“We did not know what we were consuming, so we used Kamstrup smart meters as an innovation pillar.”

Renowned for its stunning beaches and awe-inspiring Table Mountain, the city of Cape Town in South Africa and its Western Cape Government (WCG) is also building a name for itself as a result of its energy efficiency initiatives. With the aid of Kamstrup’s intelligent metering solutions, it has become a role model within this area. 

The WCG devised an incentive, known as the Energy Security Game Changer, to encourage its departments to strive for an energy efficient future. 

This prompted the department of Transport and Public works along with the Department of Agriculture, located in Elsenburg near Stellenbosch, to begin a major modernisation plan. 

The need for total billing control 
The starting point was to address the main concern each department shared which was their dependency on the energy bills they received.

“We could not control ourselves whether the billing was accurate. Therefore we needed to create transparency to know what we were actually consuming”, explains Stephen Olckers, Electrical Engineer at the Department of Transport and Public Works. 

He adds: “We also wanted to find an up-to-date way to control consumption and create awareness and change behavioural patterns”.

So the departments put out an open tender which resulted in the appointment of the highly regarded Livewire Engineering & Consulting. As part of its solution, BFBA Consulting Engineers who took care of the product specifications, identified the proposed Kamstrup 351 C smart meters as the best option for the project´s purpose.

“Now we not only see all patterns of our consumption, but have optimized our whole energy management.”

– Heinrich Lakey, Facilities Management & Planning Manager, Western Cape Government, Department of Agriculture

A fit for purpose solution

Livewire has installed meters in the departments’ head offices as well as their other buildings and farms. And with Livewire’s data tool called Liveview, each department is able to see its respective consumption patterns, outliers and opportunities to save.

“We did not know what we were consuming, so we used Kamstrup smart meters as an innovation pillar. Now we not only see all patterns of our consumption, but have optimized our whole energy management,” explains Heinrich Lakey, Facilities Management & Planning Manager, Western Cape Government, Department of Agriculture.

He adds: “It is not only about saving money, but about thinking energy, and being as resource efficient as possible”.

The departments are also saving a huge amount of time and resources as they previously had to carry out night field trips four times a year to investigate lights left on at the nine buildings across the CBD of Cape Town – a rather inefficient way of identifying energy saving opportunities. 

Now, they have all the information they need at their fingertips. They’re able to save money which they’re able to reinvest into other areas. Ultimately, the solution makes good business sense. 

“We created complete transparency to transform the departments into operationally-efficient buildings. In that way we identified tailor-made ways to save money.” 

– Derek Boshard, Project Manager at Livewire

Saving of two million Rand

The data from Kamstrup’s smart meters enabled Livewire to analyse the load profiles and identify opportunities for optimised energy management. With the available data it is now possible to compare the records to verify the billing, and carry out cost analysis to ensure that each billing point is on the optimum tariff based on the load profile for the specific site. 

At the Department of Agriculture’s Elsenburg farm, the ability to conduct cost anlysis has highlighted the need for a tariff change which has resulted in an annual savings opportunity of approximately two million Rand. 

Smart metering also helped to identify significant energy users and the kinds of behavioural and operational changes that can be made to lower consumption and manage peaks. 

“We could see that there were options to change to a better tariff, and we could benchmark the gained information and organise training sessions for employees to create awareness and change behavioural patterns”, says Attie van Jaarsveldt, CEO at Livewire. 

Derek Boshard, Project Manager at Livewire explains: “We created complete transparency to transform the departments into operationally-efficient buildings. In that way we identified tailor-made ways to save money.”

Intelligent water metering is next…

After the success of the energy monitoring project, the departments decided to utilise the benefits intelligent metering can bring to their water consumption. 

Off the back of one of the driest winters on record, which has put pressure on water resources, the Department of Agriculture is prioritising the installation of Kamstrup’s intelligent water meters. 

Surveys have been conducted and very soon water meters will be installed in order to monitor and manage this most precious resource.

This will aid the Department in identifying if they are being billed correctly, but also serves a huge role in identifying leaks. 

The Department of Transport and Public Works has gone a step further and has already installed multiple smart water meters at 24 of its buildings. 

Livewire managed the installations and is providing near-real-time online monitoring that has already yielded important usage data and generated numerous improvement opportunities. 

A few of the buildings had overnight constant flow or irregular daytime consumption which would otherwise not have been identified. 

Monthly reporting using the electricity and water statistics and profiles has been developed by Livewire as per the Department of Transport and Publics Work’s specification, and is beginning to create awareness across all of the properties. 

The ability for people to monitor their consumption, and receive notifications when it’s high, is reportedly empowering them to think and act in ways that help to use resources more efficiently and save where possible.

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