO 50001. This entails conducting an energy review to understand the client’s energy profile and to identify opportunities for improving energy performance and the associated cost reductions.

Implementing an EnMS means both realising savings and quantifying them, as well as putting in place management practices to ensure operational and maintenance controls take into account energy performance as well as quality.

Anything that is particularly exciting currently that you can share?
It is very exciting to work with companies who can see the difference their EnMS makes in that they have a quantifiable way in which to track their energy performance.

Most companies realise the value of saving energy, but they are not always sure about how to measure the improvement or how to sustain the gains from successful projects. This is where the power of a systematic approach based on ISO 500001 comes into play.

What in your view are the main challenges facing the energy sector in your view?
Up until now it has been a lack of knowledge and skills, but this is changing in a most encouraging way, as there are very effective capacity building initiatives, supported both locally and internationally.

Energy efficiency has become a word that is used very widely and easily – what does it mean to you?
It means achieving that same out puts using less energy. Or achieving more with the same amount of energy. Or, first prize, achieving more output with less energy.

What is your vision for this industry?
To increase the understanding of the benefits of actively pursuing energy saving opportunities and bedding them down with a good solid EnMS.

What surprises you about this sector?
How difficult it is to try to convince people that energy saving does not have to cost a fortune!

You will address African Utility Week on “How to develop an effective and sustainable energy efficiency management system” – can you give us a sneak preview of your message at the event?
My message at African Utility Week will focus on the systematic approach to energy management, using practical examples to illustrate the means and the potential successes.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.