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Energy efficiency in an old building

13 December 2017, Wednesday

 

I was asked to do an energy audit for an old building in Durban and the client asked me to look primarily the chiller air-conditioning system as they believed that this old unit would be where they would save the most money. My team and I went to site and investigated and proposed that the building would benefit from savings….in the millions of Rands!

 

We went to the roof to look at the chiller and did some data logging to see what the consumption was like.  The pumps were already on variable speed drives so there was little we could do there and we looked at the old compressors and their efficiency rating to find that we could help.  However once we stated looking at the cost to replace the system the returns on the capital investment was over ten year.

 

From here we went through the building and this is where we got very excited.  The tenants of the building paid a per square meter costs including electricity so saving electricity costs would be a direct saving for the client.  What we found was a massive amount of five foot and four foot T8 fluorescent tubes.  There lights were very efficient in their day but this technology is now out dated and costly to run.  Not just that you have to ensure that when they are replaced that you get them to a hazard site as they are full with mercury.  We found a few 500W security lights outside and other little fluorescent lights in the stairwells. Every floor had a kitchen and between every two floors there was a 150 L geysers supplying the basins only.

 

What we proposed was to replace all the fluorescent and security lights with LED and once we did the full calculation the savings on electricity would be huge.  We double checked the numbers as the finding were almost too good to be true.  The entire project has an 8.2 month return on capital investment making the project a no brainer.  We did the math on if we had to finance the project as we were unsure of the cash flow.  We put a rent to own structure in place as it is off balance sheet as this would not hurt their cash flow as we know that they are in the middle of installing new elevators.  The reality in this calculation showed the client that we would save them R56700 and the monthly payment to us was R15, 600.00 leaving a positive balance of R40, 100.00 Over the 36 month term we would make the building more profitable by R1, 653,000.  Who can throw away this amount of money every month?  Well we are about to present these findings to our client and believe we are on the verge of making another business more profitable…in fact with the reduction of carbon emissions of 518 tons in 36 months they are actually getting paid to do the right thing…

 

If you have a building and are sick of the rising costs of electricity I will offer you a free audit either onsite or by liaising with your maintenance manager.  Go on give it a try and see how much you can be paid to reduce your carbon foot print.

 

This article was written by Derek De Bres, Firefly’s founder and MD

 

Comments About Us

Chris – Starlite

We were referred to Firefly through our Electrician and team they were helpful and friendly. Their product knowledge was excellent and Helga was great in assisting us with opening an account. We would highly recommend Firefly and look forward to future business with them.

Chris – Starlite

2015-06-11T08:17:14+00:00

Chris – Starlite

We were referred to Firefly through our Electrician and team they were helpful and friendly. Their product knowledge was excellent and Helga was great in assisting us with opening an account. We would highly recommend Firefly and look forward to future business with them.

Ken – Hillcrest Electrical

Firefly have always met the standards of the customers they deal with. We are confident in their services and feel their products are worth the money spent.

Ken – Hillcrest Electrical

2015-06-11T08:23:47+00:00

Ken – Hillcrest Electrical

Firefly have always met the standards of the customers they deal with. We are confident in their services and feel their products are worth the money spent.

Aksons Wheels

We contracted Firefly to reduce our huge electricity bill as we were averaging R31 485 at the time. Firefly's consultant immediately replaced all of our florescent bulbs to LED. The total cost was around R137 799. After a few month, we noticed our electricity bill dropped to R20 276 - a huge saving of R11 209 pm. The amazing fact was it was just a simple change of light bulbs - that's all! This translates, that in one year we would cover up te cost of installation in savings. Firefly's service was excellent throughout and very helpful, making sure they got us this incredible saving. I would definitely recommend Firefly.

Aksons Wheels

2015-11-17T17:19:25+00:00

Aksons Wheels

We contracted Firefly to reduce our huge electricity bill as we were averaging R31 485 at the time. Firefly's consultant immediately replaced all of our florescent bulbs to LED. The total cost was around R137 799. After a few month, we noticed our electricity bill dropped to R20 276 - a huge saving of R11 209 pm. The amazing fact was it was just a simple change of light bulbs - that's all! This translates, that in one year we would cover up te cost of installation in savings. Firefly's service was excellent throughout and very helpful, making sure they got us this incredible saving. I would definitely recommend Firefly.

St Mary’s

Firefly was introduced to St Mary's approximately four years ago with great success. They installed 21 Heat Pumps in the Nurses Home and these have been working well with minimal maintenance.The service is impeccable and efficient,
the management professional. Their response time is excellent and they are quite happy to show our plumber the ropes. Funds allowing we will expand the Heat Pumps to the rest of the Hospital.
You would go a long way in finding a similar supplier. We would not hesitate in recommending FireFly heat pumps to anyone.


Chris van der Merwe - Manager: Technical Services

2016-01-12T13:21:39+00:00
Firefly was introduced to St Mary's approximately four years ago with great success. They installed 21 Heat Pumps in the Nurses Home and these have been working well with minimal maintenance.The service is impeccable and efficient, the management professional. Their response time is excellent and they are quite happy to show our plumber the ropes. Funds allowing we will expand the Heat Pumps to the rest of the Hospital. You would go a long way in finding a similar supplier. We would not hesitate in recommending FireFly heat pumps to anyone. Chris van der Merwe - Manager: Technical Services

We have been dealing with Firefly for over 7 years and we feel their service is good, prices are competitive and the team are very accommodating, particularly with sourcing stock. We would happily recommend Firefly to businesses and friends.


Jacques Venter – Synergy Energy Solutions

2016-02-10T08:49:12+00:00
We have been dealing with Firefly for over 7 years and we feel their service is good, prices are competitive and the team are very accommodating, particularly with sourcing stock. We would happily recommend Firefly to businesses and friends. Jacques Venter – Synergy Energy Solutions

We found Firefly on the internet and find their service is helpful and efficient as always. Our orders have always been delivered on time and to standard. We would refer Firefly’s services to anyone looking for good service and helpful staff.


Steve King – Prestige Plumbing

2016-02-10T08:51:48+00:00
We found Firefly on the internet and find their service is helpful and efficient as always. Our orders have always been delivered on time and to standard. We would refer Firefly’s services to anyone looking for good service and helpful staff. Steve King – Prestige Plumbing

We found Firefly on Google and spoke with Jacki who is superb! Firefly is a competitive supplier that is always striving to keep the customers happy, will definitely recommend it to people as they have a good customer and supplier relationship.


Lisa Ncube – Electroflex

2016-02-10T08:52:23+00:00
We found Firefly on Google and spoke with Jacki who is superb! Firefly is a competitive supplier that is always striving to keep the customers happy, will definitely recommend it to people as they have a good customer and supplier relationship. Lisa Ncube – Electroflex

Firefly are always knowledgeable, informative and helpful. Their heat pumps are the best in the country, tailor to our needs and their delivery times are very good. Overall our experience has been very good and we find them to be a good organisation with good products


Brian Cochraine – Heat Pumps SA

2016-02-10T08:53:23+00:00
Firefly are always knowledgeable, informative and helpful. Their heat pumps are the best in the country, tailor to our needs and their delivery times are very good. Overall our experience has been very good and we find them to be a good organisation with good products Brian Cochraine – Heat Pumps SA

We were recommended to Firefly and our first encounter with them was pretty good with no issues. We can pick up the phone at any time for help – their aftercare service is great. We enjoy working with Firefly and would highly recommend them.


Jens Clausen – Langamanzi Technology

2016-02-10T08:53:51+00:00
We were recommended to Firefly and our first encounter with them was pretty good with no issues. We can pick up the phone at any time for help – their aftercare service is great. We enjoy working with Firefly and would highly recommend them. Jens Clausen – Langamanzi Technology

SA Heat Pumps Association recommended we contact Firefly and so far we are very happy and find they offer a quality service with helpful staff.


Franco Diedericks – Express Mining Supplies

2016-02-10T08:54:14+00:00
SA Heat Pumps Association recommended we contact Firefly and so far we are very happy and find they offer a quality service with helpful staff. Franco Diedericks – Express Mining Supplies

The ABH is a registered Non Profit Organisation (NPO 002 139) that has its head office in Chatsworth Durban. During the course of 2011 /2012 we installed Firefly Heat Pumps as a means to manage our energy costs at our ABH Children’s Home and the ABH Dayanand Gardens Home for the Aged.  We are pleased to report that we were able to recoup the expenses for the purchase and installation of the heat pumps within the first year of its operation.  We also found that the heat pumps have been able to provide our water heating needs adequately to the point where we do not use the conventional electrical heating elements. The pumps are robust with very little down time – provided that they are serviced as prescribed by the manufacturers.


Rajish Lutchman - Chief Executive Officer


 
2016-02-10T08:56:45+00:00
The ABH is a registered Non Profit Organisation (NPO 002 139) that has its head office in Chatsworth Durban. During the course of 2011 /2012 we installed Firefly Heat Pumps as a means to manage our energy costs at our ABH Children’s Home and the ABH Dayanand Gardens Home for the Aged.  We are pleased to report that we were able to recoup the expenses for the purchase and installation of the heat pumps within the first year of its operation.  We also found that the heat pumps have been able to provide our water heating needs adequately to the point where we do not use the conventional electrical heating elements. The pumps are robust with very little down time – provided that they are serviced as prescribed by the manufacturers. Rajish Lutchman - Chief Executive Officer  

The Forest Mushrooms Team

We would like to thank you for your guidance and support regarding our upgrade from standard 5 foot florescent tubes to your 5 foot 4000K LED fluorescent tubes.
Our growing rooms are set up with 22 lights per room, which included standard 5 foot fluorescents tubes, electronic ballasts, magnetic ballasts and starters. The running cost was roughly R450 per 8 hour day. After the ballasts and old tubes were removed the new cost was R80 per 8 hour day. Which is an 82o/o saving. With a total of 252 tubes swapped out this will definitely make a significant cost saving. We also found that the older magnetic ballasts got incredibly hot and melted the plastic fittings that they were in. Thus the removal of those ballasts most probably has prevented a potential fire hazard! Once again we would like to thank you all for your help and your friendly and prompt service.
Chris, Mark & Steven - The Forest Mushrooms Team

2016-05-16T08:01:28+00:00
We would like to thank you for your guidance and support regarding our upgrade from standard 5 foot florescent tubes to your 5 foot 4000K LED fluorescent tubes. Our growing rooms are set up with 22 lights per room, which included standard 5 foot fluorescents tubes, electronic ballasts, magnetic ballasts and starters. The running cost was roughly R450 per 8 hour day. After the ballasts and old tubes were removed the new cost was R80 per 8 hour day. Which is an 82o/o saving. With a total of 252 tubes swapped out this will definitely make a significant cost saving. We also found that the older magnetic ballasts got incredibly hot and melted the plastic fittings that they were in. Thus the removal of those ballasts most probably has prevented a potential fire hazard! Once again we would like to thank you all for your help and your friendly and prompt service. Chris, Mark & Steven - The Forest Mushrooms Team

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