South Africa to benefit from influx of Philips LED lamps

Dec. 1, 2011
Philips is working with a South African utility company to distribute 200,000 LED lamps to commercial and professional users throughout the country.
Philips (AEX:PHI, NYSE:PHG) has announced a major deal to distribute 200,000 LED lamps in South Africa, in collaboration with Eskom, the country’s state-owned utility company, and Karebo Systems, a local distributor.

In related news, Philips has called for a worldwide switch to LED lighting at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. The company stated that a tipping point has been reached in the development of LED lighting that can now be used for general high-quality lighting in almost all applications. The switch will help combat climate change, save energy and improve people’s lives through increased well-being, safety and productivity.

The Philips MasterLED lamps are being offered at discounted prices throughout South Africa to professional users of lighting, such as hotels, banks, offices and retail outlets.

The program is aimed at replacing 50W halogen bulbs with 7W or 10W LED lamps, resulting in an estimated average annual saving per lamp of 280 kWh of electricity.

Cumulatively, the deal could save 58 GWh per year, equivalent to ZAR 41 million (USD5 million), as well as reducing CO2 emissions by 60,000 tons.

Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager for Integrated Demand Management at Eskom, explained that it is in Eskom’s interest to encourage electricity consumers to reduce consumption where possible.

“Just like most other countries, both developed and developing, South Africa is facing an energy-constrained future,” said Etzinger. “Although Eskom is investing in new power stations to generate enough electricity to meet medium- to long-term demand, improved efficiency is the most practical solution to ensuring our electricity supply will be secure in the short-term.”

Etzinger also said that converting to LED technology brings added benefits to commercial and industrial consumers by reducing their cost of doing business and reducing their impact on the environment.

Ronald de Jong, Executive VP and Chief Market Leader with Philips, said that the participants “share many of the same values, including reducing our impact on the environment and using innovation to drive our sustainability initiatives. Encouraging a shift to LED lighting solutions underscores our commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility in growth markets like South Africa.”

The distribution of the LED lamps is being handled by Karebo Systems whose task is to organize distribution throughout South Africa and ensure that the envisaged savings are achieved.

“The key is to ensure that these energy saving lamps end up in the intended sockets” says Ravi Govender, Director, Karebo Systems. “LED technology is a relatively new technology and Eskom must be applauded for supporting this initiative. The rollout of these lamps is a wonderful job creation opportunity in South Africa. It is a definite win-win for all parties involved – especially the end user.”