Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Global diversified technology group Johnson Controls says a slowing economy has led to many companies trying to retrofit instead of replacing equipment as they look to save costs, while at the same time trying to use less energy.

The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning group’s GM for building efficiency in Africa, Neil Cameron, said many South African companies had held on to their cash and waited until the current economic downtime.

They were now spending those funds to enhance the energy savings and useful life of their equipment and buildings, Cameron said.

Johnson Controls heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment services many of SA’s shopping centres, mines and factories.

Cost reduction had been a major issue for South African companies, Cameron said.

Finding ways of making air conditioners more efficient could save a tremendous amount of energy.

Air-conditioning units accounted for about 55% of a building’s energy consumed per month, he said.

"Many multinationals that are operating in Africa want to keep on doing business in Africa. To do this and compete with one another, they are trying to lower overheads more than usual."

Johnson Controls had nevertheless performed well in 2017, Cameron said.

"We’ve had quite an exceptional year, with business in the industrial and mining sectors.

"However, there has been a drop-off in the luxury residential market. High net worth individuals do not necessarily want to invest in household air conditioners, as opposed to going on holiday or spending money on other household upgrades," Cameron said.

andersona@businesslive.co.za


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