April 16, 2008

Crisis leads to Africa's first energy saving competition

Botswana will be the first country in African to host a competition on energy saving. The Botswana Energy Champion Competition 2008 (BEC 2008) will be launched at the beginning of May and will run for a full year. The competition will run under the theme 'Saving Energy by Changing Behaviour' to indicate that Botswana is moving to the forefront of the development of energy saving measures, Chief Consultant at the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources and Danish Energy Management, David Udbjorg, said.

"The 10 participating organisations will compete on who will be able to save the most energy by change of behaviour," he explained, adding that the competition will focus on six schools and four private office buildings. According to Udbjorg, BEC 2008 was similar to the European Energy Trophy, which is a European Union-wide competition for companies and public administrators for saving energy in office buildings. He said in 2004/2005, 38 companies and public administrations in the EU participated and "the project was a success where 22 of the 38 participants were able to reduce their energy consumption by up to 30 percent". Udbjorg said this achievement was reached through improved control of out of hours use of office equipment. "In addition, a range of information and motivation measures for company employees led to a more prudent use of energy."

The winner of the competition had reduced energy consumption by over 31 percent. Meanwhile, Udbjorg urged private companies, public administrators, the media and politicians to play an active role in making the BEC 2008 a success. (Mmegi/The Reporter, Gaborone)

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