By Jackson Okoth
A gazette notice No. 12856, dated September 14, 2012 states that all prices for electrical energy will be liable to a foreign exchange fluctuation adjustment of plus 144 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for all meter readings taken in September, 2012. This is in addition to a fuel cost charge of plus 599 cents per kWh for all meter readings taken during this month.
What this means is that at the end of this month, domestic and industrial consumers of electricity will be slapped with a fat bill, loaded with increased fuel cost and foreign exchange adjustment.
The only way out, therefore, appears to be cutting down on electricity consumption.
“One of the most basic energy saving techniques involves replacement of all incandescent bulbs in your home for energy-saving alternatives. Although they are more expensive, they require lesser energy to light up and last much longer,” said Migwi Theuri, Kenya Power Communications Manager.
In the past, a lot of homes were fitted with hot water tanks used mainly for heating bathing water. But in recent years, this equipment has been replaced with instant showers. “This equipment ensures that only water that is to be used is heated as opposed to water tanks measuring 200 litres where only 1⁄4 is used for bathing and the rest cools off after one steps out of the house and is therefore a waste,” said Theuri.
He adds that this installation is now found on bathroom sinks and in the kitchen, ensuring that only what is needed is heated.
A number of consumers also use water kettles to heat water but fail to store any such water. The trick is to store this water in a thermos so that it can be used later rather than re-heating the water left on the kettle each time hot water is needed. The amount of energy that can be conserved through this practice is enormous on a cumulative basis.
Most of the cooking and washing around the house requires heating of water-which eats up the largest chunk of energy consumed in the home.
A powerful new computer, big flat-screen television or that fancy audio system is a joy for many a homeowner. However, the amount of electricity used by these energy guzzlers is less of a reason to rejoice.
It is advisable to turn them off when not in use. Unplugging them helps, too, as electricity is used even when the electronic is off, if it’s still plugged in. But it is not only on the domestic front where energy-savings tips are critical. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in conjunction with the Ministry Of Energy has established the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC).