Media Room

Energy efficiency goes mainstream with the Eskom eta Awards

For the past 25 years, the Eskom eta Awards have been recognising and rewarding excellence in energy efficiency. This year the standard of entries shows that energy efficiency and the green movement are no longer just the preserve of tree huggers - it has entered the mainstream and most importantly it makes business sense.

The awards encourage entries across a variety of spectrums, including the commercial, industrial, residential, innovation and youth sectors.

 “This year I have been blown away by the quality of the entries. We’re no longer just seeing people experimenting with unusual ideas, we’re seeing businesses, homeowners and young people rising to the challenge of climate change with their innovative ideas,” says Dr Steve Lennon, Eskom Group Executive of Sustainability.

Entries were accepted in eight categories and the winner of each category received a cash prize of R30 000, and the runners-up R5 000 each. As usual the quality of entries didn’t disappoint, with some truly astonishing innovations being presented to the panel of judges.

The winners of the prestigious Eskom eta Awards were announced at the annual awards evening, held at the University of Johannesburg on 28 November 2014. These prestigious awards were initially established to create awareness and encourage action in the energy efficiency field. They have grown from strength to strength, and form part of Eskom’s drive to ensure a sustainable electricity supply long into the future.

Impressive submissions this year ranged from a carbon monoxide ventilation system, to energy leadership programmes and individuals who survive off the grid.

“In South Africa we have always tackled problems head on and we have a wealth of skills and talent in a variety of areas. This combination is proving particular strong when tackling issues of energy efficiency.  More and more South Africans are looking for ways to save energy every year. From learners who want to make a difference at school, households who are cutting costs, and large companies are working hard to cut their expenses; at the Eskom eta Awards we applaud these people,” said Dr Lennon.  

The category winners were:  



Young designers (individual)

  • James Garisch for his innovative solar kit
  • Laenita Laubscher for her impressive fireplace heating system 

Young designers (groups)

  • Tongaview Primary School for their Syngas stoves for rural schools


  • Sun International for the installation of a solar geyser system in the staff premises



  • UGU Engineering Solutions for the energy efficiency system installed at Ackermans stores across the country


  • I&J and  Energy Partners for the overhaul at the I&J ice making plant


  • ERA Architects for their cutting-edge home installation

Energy savings in households 

  • Emmett Green for reducing his energy consumption
  • Jay van Deventer for his net positive home

Energy efficiency awareness

  • Green Building Council of SA for their “My Green Home” TV series 



  • Tongaview Primary School for their smoke-free kitchens
  • TSiBA Education for their institutionalisation of energy savings


“At Eskom our role is to help build a culture of energy efficiency. It is essential for the country’s future that we all become energy savers and use electricity efficiently.  By working together with businesses, communities, civil society and individuals we can start to find solutions to our energy challenges. Through the eta Awards, we hope to recognise more citizens who use electricity sparingly, and who can inspire others to do the same,” said Dr Lennon.

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