The History of the Energy Training Foundation and Energy Cybernetics

In 1998, one of our founding members and directors Prof Ian Lane (formerly the dean of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pretoria) consulted to Eskom on integrated resource planning.  He convinced Eskom to pay attention to DSM as an alternative to supply-side expansion.  As a result Eskom embarked on an energy efficiency upgrade of their head offices MegaWatt Park (MWP) on a pilot basis (through us).  This project signalled the birth of DSM in South Africa.

Shortly after the successful implementation of the MWP project, Eskom launched the DSM program which, in turn, created a need for M&V to measure the impact of the Eskom DSM program.  At that stage M&V was a relatively unknown concept in South Africa and even the world.

Energy Cybernetics, the initiators of the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF), was instrumental in the development of the Eskom M&V process.  As a company we’ve written the underlying Eskom M&V Framework document as well as no less than 12 Eskom M&V guideline documents.

Up to and including 2013, Energy Cybernetics (sub-contracted by North-West University) performed roughly 65% of all Eskom M&V work.

In 2002 we obtained the sole rights to the AEE (Association of Energy Engineers) training courses in sub-Saharan Africa. Since then, we have trained more than 3000 people on Certified Energy Courses (CEM, CEA, CMVP, CRM, REP) to over 1500 different companies and have presented numerous in-house training courses and workshops throughout Southern Africa.

Over the years we have been instrumental in the development of various policy documents including assisting with the finalization and consolidation of the National Energy Efficiency Strategy 2012 (NEES 2012) and a renewable policy document at provincial level.

We’ve developed a VNama MRV (Monitoring Reporting and Verification) protocol for GIZ in association with LinkD environmental services.  For GIZ (and the Department of Environmental Affairs) we’ve developed an M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) protocol.

We were founding sponsors and founding members of the Southern African Association of Energy Efficiency (SAEE) in 2002 before “greening” was hot topic. The SAEE is one of the most prominent energy efficiency organizations in South Africa with a current membership of around 350, house the international Energy Convention with exhibition stands and speakers.

The SAEE is a non-profit coordinating body for energy efficiency in southern Africa. During the past 14 years the SAEE has successfully created awareness and disseminated information on energy efficiency- in line with its international mother body’s vision the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), of which the SAEE is the Southern African chapter.

The SAEE won the best chapter of the AEE in 2011 and 2012, and provides an accessible platform for small, medium and large and energy intensive organisations, grid and renewal energy end-users and individual professionals to develop in the dynamic field of energy engineering and energy management renewable and alternative energy, power generation, energy services, sustainability and all related areas.

We are also founding members and founding sponsors of MVPCSA – The Measurement and Verification Professionals Council of South Africa.

One of our directors (Mr. Radloff) was the convenor of SABS TC 242 WG1 – the working group responsible for the development of SANS 50 010 – the first National M&V standard in the world. Mr Radloff was subsequently nominated to convene ISO TC 242 JWG3 – responsible for the development and publication of ISO 50 015 – the first ISO standard on M&V.

Both Mr. Radloff and the late Prof. Ian Lane represented South Africa at ISO level at SAG E – the ISO Strategic Advisory Group of Energy.

Prof. LJ Grobler (one our founding directors) served as the first ever non-American president of the AEE the 2008/2009 office term. In 2010 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the the etaAwards 2010 for his extensive involvement in energy efficiency through measurement and verification, his visualisation programme to show energy consumption in buildings, and for setting the benchmark for training and development of energy engineers. In 2011 he was unanimously elected at the Annual General Meeting of the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) to become a Fellow of the Academy. He also served on the Technical Committee of the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).

Over the years our directors and staff members have written more than a hundred internationally acclaimed papers, presented at local and international energy conventions.

We’ve conceptualized, implemented and currently run the PowerAlert program on behalf of Eskom – a very successful residential demand response program making people aware of the constraints on the Eskom grid in real-time via television channels.

More recently, Energy Cybernetics, of which the EnTF is the training division, became an EOH company which employs over 12,000 staff members.

The EnTF is EWSETA accredited and provides training aligned to SAQA unit standards in the energy sector, is the African AEE accredited Examination Centre, as well as the affiliated training provider of the SAEE.