By Kelvin Odhiambo


Securing access to modern and sustainable energy services for developing economies is a significant challenge for development.

Access to sustainable energy services can power opportunities for environmental, social and economic development. Energy costs for most facility owners is treated as overhead costs yet the absence of energy practically means no work can be done.

Electricity which forms the largest share of energy resource base in Kenya has several parameters that need to be put to check. The direct consumption of fossil fuel energy resources such as heavy furnace oil, industrial diesel oil, kerosene just to mention a few has to be tracked effectively in the interest of not only energy accountability but also for environmental safety assurance.

In the back drop of rising energy cost and the need to restore the planet from environmental degradation that has resulted from , there is need for energy consumers all around the globe to venture into smart solutions that will cut down on energy consumption, reduce pollution and bring down expenditure on energy. The need for energy use optimization by implementation of energy efficiency solutions can therefore not be overemphasized.

Where does it begin?

The need to save a resource such as energy always begins with awareness creation. In the energy sector, it normally starts with an energy audit. This is a procedure carried out to establish the bearing of an energy consumer with respect to energy use.

Measurements and scientific analyses are done to establish the energy use patterns of the consumer and opportunities for reduction in energy use identified. Based on this study, a report is prepared which details the energy logic of the audited entity. Loop holes through which energy is possibly wasted as identified during the audit are described and  SMART solutions recommended thereof.


What next?

After the audit the user needs to explore the opportunities identified in the audit.

Most of the time when facility managers hear about implementation, the first thought that goes through their minds are the possible costs that may come with it.

It is important to note that this doesn’t always have to be the case. Several Basic energy saving recommendations are normally as simple as switching off of lights when rooms are not occupied.

For capital intensive projects, facility managers need to look beyond the expenditure and focus on the post implementation benefits which also include payback for the money spent. While at this it is proper to stress that facility owners need to go for solutions that self-finance and with reasonable internal rates of return (IRRs).

How do you know you have saved?

As it is generally acknowledged; “If You cannot measure it, You cannot control it”. This puts the need for measurement and verification at the heart of every energy efficiency project.

The measurement system should be one that captures energy conception trends both before energy efficiency projects are implemented and after implementation of the project. This helps establish performance baseline for “before” and “after” comparisons.

Knowing that a shilling saved is a shilling earned, we may need to see the enormous earnings that would result from energy efficiency.

Let us save energy to save the planet.