5 May 2010

Bangkok Post 

Stronger legislation is needed to provide incentives for businesses to make changes in energy efficiency, says Stuart Thorogood, senior vice-president of Schneider Electric for Southeast Asia.

"We see the biggest difficulty is people not putting money on the table because there is no legislation saying they should do it," said Mr Thorogood.

"In Thailand, for instance, Schneider conducted 26 energy audits and not one customer came and said, 'We want to do what you suggest.' We were showing return on investment for seven to nine months but they were still reluctant [to put money on table]."

He said that in places where energy efficiency is legislated, more work gets done. "If I say to you, 'Go and make your room efficient and I'll give you $1,000,' or if I say, 'If you don't go and make it energy efficient I'm going to fine you $1,000,' people will do it. This is what we find."

David Blumanis, data centre adviser for Schneider Electric Asia-Pacific and Japan, said that when companies face tough decisions from audits, such as building a new data centre, they often put off large decisions on hardware and technology and instead try short-term fixes.

"Out of short-term, medium-term and long-term recommendations, if there are some quick wins they'll do those all the time. It's like I put a Band-aid here but I have a cancer underneath," said Mr Blumanis.

Businesses are also keener on spending to maintain services than to raise efficiency, he added.

"Everyone is doing energy efficiency but no one's truly being green. When they will is when governments come out and mandate standards to follow. As soon as that comes out, then that will dictate behaviour."

The executives made the comments at a launch of Schneider's EcoStruXure solution architecture in Asia, which unites its expertise in power, data centres, process and machines, building control and physical security, where every device will be able to interconnect.
EcoStruXure tracks all devices in a building that in the past were not visible to the eye, said Nelson Yeap, president of Schneider Electric Singapore.

The plant operator will see the information required all the time, making it easier to make decisions and to understand the connecting systems.

The company intends to introduce EcoStruXure in August in Thailand, its second-largest source of sales in Southeast Asia.