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Want to save on your business' electricity costs? Conduct this risk assessment today!

by , 09 April 2013
Nersa didn't approve Eskom's 16% proposed electricity price hike. But in its place is an 8% electricity price hike that'll kick in each year for the next five years. This means your business needs to do all it can to save electricity now to minimise the impact on your bottom line in future. It's easy. Simply follow the example of Arcelor Mittal's Saldanha Steel works by integrating process changes into your occupational health and safety risk management system today!

Whether you're 'green' or not, your business is obliged to protect the environment as part of its safety, health and environment responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
That's why you must conduct risk assessments on issues that affect the natural environment, like wasteful electricity usage, says The Health and Safety Training Manual.
Arcelor Mittal has taken heed of this.
Its Saldanha steel works is the largest electricity user in the Western Cape.
But it managed to make an impressive R90 million plant energy saving last year.
This was done by integrating plant and process changes into its occupational health and safety risk management system by following Eskom's Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Project.
Through the project, companies use detailed risk assessment plans to address risks before any plant or process changes are made, says SheqAfrica.
Using this, Saldanha implemented variable speed drives instead of full speed ones. This led to better control of production flow, which also resulted in significantly lower energy use.
Saldanha also switches off water treatment plan components when not required to save electricity.
But whatever the size and nature of your business, you can follow Saldanha's example by conducting a risk assessment on your electricity use.
Here's what to look for in your risk assessment on electricity use…
Peak demand for power is between 17:00 and 21:00, says Fin24.
So this is when you need to pay the most attention to electricity wastage in your business like leaving lights burning all night in unused offices.
It's easy to make a difference – all you need to do is switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. 
They're slightly more expensive and will save you up to 75% of your current lighting costs because they last up to eight times longer than normal light bulbs.
It's still possible to save on electricity costs when lighting large areas…
Simply use fluorescent lighting rather than incandescent light bulbs, as you can save up to 75% of your current lighting costs. 
That's all fair and well, but a lower electricity bill isn't going to prove you've conducted an electricity risk assessment if the authorities come knocking…
Prove your electrical installation isn't an environmental hazard with your electrical certificate of compliance!
You can prove you've thought of electricity and electric hazards when compiling your health and safety documents by ensuring your building or business has an electrical certificate of compliance (COC).
With this, you'll know that your current electrical installation was tested and that it complies with the electrical standards set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, says FSP Business.
Simple as that. 

Get the Risk Assessment Matrix and guide with the Risk Assessment: The 100% legally compliant risk assessment toolkit to help you assess the hazards and risks in your workplace.

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