Energy efficiency makes business sense, WEC Colombia event heard

NEWS_electric carColombian energy experts and business leaders highlighted how energy efficiency can help boost business competitiveness and cost savings at a recent event organised by COCME, the WEC’s Colombian member committee.

At the seminar “Energy efficiency: business vision and competitiveness”, senior Colombian figures told more than 200 representatives from industry, businesses, and academia that technology choice, equipment efficiency, and energy management are key to achieving energy efficiency. In particular, energy management, by adjusting the processes and behaviours associated with energy use, can increase efficiency without requiring additional capital expenditure.

Colombia’s business sector is seeing immense interest in energy efficiency projects as a result of a government support scheme set up in 2012. According to Olga Victoria Gonzalez and Omar Báez from Colombia’s Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME), the scheme provides tax benefits for businesses to upgrade their existing motors with high-efficiency motors, use the waste heat generated in combustion processes, or promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles. The tax incentives also encourage companies to incorporate more efficient energy management methods.

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Energy efficiency also helps firms save money. According to Enrique Quispe and Rosaura Castrillón of Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, Colombian businesses have saved significantly on costs while reducing their environmental impact by following a set of energy efficiency guidelines drawn up by the university. As an example, the company 3M managed to increased its energy efficiency by 19% and saved US$37 million from 2005 to 2008. This is on top of savings of US$9.7 million through the implementation of 212 energy management projects in 2008.

The COCME seminar also saw José Antonio Vargas Lleras, WEC Vice-Chair for Latin America and the Caribbean, speaking on the top energy issues of Latin America and Colombia.