THE demand for electricity is rowing in lockstep with technological advancements. Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities to reduce energy cost in industrial and commercial sectors.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act provides significant benefits to industrial and commercial sectors, particularly in terms of lowering energy cost.
By introducing energy efficiency programmes, the industrial sector will increase economic productivity through energy-efficient technologies and processes.
In addition, the registered energy manager will keep track of their usage and make recommendations to increase their performance based on their operations. This would have a direct impact on energy use and bill.
The Energy Audit Conditional Grant 2.0 (EACG 2.0) provides financial assistance to commercial and industrial customers in deploying energy-saving measures.
EACG 2.0, in collaboration with local Energy Service Companies, will enable energy audit on buildings. Buildings can achieve energy saving under the Low Carbon Building Assessment by Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda).
Low Carbon Building Assessment will contribute to companies committing to sustainability goals such as going 100% clean or zero carbon.
The government’s green technology incentives can be used to support green industrial revolution efforts. Hence, the commercial and industrial sectors should be pioneers in energy transition rather than wait for government policy to forge a path.
The Green Investment Tax Allowance allows the purchase of green technology assets, while Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE) is for the use of green technology services until 2023.
To encourage participation in Net Energy Metering (NEM) rollout by Seda, extension of GITE was done for the companies that undertake solar leasing. The NEM scheme enables prosumers to sell excess energy to Tenaga Nasional Berhad.
The Supply Agreement with Renewable Energy (SARE) is open for Solar Energy Purchase and Solar Leasing. Eligible commercial and industrial customers can take advantage of SARE to enjoy zero cost when installing Solar PV panels, resulting in immediate cost savings.
Another advantage of SARE is that it allows investors to finance and own on-site renewable energy production on the premises of prosumers. Moving towards green hydrogen will assists in energy cost reduction.
Companies and technology players should dive into developing electrolysers that can produce green hydrogen as cheaply as grey or blue hydrogen in order to support green hydrogen production in Malaysia.
It also acts as one of the global movement to produce carbon free energy. Emphasis on green hydrogen is vital as it is one of the four technologies required in meeting the Paris Agreement.
Scheduled shutdowns and start-ups are encouraged for all industry players. This could be accomplished by setting up a production floor shutdown where all equipment is turned off for a set period of time, such as on weekends or during off-shift period. It can reduce industrial energy cost.
To identify when to plan for shutdowns, industries require visibility of peak operational hours. Turning on all machines at the same time will result in a significant increase in energy consumption. To minimise the effect, production floors can stagger start-ups.
The commercial sector is recommended to adopt energy- saving measures such as implementing management practices and purchasing electrical equipment that meets the Minimum Energy Performance Standard.
It is not surprising that heating and cooling are predominant consumers of energy followed by lighting. Implementing innovative no-cost and low-cost approaches can lead to cost savings on energy bills.
When office machines such as printers, monitors and computers are not in operation, they can be placed in “sleep mode”, which saves about 40% on energy costs.
Energy costs can be reduced by using energy-efficient lighting. You can do this by using sensors to switch on lights only when the room is occupied.
It is insufficient to simply implement smart building or advanced analytics in your structure as continuous monitoring would be more reliable if time is spent integrating these systems with the mobile devices of facility managers, operators and building engineers to ensure reduction in electricity cost.
By keeping track of energy consumption, you can forecast your energy bills over the next few months.
Both industrial and commercial sectors should play their roles in procuring, supplying and deploying renewable energy technologies that not only reduce energy costs but also reduce carbon footprint.
Anne Aswini Sivayogam is with Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca). For more information, visit www.st.gov.my, www.seda.gov.my, www.fomca.org.my or call Fomca at 03-7875 6370. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org