By Kennedy Khusi
Energy is one of the big four agendas for Kenya. It touches on all the day to day running of the nation’s various key sectors ranging from Health, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Sports Transport among others.
However, the most of the Kenyans especially in the rural areas are unable to access electrical energy which is the primary form of energy. This is due to inability of the national grid to fully take the total country’s demand which results from inefficient energy consumption by the heavy consumers most of which are Factories, Commercial buildings and Hospitals.
One way of improving the energy efficiency in these facilities is by training creating awareness to the workers and staff so as to impact a positive human behavior towards energy usage. This is the first and free action point of consideration before investing in energy efficiency projects and considering alternative energy sources like solar and wind.
Tea industry is one of Kenya’s big energy consumers. Currently, we are the 3rd tea producing country in the world after China and India respectively and the leading tea exporting country in the world followed by Sri Lanka and Vietnam. This means that, if focus is directed in this industry with regards to energy consumption efficiency it can help in solving the energy issues, which is part of the Kenya’s big four agendas.
Many a times we lack knowledge and sometimes we are ignorant on “small” things which end up not only raising the energy consumption but also digging deep into our pockets in terms of energy costs. A survey done through a training on the energy management and awareness creation within one tea company set up comprising of 5 tea factories revealed this. Some of the key take away as highlighted during and after the training are as below:
From the participants’ feedback, equivalence of 12% felt that communication on the training was outstanding. 42% were satisfied excellently while 46% felt the communication was good. None of the participants felt it was averagely or poorly.
Meeting of the training objectives was rated at 46% both at outstanding and excellent levels while 8% felt it was good. There was no rating at both average and poor levels.
From the 24 filled respondents, 17 felt the training was excellent in their lines of work and development. 4 participants felt it was good while and outstanding for 3 participants.
The appropriateness of the training content and exercise to the participants’ objectives was rated at 46%, 37% and 17% at excellent level, good level and outstanding level respectively. Again, none of the participant felt it was poorly done or done averagely.
The level of competence of the trainers on the subjects of training was rated highest at excellent level by 11 participants. 7 participants felt the trainers were outstanding while 6 felt they were good. None of the participant rated the trainers averagely or poor.
The overall training was found to be so helpful to the trainees in that they were able to learn some of the things they didn’t know can make a big impact in the energy consumption. Most of the trainees were felt that from the training they can now relate energy and their daily lines of duty and how they can be of importance in managing energy through behavioral changes.
This emphasizes that, as energy professions, we have a key duty in creating awareness in energy. This is the only way we can be able to reduce the overall energy consumption without having to invest in the energy efficiency projects which most of the time are way expensive to implement especially to small and medium sized institutions. Trainings and energy awareness creation should be therefore considered in other industries in order to continue impacting knowledge on energy matters as part of our vision 2030 of access to electricity to all.