Has Kenya successfully embraced Energy Audits?

By Ombajo Vincent Gedion

High energy consumption coupled with low and intermittent power supply and inefficiencies necessitated the need to have energy management regulations. In 2012, the Energy Management regulations act was passed. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) was tasked with its implementation.

High energy consumers, those using more than 180,000 units of energy annually are required to conduct energy audits every three years. Failure to do so attracted specified punitive measures. It has been well over three years since the regulation came into force, has it achieved any significant results?

For a country and a market where energy audits was a relatively new concept, the progress made is laudable. Today, ERC website is littered with companies and their respective energy management policies, evidence that these facilities have done energy audits. That said, there is even much more ground to be covered, a lot still needs to be done.

The regulator needs to flex its muscles, and more resources have to be invested. Skills capacity of energy practitioners needs to be broadened to cover new challenges. Enhanced partners participation can also grow the energy efficiency market.  

The success of energy audits depends on the market reception, the depth of action by the regulator, availability of trained personnel, level of involvement of partners and the general appreciation of energy efficiency as a cost cutting measure.

So what has driven the energy efficiency market in Kenya? One of the key push factors towards conducting energy audits has been compliance. While this is a step in the right direction, it is not sustainable. It is expected that as the market matures and more knowledge on energy efficiency is shared, then the key motivation behind audits would be to save energy and costs. Today, many clients for energy audits only want to comply. They invest a lot of money just to comply and leave it at that. If they can change this and have a substantial need to save energy costs, then they will get value for their money. So in a nutshell, in Kenya, audits are conducted to comply, save energy and its costs and lastly for environment conservation in that order. This must change for any significant change to be seen.

Energy audits target factories, commercial buildings, hotels, shopping malls, institutions, flower farms, and so on. The market understanding of the whole objective of the audits and its process has been a key challenge. However, there are several energy audit firms in Kenya like Eenovators Limited who have done audits across the East African Market. Most energy audit companies’ first encounter with clients is with the procurement department who have insufficient knowledge on what an energy audit entails. Many times the auditor has to explain the audit process and convince the client of its necessity. This therefore calls for awareness to be done so that energy efficiency can become part of the strategic plans of companies complete with a budget.

Partnership in the energy efficiency market is crucial. Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) has played an essential role in helping firms carry out energy audits. At a subsidized cost, they have encouraged more firms to be audited. More of such partners are needed to drive the desired growth. To grow the energy efficiency market further, more qualified energy professionals need to be trained. The regulation also needs to be tightened. Building on the growth already experienced will require concerted efforts from the energy consumers, the Energy regulatory commission and partners like KAM and Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) who offer certified energy programs.

2017 ENERGY EFFICIENCY TRENDS IN KENYA

27th January 2017, will forever remain a very very sad day for the energy efficiency world.

Arthur Rosenfeld, the godfather of energy efficiency, passed away. Arthur was credited for creating the field of energy efficiency and saving billions of dollars through energy savings. He provided true leadership and inspired an entire generation of energy professionals to manage and conserve energy resources.

As we allow his soul to rest in peace, we are grateful for his efforts to create immense opportunities in the energy space. Across the global divide from big cities in California USA, to small villages in Arusha Tanzania, we can all benefit from energy efficiency.

Has energy efficiency died with Arthur? Not at all! Energy efficiency is the most abundant energy resource every country has. The International Energy Agency shows that even despite the drop in energy prices in 2016, energy efficiency continued to gain more ground. So more energy efficiency opportunities are expected even in 2017.

In 2016, we looked at 5 opportunities in the Kenyan energy efficiency market. This year, let’s look at 5 energy trends to look out for in the Kenyan energy market:

1.    Solar Hot Water Regulations

All over the world, energy policies and energy regulations have led to the greatest energy efficiency gains. This will be no different in Kenya. In May 2012, the Solar Hot Water regulations were established. These regulations stipulated that all premises with a daily hot water demand of more than 100 liters must install solar hot water systems.

The said premises were given up to 25th May 2017 to ensure that they comply. Failure to which they would face a one-year jail term or a Kshs. 1,000,000 ($10,000) fine. Having studied Kenyans for more than 30 years now, I am sure that come May 2017, there will be a mad rush to comply and therefore Solar Hot Water companies will be very busy. Watch that space closely…..

2.    Energy Management Regulations

Still on policy, this year we anticipate many more companies will conduct energy audits. The Kenyan energy regulator, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), has been at the forefront in ensuring that high-energy consumers (using more than 15,000 kwh per month) comply with the regulations.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers has also greatly subsidized the cost of energy audits to ensure many facilities can afford to pay for quality energy audit services. The Association of Energy Professionals East Africa is working with Kenya Bureau of Standards to set professional standards for the energy management market. With all these activities around energy management, energy auditing companies will be busy. They need to be prepared for  this…

3.    Implementation of Energy Projects

After conducting an energy audit most companies are propelled by the need to at least implement an energy project or two to increase their efficiencies. Given that the cost of electricity went up because of the use of thermal plants to generate electricity, more energy consumers feel the pressure to find ways to reduce on their energy costs. Implementation companies for Power Quality, Solar Photovoltaic, Efficient Lighting, Variable Speed Drives and Automation will find increased activity. They need to be ready to take these on……

4.    Training and Awareness

An impact assessment conducted in 2014 by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers revealed that about 45% of companies that had conducted energy audits, required more training to be able to implement a successful energy management program. I would imagine that the actual figure would be higher, but 45% is still significant.

Energy Efficiency is not only about technology but also more about the people. People interacting with energy need to be aware of opportunities available to enable them use the resource better. They need to be trained, developed and equipped to manage energy.

There has been an increase in Certified Energy Manager training being done in Kenya over the last 2 years. This year we expect more energy management trainings to be conducted as a way of creating awareness and career growth. Energy training providers need to take note…..

5.    Water Management

Water is Energy. As I pen this reflection on energy, Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is facing 4 months of water rationing. Water audits conducted in some Kenyan Water Companies reveal up to 70% of the treated water cannot be accounted for. It all goes to destination nowhere!

We are witnessing way too much waste due to poor water management and that’s possibly why there is not enough water in the country’s capital. Water companies are in need of better water management technology and skills to ensure the country always has sufficient water both for their hydro plants as well as consumption. Companies with systems to better manage water have an opportunity to thrive. Water management is the next energy frontier…..

Kenya’s energy space is taking on a very interesting dimension and there a numerous opportunities to explore and exploit to ensure efficiencies. These 5 areas however, stand out significantly and should be at the forefront of energy discussions in 2017. Let’s all do our part to ensure an energy efficient Kenya and let’s keep the energy discussions energetic all year round.

Bio of Writer;

Chris Mbori is the Managing Director of Eenovators Limited. He is a CEM, CMVP and a Licensed Energy Auditor in Kenya. He has over 7 years experience in the Energy Industry. You can reach him through cmbori@eenovators.com

The 2017 Solar Hot Water Regulation In Kenya

By Mercy Masai

What is a Solar Water Heating System?

It is a simple, reliable, and cost-effective technology that harnesses the sun’s energy to provide for the hot water needs of homes and businesses.

Which places are recommended for a Solar Water Heating System?

These systems have a wide area of application including:-

  • Schools (colleges, university)
  • Residential homes
  • Hotels
  • Hospitals

Are there different types of Solar Water Heating Systems?

1. Evacuated tube Solar Water

It is made from coke glass, which has a green tint, are stronger and less likely to lose their vacuum, but efficiency is slightly reduced due to reduced transparency. ETCs can gather energy from the sun all day long at low angles due to their tubular shape.

It can be used for heating and cooling purposes in industries like pharmaceutical and drug, paper, leather and textile and also for residential houses, hospitals nursing home, hotels swimming pool etc.

The energy output of flat plate collectors is reduced slightly more than Evacuated tube in cloudy or extremely cold conditions

 Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Heating System

2. Flat Plate Solar Water

  • Flat plate collectors are an extension of the idea to place a collector in an ‘oven’-like box with glass directly facing the Sun.
  • The type of glass used in flat plate collectors is almost always low-iron, tempered glass. Such glass can withstand significant hail without breaking, which is one of the reasons that flat-plate collectors are considered the most durable collector type.
  • Flat plate collectors are generally more efficient than Evacuated tube in full sunshine conditions.

What are Benefits of Solar Water Heating Systems?

1. Solar Water Heaters Work In Every Climate

Today’s solar hot water technologies can be operated efficiently and affordably in any climate. Systems are specifically designed for various climatic and geographical areas of the country.

2. Reduce Energy cost

Solar water heating systems are ideal desire to save recurrent bills for electricity or other heating sources. Once installed, the user can enjoy free hot water from the sun for not less than 15 years on average

3. Improved Environment

Reduced demand for fossil fuels will improve the environment by reducing air and water pollution as well as the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming. And though they cost a little bit more up front to install, a carbon free Solar Water Heating system will save consumers money in the long run as the fuel source (the sun’s energy) will always be free.

What is the status of Solar Hot Water in Kenya?

In Kenya research shows water heating in homes accounts for 50-70% of power bills depending on hot water demand. Therefore to invest in a solar water heating system makes a great sense economically. These systems require minimal maintenance and can stay in operation for more than twenty years. Solar water heaters have payback periods ranging from one to three years.

What impact is Solar Water Heating projected to have in Kenya?

To heat water, the residential sector in Kenya consumes about 820 GWh of electricity annually, as confirmed by the 2010 Director Renewable Energy at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) – Bernard Osawa. This puts a huge strain on the power infrastructure, especially in the morning and evening. The use of solar water heating systems could reduce the demand by domestic, institutional and commercial users during peak times.

What are the 2017 Solar Water Heating Regulations set by EPRA ?

  1. The regulation requires the solar system to cover at least 60 % of the building’s annual hot water demand .It applies to all new buildings, residential and commercial that have a hot water capacity of more than 100 litres per day.
  2. An electric power distributor or supplier shall not provide electricity supply to premises where a solar water heating system has not been installed in accordance with the Regulations.

The premises targeted by these regulations include:

  1. Domestic Residential Premises
  2. Educational Institutions
  3. Health Institutions
  4. Hotels and Lodges
  5. Restaurants, Cafeterias and other eating places
  6. Laundries.

The regulations also set a penalty for persons who do not follow the provisions set forth in the document: Any break of the law can result in a payment of up to Kenyan Shillings (KES) 2 million and/or two years in prison.

Furthermore, the regulatory framework says that the solar components need to comply with Kenyan technical standards and that installers need to be licensed by the EPRA. The draft law also requires the commission to maintain a register of all eligible solar water heater technicians and contractors.

The public is hereby informed that all new buildings that fall in the above categories should install, use and maintain solar water heating systems. For buildings built before the gazettement of the regulations, the deadline for compliance is 25th May 2017.

Africa Embraces Renewable Energy

By Albert Odiyo

Renewable energy, especially Solar Energy, has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years in Africa. The growth has been occasioned by the need to improve access to electricity to the African population and the desire to embrace clean energy technologies.

The Statistics

According to Power Africa, a five year US government Initiative to double access to power in Sub Saharan Africa, two out of three people in Sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity. This poses a huge challenge to African governments, but there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Africa has embraced renewable energy.

Renewable energy can more than quadruple by 2030 to 22% compared to today’s level of about 5 %. This is according to the International Renewable Energy Agency report dubbed “Africa 2030” released in October, 2015.

Northern Africa and South Africa account for 30% and 45% respectively of the total electricity generated in Africa. This leaves Sub-Saharan Africa other than South Africa with about 25% of the total electricity generated, although about 80% of the continental population resides in this region. This is according to United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

Biomass, has for a long time, been Africa’s renewable energy source for cooking and process heating in the manufacturing industry. However more renewable energy options are being explored and embraced like Hydro power, Wind, Solar and Geothermal.

The Technology

According to IRENA, some of the most cost competitive photovoltaic projects worldwide are being already used being in Africa. What is most interesting thing to mention is that some of the technologies deployed in Africa are the most are the most sophisticated and advanced in the whole world.

The use of a concentrated solar power, for example, in South Africa are the most advanced in the world. This technology uses mirrors to concentrate energy from the sun. This energy steam turbines or engines that generate electricity.

Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Zambia and Ivory Coast are already exploiting grid connected Geothermal, Solar and Wind power projects. This is according to Frost and Sullivan report. The report further singles solar as the most popular technology in all these countries.

The Impact

African economies are set to benefit from the deployment of renewable energy technologies in a number of ways. This ranges from new jobs and opportunities for Africans and consequently rise in GDP.

The ever increasing population means more consumption of energy therefore, the switch to modern renewable technologies will lead to more energy for transportation, modern cooking solutions and modern technology. This shift to modern renewable cooking solution alone, according to IRENA, will result in 30 billion dollars savings annually in Africa.

The Conclusion

The African population is striving for better living standards, fewer health hazards and more comfort. The positive impact that comes with renewable energy deployment, both social and economic, cannot be over emphasized. Africa Yes We Can.

The writer is the Project Manager at Eenovators Limited

albert@eenovators.com , oumaodiyo@gmail.com

How to comply with the ERC Energy Regulations in Kenya in 6 Easy Steps

It is now just about seven years since the enactment of the Energy Efficiency Regulations 2012. Dawn has arrived for high energy consumers (those spending more than 15,000kWh of energy per month) to comply with the regulations. Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has been sending out letters to high energy consumers, informing them of the need to be compliant. Most consumers do not really know what is required, yet the September 2015 deadline for compliance is fast approaching.

Here are the six easy steps to catapult you to compliance:-

  1. Set up an energy committee – It is always advisable to take this step first. Change starts from within. If you are going to have a serious energy management programme, it is prudent to set up a committee early to look into your company’s energy issues. The energy committee should then designate an energy officer, who shall be responsible for the development and implementation of energy management programmes.
  2. Conduct an Energy Audit – Engage a licensed energy audit firm to conduct your energy audit. Before you start the energy audit exercise, ensure you sit down with the energy auditing firm and develop the scope. This will preempt complications after the audit exercise. Communicate your expectations and also know what to expect from the audit firm.
  3. Develop an Investment Plan – After the energy audit is done, engage the energy auditing firm together with your energy committee to develop an energy investment plan for the next three years. This plan is very important since you will be expected to at least achieve 50% of the energy savings identified over the planned three year period.
  4. Develop an Energy Policy – After the energy audit report is complete and the investment plan is done, it becomes easier to develop an energy policy for your company. ERC has a format on how this policy should be developed. Your energy auditing firm should advise you and guide you the format. Ensure that you ask for it.
  5. Submit your documents to ERC – Once you have your audit report, energy investment plan and energy policy ready, you will be required to submit them in both soft and hard copy to ERC. If they meet the regulations standards, they will be approved and your energy policy will be sent back to you.

These first five steps guarantee compliance for only one year. They however do not earn your company a compliance certificate. For you to get a compliance certificate, you need to finish the sixth step.

  1. Submit your implementation report – 12 months after submission of your energy audit, you will need to submit an implementation report showing the progress of your energy management efforts. It is advisable to consult an energy service company for measurement and verification as to earn a compliance certificate, you must implement some energy conservation measure. This implementation report will be reviewed together with your already submitted investment plan. If your implementation report is approved, your company will then be given a compliance certificate.

For more information on compliance visit www.eenovators.com.

Kenya, Shopping Malls and Energy Efficiency

By Ombajo Vincent Gedion

No nation in Africa has seen the kind of growth that Kenya has experienced over the last decade. Undoubtedly, the Silicon Savannah, now the known name of Kenya, is headed for even better horizons. Being a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, the growth of the Kenyan middle class has been realized at a somewhat tremendous speed.

The sole evidence for this enormous growth can be seen through the eyes of the several shopping malls setting base in Kenya. Shopping malls, also known as cathedrals of consumption or Meccas of shoppers are not just a preserve of the capital, Nairobi. Every notable city in Kenya today boasts of a shopping mall or a large retailer shop. And seemingly, escalators and large spaces seem to be the mark of prestige, and a signature of sophistication, as seen by Kenyans.

However, there is one aspect in all these growth syndrome that seems to go unnoticed. It is actually the elephant in the room, Energy. Have you ever wondered how much energy is consumed daily by these malls? How much energy could possibly be in use for the malls to have such never failing beautiful lighting? And how much power goes into ensuring that ventilation is top-notch for the thousands of shoppers in these malls? How much water is consumed annually and how is it used?

Now that attention has shifted, ready yourself for good news and possible remedies. Energy efficiency is the alpha and omega that punctuates all these raised concerns. Having energy efficiency as a core operating policy in these malls has the potential of reducing the cost of power by huge margins. Implementing conservation measures in malls is a pretty complicated process mainly because these malls are not just expansive in size, but also comprises of tens or hundreds of enterprises. From stores, gyms, offices, restaurants to retail outlets, amusement parks, hospitals, banks and so on.

So many elements consume energy in a mall setting. Most malls are not heated conventionally, but by electric lights, skylights and of course the body heat of the thousands of shoppers that frequent the malls. This calls for a working air conditioning system that has to be efficient in order to use less energy. Ventilation is also another key concern that addressing needs more usage of energy. Lighting of the entire malls consume so much energy that if energy efficiency measures are not instituted, a lot of costs can be incurred in the power bills.

For a very long time, and in numerous cases, energy conservation was largely viewed as a penalty, an unwelcome cost, a cutting-back, a lessening of living standards, a practice of self-denial. In the 21st century, this view has drastically changed due to the increased cost of energy that has resulted from a higher global energy demand. Today, and to most people, energy efficiency has been transformed into the “fifth fuel”. This is after coal, petroleum, nuclear power and renewables such as solar and wind. Energy efficiency has also easily become a significant way of addressing environmental concerns like climate change.

While still on renewables, it is worth noting that investing in solar energy is the wisest thing that malls could do to radically reduce their energy costs. Because malls have a large roofing area, solar panels could be mounted and power from the sun harnessed forthwith. Space not being a problem, money should not be a hindrance because solar eventually pays back for its initial capital outlay and the maintenance costs are shockingly meagre. One outstanding fact is that unlike solar panels that escalate energy supply while replacing the dirtier energy, energy conservation reduces energy demand.

Some of the energy efficiency measures that can realize cost reduction include using LED technology for lighting. Investing in lighting controls like occupancy sensors and daylight harvesters will go a long way in reducing energy consumed by lights. Skylights will reduce power usage during the day. On the roof of the stores, they can be intentionally painted white to reduce heating of stored products and goods. This reduces the cooling and air conditioning load.

Efficient air filters that are thinner and lighter will work best because less energy is used in running them, thanks to their minimal weight. Water as an essential resource can be used more efficiently through low-flush toilets. Malls can also have their own water recycling system because a lot of water is consumed by the shoppers and it should not go to complete waste.

Energy efficiency in the malls will present financial incentives to mall owners in terms of cost reduction. Every tenant in a mall should also have their own metering system to elevate energy saving to individual responsibility. Eventually low costs trickle down to consumers, business booms as profits swell, while the environment is saved. Energy efficiency should be seen as an essential business strategy in the 21st century.

EENOVATORS WINS ENERGY AWARD 2016 – WASHINGTON DC

It is celebration time at Eenovators!

Our CEO Eng. Chris Mbori has through the innovative energy initiatives and projects spearheaded by Eenovators since inception, emerged as the winner of the Young Energy Professionals Award for Sub- Saharan Africa during the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, DC.

This marks a momentous milestone for the company as this international recognition on a global platform confirms that the steps already being taken are headed towards successful energy management in the country and in the region at large.

This award further fuels the team’s inspiration to be the authoritative center of excellence for energy management and clean energy initiatives in Africa, and to continue to be on a mission to empower communities through best practices, awareness and knowledge transfer. The sky is indeed the limit.

img-20160920-wa0022

The WEEC ceremony where over 60 individuals and corporates have been recognized for their significant contributions in the energy sector worldwide, has seen not only Eng. Chris Mbori, but 5 other Kenyans making a total of six out of the seven awards in the Sub-Saharan category bring home national pride to be creating waves for energy change.

Kenya stands out from there rest as a country that takes energy matters seriously and handle the energy sector with the attention it deserves. There has been the implementation of very stringent energy regulations that govern all matters energy with follow up on compliance pursued. There has been a key role played by both the public and private sector in the uptake and implementation of energy sustainability initiatives in the various counties.

This places the country way ahead of other African countries in terms of qualified trained and certified professionals, as well as government regulations for the energy sector that has the guidelines around energy use streamlined.

The awards are run by The Association of Energy Engineers, a global nonprofit professional association represented in 98 countries, whose objective is to promote the scientific and educational interests in the energy industry and to foster action for sustainable development. The rationale and criteria for the Young Energy Professional of the Year awarded to Eng.

Chris Mbori that had him emerge as the winner across the continent include:

  • Being a dynamic CEO at only 30yrs, providing leadership and guidance in the energy sector by steering Eenovators Ltd that has conducted over 150 Energy Audits in the region;
  • For developing a robust and innovative energy management program – ‘The Eagles Program’ that is designed to manage and monitor energy use and consumption in real time, that’s changing energy management in the region;
  • And for conducting energy measurement and verification though IPMVP® that dictates standard terms and suggests best practice for quantifying the results of energy efficiency investments and increase of investment in energy and water efficiency, demand management and renewable energy projects

The awards that have been given to individuals an corporates for their dedication and performance in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry encourages others in industry to take up the rallying call to join the moment towards environmental sustainability through prudent energy management.

To the Eenovators team – this is a proud moment that endorses efforts being made to offer innovative and reliable energy efficiency solutions rooted in engineering and driven by innovation and passion. To the CEO Eng. Chris Mbori being a young and dynamic leader, standing on the world stage and bringing national pride to the country is only the beginning of many more impact driven initiatives to come – Well Done!

More information about the awards is available on the WEEC website www.energycongress.com

3 Tips for aspiring Energy Engineers

It’s now six months since I last posted on this blog. It’s been a busy half year with lots of new development. One of the new developments has been formation of a new company called Pisu Energy Services Africa Ltd (PESA Ltd.) The company focuses on Energy Efficiency Projects, Energy Audits and Power Generation Projects. So far, we are moving on well. You can check out more about PESA Ltd at  www.pesaltd.com

I have been getting new readers on the blog, most of them young graduates who want to take energy engineering as a career. Last week, I received the following question from one of my readers;

Hi Chris,

 I am Steve and just completed my degree in Mechanical Engineering (Industrial Plant and Energy Engineering option) from the Technical University of Kenya  with a passion in Energy could you please help me how i can go about to succeed in this field.

 Thanks

Kind Regards

Stephen

It feels good to see many young engineers wanting to venture into the energy world with a passion to succeed. I would advise Stephen to do the following as a start;

1.Get your Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Certification

It’s great to have CEM certification if you are to make it in the energy world. I did mine about 3 years ago and the opportunities have been unlimited. This certification is offered with the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). You can visit their website to find out more information. In Kenya, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, KAM, do offer this certification in partnership with the AEE. This year, 2014, they will have a session in June and October. Contact Beatrice.kithinji@kam.co.ke for more information.

2.Connect with other Energy Engineers

We normally joke that “it’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know”. From my experience, it not only a joke but to some extend a reality. Nothing propels you forward more than having the right connections. You need to know and associate with colleagues in the energy sector. It’s good you made this initiative to connect with me and I think you can do more to connect with others. Use LinkedIn, energy forums, energy events to build your network. You can also attend webinars online, listen to podcasts and improve your digital presence to connect with the right people both locally and internationally.

3.Build your practical skills

You are just from university with a lot of theoretical knowledge. Try getting more practical experience by working with other energy engineers on projects. The best way to do this is to find mentors in the field you are interested in and ask them if you can lend some help while learning. I personally did my first 7 energy audits for free to just get some experience. It probably was the best thing I did back then and it has paid back a thousand fold. It won’t hurt if you help for free at your free time. If someone is willing to pay the better for you. Both ways you win.

Just remember that values like integrity, good work ethic, positive mental attitude and creativity still count on your path to success. I know there is a lot more one can do. If any of the readers has more suggestions, kindly add them at comment section for Stephen.

5 things to look out for about Kenya’s energy efficiency market

5 things to look out for

Written by Chris Mbori

2015 was the big year for the energy efficiency market in Kenya. This was largely because the rush to beat the energy management regulations 2012’s deadline. This regulation states that any designated facility ( one that consumes more than 180,000kWh per annum) to comply to a set of regulations.

Some of the designated facilities that needed to comply with the regulations rushed to undertake an energy audit and comply. With the deadline now gone and no much action in the market since, is there still any opportunity in the energy efficiency market in Kenya? I believe there still do exist. Here are five reasons I think will create opportunities in 2016;

Compliance will still be a need;

I don’t think we are done with compliance of energy management regulations 2012. The last time I checked, only about 600 designated facilities that had done the energy audit. More than 3000 designated facilities had still not complied. Word is that the regulator is planning serious surprises for the non-compliant energy consumers. If the regulator will act, we shall definitely see a more vibrant market in 2016.

Implementation of energy efficiency projects;

There will be a great need for high energy consumers to implement the energy efficiency measures recommended by energy audit firms. Already we are seeing business taking an ESCO approach to help designated consumers easily implement energy efficiency projects. These ESCO companies fully finance and implement the projects only to be paid from the savings gained. A good example is ICOPOWER that uses this approach for voltage optimization projects. They have already installed dozens of these optimizers to interested clients.

Training;

Since the energy efficiency market is growing, there is a strong need for training that will help equip professionals with the right skills needed in the market. Already Kenya Association of Manufactures and Association of Energy Professionals are conducting the CEM course. The designated energy users also need awareness training that will help them implement the energy efficiency recommendations and set up sustainable energy management systems.

Solar thermal/ Solar Hot Water;

The solar hot water market is largely driven by compliance. Already there is a regulation that requires any facility that uses more than 100 litres of hot water to install a solar hot water system that gives at least 60% of their hot water demand. The regulation aims at new and existing buildings. For existing buildings, the deadline is 2017. New buildings are not connected to the electricity grid unless they comply. Besides the regulations, the solar hot water market offers great energy savings and is a no brainer to anyone using electricity to heat water. Paybacks are less than a year. This makes it an attractive investment in our sun-rich Kenya.

Solar Photo Voltaic (PV);

With the cost of Solar PV coming down and more financing mechanisms in place for Solar PV projects, there is going to be more uptake of solar generated electricity in Kenya this year. Besides, there are companies that offer leases for the Solar PV systems. One good example is Nvision. They use the Build Own Operate Transfer model to supply electricity from solar and sell it to the client at a rate cheaper that Kenya Power. This approach has endered them to many clients as it guarantees a near zero risk and direct cost savings in electricity charges.

The opportunities are probably not limited to above. Anyone energy business that will add value to clients will definitely have a great 2016. In energy efficiency, value is to reduce energy cost, cut on consumption, reduce carbon emissions and definitely, in Kenya, compliance to the regulations.

Bio of Writer;

Chris Mbori is a Technical Director at Eenovators Limited. He is a CEM, CMVP and a Licensed Energy Auditor in Kenya. He has over 6 years experience in the Energy Industry having done over 100 energy audits in the last 2 years. You can reach him through cmbori@eenovators.com

Advertisements

Energy Regulations 2012 Compliance

The 6 Steps

When you are in Kenya, you either pay the bill for the all drinks you have had with friends or all your drinks get paid for with one of your more moneyed friends.

That is pretty much the culture here. So a few weeks ago, when a friend from Britain invited me for a drink at Sankara Hotel to discuss to discuss Kenya’s energy regulations 2012, I was shocked when he left and only paid for his two drinks. Luckily I had “backup” to pay for my bill though it pretty much left my pocket dented.

From our discussion, my British friend was more amazed as to how stringent the energy regulations were in Kenya. In fact to him, Kenya’s regulations were the most stringent he has ever seen and also offered the most opportunity for the energy industry. He left me pondering on why exactly he felt so and so the last two weeks I have looked deeply into the regulations and attended a few meetings on the same.

Earlier this week I was invited for a stakeholder’s meeting by ERC on the energy regulations. The main agenda was to look at how we can develop an energy curriculum to ensure that we license more energy auditors. Currently, we only have 16 licensed energy auditors. The country would need at least 300 energy auditors to audit the more than 3000 facilities that have comply with the energy regulations.  Most facilities affected with this regulations are currently not aware of these yet they are required to comply with the regulations before 2015. If a facility consumes more than 180,000 kWh of both Electrical and Thermal Energy, they it must be compliant with the energy regulations.

To be compliant you have to follow the following six simple steps;

  1. Conduct an Energy Audit once in 3 years. You must submit the report at least six months before the end of your financial year.
  2. Set up an energy management committee and designate an energy officer.
  3. Develop an energy policy that must be submitted to ERC for approval
  4. Develop an Energy Investment Plan after the energy audit. This should also be submitted  at least six months before the end of the financial year
  5. Submit Annual Implementation Report to show your level of implementation of the energy audit recommendations
  6. Record your monthly electricity, water and Fuel bills for a period of at least 5yrs

Compliance basically starts with an energy audit. The energy audit must be done by a licensed ERC energy auditor who will also help in developing the energy management strategy and energy investment plan.

My British friend was more amazed by the penalties involved. Failure to comply with the regulation will attract the following penalties

  1. One year imprisonment for the facility head
  2. One million Kenya Shillings fine
  3. Thirty Thousand shilling per day for delay in submission of the implementation report

This regulations are a carrot and stick approach to compliance. The carrot being that the facility will save energy and reduce its cost while the stick being the penalties. Our energy regulator, ERC, is currently working hard to ensure compliance with these regulations.