Intelligent Energy Management for homes

Energy as we know it is the ability to work and is available in many different forms. It is an influential and most discussed topic of our times since it affects our daily activities. Electricity is one of the many energy forms and since its discovery more than 130 years ago; it has influenced the course of technological development in many areas that make our lives easier, more enriching and fulfilling. Due to electricity, we are able to keep our food fresh for extended period and via live television transmission we are able to keep abreast with what is happening half way round the world. But in our daily consumption of this important energy form, we leave in our wake a lot of energy wastage which impacts negatively on the economy and our pockets.
Due to energy wastage, utility companies such as KenGen and are forced to generate more power so as to meet the shortfall caused by the wastage. Many are the times we have all the lighting points in the house on in the middle of a bright sunny day or the iron box on when we are done with ironing. In some cases we have oversized household appliances such as refrigerators that are anything but efficient in their running costs. Refrigerators and freezers consume about a sixth of all electricity in a typical home. These two appliances use more electricity than any other single household appliance at home. Fortunately, refrigerators have gotten much more efficient in their energy use over the past 20 years. While today’s refrigerators use 60 percent less electricity on average than 20-year-old models engineers are working on improving the efficiency even further so as to bring down the running costs. Maintaining an old inefficient refrigerator at home may cost you as much as Ksh 20,000 a year in electricity bills alone above what an efficient modern refrigerator would cost.
Beside simple habits like switching off lights when not needed or that television set when we are not viewing it, our major problem as far as energy use is concerned is that we don’t look beyond the catchy price tag on that appliance. We forget that every appliance has two price tags. One tag is the purchase price on the equipment when you purchase it from the outlet and the other more critical price is the operating cost paid out month after month, year after year, in the form of electricity bills. We usually don’t look at the power consumption rating of the appliance we are buying. What most people don’t consider is that, 20 years down the line, the refrigerator or the television they purchased will still be working but they may find that they are spending much more money operating the appliance than they did buying it in the first place!
But energy saving besides being influenced by decisions we make when purchasing electrical appliances, has gone high tech through “smart metering” and intelligent energy management systems at home. Smart meters are intelligent devices that are used to measure electricity consumption. In order to save energy, consumers need to be able to obtain up-to-date information at any time about the energy consumption of their appliances, and be able to control them even when away from home. Smart meters make it possible for home owner to keep track (read) and control power consumption even when away from home. The system can be controlled via personal computer or mobile phone, where the household owner simply enters his/her preferences for different appliances and equipments such as lighting fixtures, cookers, refrigerators, microwaves, laundry machines and setting a limit on their maximum energy consumption. The software uses this information to assess when and which devices in the household are to be switched on and off and at what time. The smart meter runs on the back of an intelligent energy management system that can also central lock all the household doors and windows.
Our current flat rate household power consumption pricing does not encourage smart metering but the fact that power is expensive, is a good enough incentive to save on energy. Use of smart metering and intelligent energy management systems are rapidly making inroads in Kenya. Already some aspects of the two are in application in manufacturing, hospitality, and housing facilities across the country.

1 Comment

  1. bashir

    Dear sir,

    This is Mr. bashir slaibi from export department of KLASS & MESTAS Company, established in 1973, a leading manufacturer of electrical and gas oven in Turkey.

    Firstly, I want to say that it is our honour to contact with you.

    Mention briefly about our products;

    Our available sizes for free standing ovens are 50X60, 60X60 and 60X90 ovens. Also we are producing 1,2,3 and 4 burner table top gas cookers, midi ovens and electrical quartz heaters. We are selling our products all over the world; especially to Africa, Middle East and Europe countries and now looking for a business opportunity with your esteemed company.
    If you are interested in these products, please take a look our products from our webpage http://www.klass.com.tr/dosya/files/catalog.pdf. If you do not able to download our catalogue from webpage, please inform me to send you our online catalogue.

    Thank you for your attention and for reading my e-mail in your busy time.
    I am waiting for your kind reply soon and hoping to start a long term business with your company.
    If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact with us.

    Thanks&reagrds

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