Why State may opt to ban hot showers

You might have to get used to taking cold showers if the Government succeeds in banning the sale of instant hot shower equipment.

Alternatively you would have to go for the more costly options such as electric boilers and solar water heaters.

A consultant hired by the Ministry of Energy to develop an energy efficiency plan for the country has recommended the ban of importation and sale of instant hot shower heads locally.

The consultant, Germany’s Lahmeyer International, noted that the water heaters presented difficulties for electricity generation and transmission, as well as high level of power losses due to a sudden spike in power demand that only lasted a short duration.

“Instantaneous water heaters are noxious for the generation, transmission and the distribution networks as they concentrate high power demand at the same periods. By doing so, they generate high losses, voltage drops and call for expensive generation means,” said Lahmeyer International in the report.

The instant hot showers are popular in many households in Kenya.

This is because in addition to saving power, since they are only switched on when needed, they are also cheaper to install.

In spite of their convenience and cost effectiveness, they pose the danger of electrocuting users.

A number of Kenyans have been reported to have died in their showers.

The challenge is aggravated by the proliferation in the market of fake shower heads.

Lahmeyer International was contracted by the Ministry in 2013 to draft an Energy Efficiency Master-plan.

The plan was completed in late 2016, but it is only now that the public has gotten wind of it.

If adopted, it will guide the country through to 2035.

The report specifically notes that a situation where all Kenyans tend to switch on their instant hot showers at the same time, particularly in the morning, tends to strain the power generation and distribution systems.

The German firm also noted that the high cost of alternatives to instantaneous water heaters would hurt many Kenyans, whose incomes might not support the installations of other water heaters.

“The alternative solutions are expensive or inaccessible for the low income customers, for example, solar water heaters, geysers, gas heaters,” the report notes.

It proposed that the Government considers giving incentives to those who import electric boilers and solar water heaters to make them affordable for local buyers.

The Government is already implementing regulations that require property owners to install solar water heaters. The Solar Water Heating Regulations of 2012 require owners of buildings that consume more than 100 litres of hot water per day to install solar powered systems.

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instant hot showerelectric boilerssolar water heatersMinistry of Energy