“South Africa is the first country globally, to offer a ‘Negawatt-hour’ based energy (not only electricity) tax incentive”

Barry BredenkampInterview with Barry Bredenkamp, Senior Manager:  Energy Efficiency at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and speaker at the upcoming Powering African Industry in Jhb in September.

Tell us about the most exciting project you are working on at the moment that deals with large industry and their energy consumption?
SANEDI are facilitating the energy efficiency components of the 12-I and 12-L tax incentives on behalf of the dti and SARS, respectively. South Africa is the first country globally, to offer a ‘Negawatt-hour’ based energy (not only electricity) tax incentive and this innovative new approach to accelerating the uptake of energy efficiency in this country has come at a most opportune time, where other incentives have been reduced or completely terminated.

What is a ‘nega-watt’?
To coin a phrase, it is a term generally used to describe a ‘saved’ unit of energy, i.e. the opposite to a Mega-watt  ‘consumed’ 🙂

What are the main challenges in this industry right now?
Quality and availability of power supply, together with the already high and increasing energy costs are certainly putting pressure on a number of consumers and this has unfortunately negatively affected South Africa’s manufacturing sector, as it is becoming increasingly easier and in some cases, much cheaper to import finished products and/ or to manufacture these goods in cheaper destinations. Unfortunately, this often leads to a decrease in the quality of these products, which in turn, increases pressure on local energy-related companies to perform beyond their means!

What surprises you about this industry?
Definitely the resilience and in a number of cases, the willingness of the collective industry, to find solutions to the current problems. We have seen this in the almost-immediate shift in thinking of government, regarding the introduction of renewable energy into the overall energy mix, as well as the launching of tax incentives to ‘incentivise’ and assist companies in overcoming the challenges referred to in point 2, above.

What will be your message at Powering African Industry?
I will certainly be encouraging large customers to continue the drive towards becoming more energy efficient, ‘green’ and sustainable, in the interest of assisting in alleviating the current energy crisis, improving overall economic performance and leaving future generations with a cleaner climate in which to live.

Anything you would like to add?
Times are hard and the challenges facing the energy industry are many, but the opportunities in this sector are enormous and if addressed properly, there is every reason for this economic life blood of the economy to create numerous new jobs and improve the lives and livelihood of all South Africans!