33 Facts You Probably Need To Know About Energy Efficiency

By Karen Thuranira

The goal of energy efficiency is to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. To achieve energy efficiency, monitoring your energy use is key.

The more we know about where and why we use energy, the easier it will be to make energy efficiency changes to save money, and improve our economy and environment.

Here are a few facts you probably need to know about energy efficiency

  1. The energy transformation in the EU is already happening: greenhouse gases were reduced by 18% between 1990–2012, renewables share reached 14.1% in 2012, up from 8.5% in 2005 and energy efficiency is expected to improve by 18–19% by 2020.
  2. Solar power is the cheapest form of energy in almost 60 countries.
  3. By 2020, it is expected that almost 72% of energy consumers will have smart meters for electricity. A smart meter is an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing. A good example is the eGauge Meter.
  4. Clean energy sector employs more than one million people in the EU. It also accounts for €144bn revenue every year. 
  5. The solar energy market alone has created over 175,000 jobs in the United States.
  6. Coal is the largest global source of electricity, but only about 1/3 of the energy from the average coal power plant makes it to customers in the form of electricity.
  7. A single wind turbine can create enough energy to power as many as 300 homes.
  8. Only about 10% of the energy used in a single lightbulb is used to create light, the rest is used to create heat.
  9. Fluorescent light bulbs, use about 80% less energy in total than standard bulbs.
  10. LED bulbs are the most efficient light bulbs and use about 90% less energy than other bulbs. You can save over $100 on energy bills over the bulb’s lifetime.
  11. Cooling and heating costs make up approximately 50% of the average heating bill in most homes around the world.
  12. Lighting costs make up approximately 20% of all of the electricity used today.
  13. About 75% of the electricity used in most homes is used while the appliances are turned off.
  14. Idle power is a major energy consumer. An average desktop computer using 80 watts of electricity while turned off.
  15. A single ceiling light fixture can use as much as $5,000 worth of electricity during its lifetime.
  16. Reducing the washing machine’s temperature to 104 degrees can cut its energy consumption by half.
  17. An energy smart washing machine can save more water in 1 year than 1 person typically drinks in a whole lifetime!
  18. Using the ‘sleep’ or ‘hibernate’ feature on an electronic device when its not in use, can save up to $70 a year on energy costs.
  19. If the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings improved by just 10%, it would equal a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 30 million cars off the road.
  20. According to Google, the amount of energy used to conduct 100 searches on its site is equal to a 60-watt light bulb burning for 28 minutes.
  21. The U.S. produces more nuclear-generated electricity than any other country and accounts for nearly 1/3 of the world’s total.
  22. It is estimated that the Energy star label, a program that promotes energy efficient appliances and products has helped save more than $430 billion on energy bills and reduced carbon emissions by 2.7 billion metric tons. That is the equivalent carbon emission of 670
    coal power plants in a year!
  23. Only 5% of energy drawn from a phone charger is used to charge the phone. Chargers use energy as long as they are plugged into a power source so 95% of the energy is wasted.
  24. Approximately 30 percent of the energy used in most buildings today is either unnecessary or used inefficiently.
  25. Every year, 171 Kgs of CO2 is released into the atmosphere just by leaving on unused lights around our homes and offices.
  26. About 30% of an average household energy bill is made up wasted energy.
  27. Every minute, enough sunlight hits the earth’s surface to supply the entire world’s energy demands for a year.
  28. While they still don’t make up a significant amount of the global energy resources, solar and wind production rates have more than tripled since 2008.
  29. It costs just $0.47 per year to charge an iPhone 6. It takes 49 times as much energy to charge a desktop computer and 72 times as much energy to power a flat screen television.
  30. The microwave is the most energy efficient appliance in most kitchens. It uses one-third of the wattage that the average oven uses.
  31. There is a constant development of smart technologies that bring intelligence in systems like HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), or just in the way electricity is distributed. This helps in making sure appliances, equipment or facilities operate only when
    it’s crucial. A good example is the Coolnomix device
  32. Integrative design is the method for designing buildings that develops a holistic design which can easily lead to energy savings. New buildings are, for instance, designed as passive houses (ultra-low energy buildings).
  33. By 2030, world energy consumption is expected to increase more than 55%

Types of Water Meters & Factors To Consider When Buying Them

By Ruth Carol Atieno

Water is a necessity in a person’s daily life routine. The process of measuring water use at a particular time is know as water metering. Water meters are used to measure the volume of water used by residential houses and commercial buildings.

A good meter helps you save money and detects any leakages that might occur. Accuracy is also key when selecting water meters. The water level should have an accuracy of +/- 5% in any condition.

What are the types of water meters

Turbine Meters

A turbine meter is a volume sensing device. When liquid or gas pass through the turbine, the freely suspended turbine blades rotates. The velocity of the turbine rotor is directly proportional to the velocity of the fluid passing through the flow meter.

  • These kind of meters are heavy duty
  • Used in distributing hot water
  • They record water flowing in a single
  • Such meters can be used in large a apartment complex and commercial buildings

Compound Meters

  • These meters have multi-measuring abilities as they able to measure high, medium and low level of water.
  • Compound meters are very accurate and easy to read.

Electromagnetic Meters

Electromagnetic meters use electromagnetic properties to determine the water flow velocity. The meters function by the use of Faraday’s law of induction for measurement.

Magnetic flow meters require AC or DC electricity from a power line or battery to operate the electromagnets.

Ultrasonic Water Meters

Ultrasonic water meters use ultrasonic transducers to send ultrasonic sound waves through the fluid to determine the velocity of the water.

The cross-sectional area of the meter body is a fixed and known value, and because of this when the velocity of water is detected, the volume of water passing through the meter can be calculated with very high accuracy.

Ultrasonic water meters can also measure the water temperature as a component of the volume calculation.

Factors To Consider Before Selecting A Water Meter

Quality of the meter

Almost all of the times pricing is always a determining factor when buying any commodity. Most importantly, quality should never be substituted.

A good meter is one which has a long lasting warranty and not a cheap one but with a very short termed or limited warranty. Money will be eventually saved when the high quality meter is put to use.

Water Usage

The amount of water to be measured is also a determining factor when selecting water meters.

When you choose a small water flow meter where there is heavy water usage will result to inaccurate readings which will in turn lead to erroneous monthly bills and dissatisfied clients or tenants in the case of rental apartments.

Tamperproof

A good water flow meter is one that is tamper proof. It should be in a position to detect tampers and even give warnings of the same at any given point in time.

The best water meters are also wind resistant.

Easy to read

When you buy a good water meter you will not have troubles doing the reading.

Finally, have in place good maintenance for your water meter once installed. Replace in case of any leakages or in the event of outrageous readings.

Human Error

By Sarah Nanjekho wanyonyi

Because of human error,in this era a lot we cannot easily sustain,
The rain,sometimes to see it we have to pray and cry in pain,
Sometimes,it downpours and floods the plains,innocent plains,
It erodes some areas,uphill downhill and even the plains,seriously destroying the terrain,
The sun,sometimes ,angrily decides to pray,
On every earthly creature wild or tame as if to say,
” for every human error,you have to pay!”
The wind groans in pain,
The trees,roof tops and top soil,all become its pay;as if to say;
” For every human error you have to pay!’

Life is a journey,a long one they say,
We meet new people and some we leave them on the way,
Lets not make them pay,
For the mistakes that a part they didn’t play,
Clean renewable energy we should thus prefer,
Solar energy,
Clean solar energy,
Tapped from the sun by solar panels,
Cheap to maintain,almost free to use after we install,
Less of the work we will do,
And the photovoltaic cells,intimately will interact with the suns rays
Clean renewable energy they produce
”fire without smoke,” we will get.

We are all kinda locked up in a cell,
Renewable energy is our only bail,
Otherwise,the ravaging sun,the angry wind,and the heavy downpour our lives will claim
Biogas
The other option for us,
Clean energy,renewable energy,
Resources are easily available,
They say cheap things are expensive,
But this we obtain the raw material for free,
Waste,excretion,
We don’t have to spend to get,
Neither a tree will we have to cut.

In bid to make money,
We are losing natural honey,
But this does not  have happen,honey
Our vision 2030 we can still achieve,
Our industries can still grow,
Electricity supply to every household can still be achieved,
Without causing home to mother nature and climate
Hydroelectric energy,
The water,the turbines will turn,
Without complaining , ”This is not my turn!”
Round and round they will go,
Renewable energy it will be,
Renewable energy will renew our lives!

Inspiration

I am an electrical engineering student and have great interest in solar energy. The industrial growth in kenya has increased the the need for electrical energy.

Initially to supplement energy needed, diesel generators were used  that harm the environment due to carbon emmission, and have been the leading cause of climate change and thus unpredictable rain patterns and heavy down pour that has flooded in areas like funyula and have led to loss of lives and have hindered normal learning schedules from going on,I have therefore been advocating for renewable energy sources.

Five Must Have Energy Auditing Equipment

By Chris Mbori

Having the right equipment is key to any energy auditing process. But even before we talk about the energy auditing tools, it is paramount to keep in mind safety first. Before using any of the tools listed below, ensure as an energy auditor that you are with the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes helmets, gloves, ear plugs, googles etc. Keep in mind nothing is more important than your personal safety.

As an energy auditor below are some of the most essential energy auditing tools you should have in your starter pack;

A clamp meter

This is one of the most important electrical tools an energy auditor should have. It is a first cut tool to so many electrical measurements. It can be used to approximate the loading in a motor. As an auditor you can also use it to find out how much current is flowing through a cable. You can also use the clamp on meter to measure voltages and frequency. A good clamp on meter is the Fluke 376.

Power Energy Logger

To go deeper into electrical analysis, it is essential to have an energy logger. The Power Energy Logger can help you as an energy auditor determine the energy profile of a facility. It can also help you analyze electrical parameters like harmonics, power factor, voltage fluctuations, transients e.t.c. A recommended Power Energy Logger is the PEL 103 from AEMC.

Combustion Analyzer

Combustion measurements are a key part of energy auditing measurement. This is where we measure Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Sulphur Oxides. To measure all these we require a handheld combustion analyzer. A great combustion analyzer is the Testo 320

Thermal Imager

The best way to get to know a temperature of a body is by its emitted radiation. A thermal imager uses emitted radiation of a body to determine not only temperature but also show visual imagers of the temperature gradient of a body. This instrument is essential in energy audits as it can be used to check for heat loss caused by not insulating a surface, checking whether a steam trap has failed open or even checking whether there is overheating in an electrical circuit. Flir E5 thermal imager is a great thermal imaging tool.

Air flow Anemometer

Thermal measurements are so critical in an energy audit as they help quantify thermal loads which are not always easy to quantify. A great air flow anemometer should be able to measure flow, temperature and humidity. Some anemometers even have logging capabilities in them. A great air flow anemometer is the Fluke 925

The 5 tools listed above are a must have for any energy auditor. There other tools that are also key and important and we shall list them in our next post. We shall also discuss how to use each of them and how the different brands compare to each other.

HOW TO ACHIEVE EFFICIENT AIR CONDITIONING

By Ruth Carol Atieno

COOLNOMIX

In recent years, with the planet becoming either hotter or cooler than expected, Air Conditioners (AC) have become a basic necessity in our homes and offices. Those not in a position to afford the ACs resort to other cheaper traditional solutions. Refrigeration has also become a staple occurrence and almost all households have some form of refrigeration in use. However,  one of the setbacks of these ACs is their energy consumption.

How then can we make even the efficient ones more efficient? Introducing Coolnomix!

Coolnomix is retrofitted to the controllers of an AC or refrigerator and in turn it optimizes compressor runtime and in the end the AC or refrigerator achieves energy savings.

Devices suitable for installation of Coolnomix

The good news is that the device is compatible with all refrigeration and air conditioning appliances controlled by a single thermostat and designed to work at fixed set point temperatures. So you need not to worry whether your appliance is suitable or not for Coolnomix. The appliance however, has to be well maintained and appropriately sized

Coolnomix works well with:

  1. Split (wall or cassette) / Packaged / Split Ducted
  2. VRV / VRF / Inverter
  3. Single phase or three phase
  4. Cool only or reverse cycle (no savings in heat mode)
  5. Single-stage or dual-stage
  6. Air cooled or water cooled condensers.

Devices not suitable for Coolnomix:

Coolnomix is not suitable for the following:

  1. Central chilled water systems
  2. Large office buildings
  3. Hotels
  4. Shopping centers
  5. Evaporative coolers

How does it work?

In short simple words, what Coolnomix does is that it prevents appliances from doing unnecessary work at any point of their functionality. To achieve this, it uses a powerful tool called Optimized Refrigerant Supply (ORS).

The ORS works together with two of the device’s temperature sensors to monitor the room temperature and the refrigerant supply performance of the air conditioning system and then it eliminates unnecessary work.

Using its return air sensor, the ORS ensures that the desirable set point has been achieved. Then with the use of its return and supply air sensors it is able to determine whether spare cooling capacity is available in the evaporator and stops the compressor until the unit stops cooling.

As a result, when the compressor restarts, the condenser is cool and at low pressure, while the evaporator is warm and full of vapour and this gives the compressor the most ideal conditions in which it is able to operate efficiently.

And just like that you will have done away with excess use of energy for no good reason. Your AC or refrigerator will be operating more efficiently!

Why would you want to miss out on this?

Practical example

Take a unit with the capacity to maintain a set point of 23°C on a 35°C day as an example. The thermostat starts the compressor at 24°C and stops it at 22°C. The temperature for the day is only 27°C, and it takes 10 minutes for enough air to flow across the evaporator to reduce the temperature by that 2°C. But in the current conditions, the compressor only needs seven minutes to compress and liquefy the required amount of refrigerant. During the extra 3 minutes it tries to draw vapour that is not readily available from the evaporator, and tries to ram it into an already highly pressurized condenser. The compressor is working hard but achieving little more than over-heating the condenser. (Source)

What will you achieve by installing Coolnomix?

  • The most instant achievement is energy savings. The refrigerator or AC will not function the same again. Its energy consumption rate will greatly go down.
  • Efficiency relates directly to the environment. The appliance will be more environmentally friendly than it was before.
  • Coolnomix also reduces dripping and icing up of the evaporator.

References

  1. https://www.arbs.com.au/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/6-1d0199594993742a3ec0c662c8b84337/2016/04/WattSolutions_Coolnomix_AC01_HowItWorks_FAQ.pdf
  2. https://coolnomix.com/

What would happen if the ozone layer disappeared?

By Karen Thuranira

Every now and then, you find your body yearning for a little sunlight. Sometimes in a few instances, your doctor might recommend that you spend some time in the sunlight.
Why so?

Is the sun bad for us?

In as much as the sun has gotten a bad reputation, granted that too much of it can cause sunburn and trigger those early signs of aging (wrinkles, sunspots, and a sagging skin), it is also true that the essence it gives out, in the form of light and heat are crucial to our existence and to our health.

The other day, as my colleagues and I sat outside for some sunlight during our lunch break, my imagination went wild and I became afraid of what would happen if the ozone layer was depleted and suddenly, there was no longer a protective shield between the earth’s surface and the sun!

What is an Ozone layer?

The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth’s stratosphere. It absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It contains high concentration of ozone (O3) and is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere, from approximately 15 to 35 kilometers (9.3 to 21.7 mi) above Earth.

What destroys the Ozone layer?

Ozone depletion is caused by the release of chemical compounds containing gaseous chlorine or bromine from industry and other human activities. The thinning is most pronounced in the Polar Regions, especially over Antarctica.

Ozone depletion is a major environmental problem because it increases the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that reaches Earth’s surface, which in turn causes a lot of damage to plants and animals alike.

What emissions from human activities lead to ozone depletion?

Scientific studies indicate that the cause of ozone layer depletion is human activity, and specifically, human-made chemicals that contain chlorine or bromine. When these gases get to the stratosphere, they cause depletion of the ozone layer. The greatest ozone depleting substances include;

  1. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
    The most extensively common ozone-depleting substance because it attributes to more than 80% of overall ozone depletion. It was used as a coolant in home appliances like freezers, refrigerators and air conditioners in both buildings and cars that were manufactured before to 1995. This substance is usually contained in dry cleaning agents, hospital sterilants, and industrial solvents. The substance is also used in foam products like mattresses and cushions..
  2. Carbon tetrachloride
    Carbon tetrachloride is used in selected fire extinguishers and solvents.
  3. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
    These have over the years served in place of Chlorofluorocarbons. They are not as
    harmful as CFCs to ozone layer.
  4. Methyl chloroform.
    These are commonly used in industries for cold cleaning, vapor degreasing, chemical
    processing, adhesives and some aerosols.

The production and consumption of all principal halogen source gases by human activities are regulated worldwide under the Montreal Protocol.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Protocol

What if the Ozone layer was missing?

Without the Ozone layer in place, radiation from the sun would reach earth directly, damaging the DNA of plants and animals (Including humans). Skin cancer rates would be on the rise. (Source: NASA).
https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/world_avoided.html

Human health, plants, marine life, animals and even materials like plastics, wood, fabrics, rubber are massively affected by too much ultraviolet radiation.

Within days of the ozone layer’s disappearance, many plants would die. The intensity of the sun’s radiation would make photosynthesis (a process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy to fuel their growth) impossible. Without plants, the food chain would collapse.

Herbivores would starve. Omnivores and carnivores could feed off their bodies for some time, but their food supply would dwindle causing extinction.

What can we do to protect the ozone layer?

Here are some of the things we can do to solve the ozone depletion problem;

  1. Resist from using pesticides – Pesticides are useful chemicals we use to rid our
    farms of pests and weeds, but they contribute enormously to ozone layer
    depletion. Instead of pesticides, apply natural methods. Weed your farm
    manually and use alternative eco-friendly chemicals to alleviate pests.
  2. Car-pooling and discouraging too much use of private vehicles -These vehicles
    emit a lot of greenhouse gases that eventually form smog, a catalyst in the
    depletion of ozone layer.
  3. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products – most household cleaning
    products are loaded with harsh chemicals that find their way into the
    atmosphere, eventually contributing to degradation of the ozone layer. Use
    natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products to arrest this situation.

35+ MIND BLOWING DIY FOR PLASTIC BAGS AND BOTTLES RECYCLING

By Ruth Carol Atieno

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Simple three words but the impact they can create in the planet is not as simple. This song is sang and known by almost each and every one of us from the young generation to the older generation.

The sun is scorching hot, you are busy going on with your daily errands and then you decide to get a bottle of ice cold water to quench your thirst. And the next thing you are wondering what to do with that empty plastic bottle you are done with. Well, the last thing you should do is throw it away.

Clearly, an empty jerrican or a plastic bag can also serve you a lot you just need to transform it into something else.

Here are mind blowing recycling DIYs for you.

Garden Sprinklers

Soda bottles make the best water sprinklers. Very simple process to customize. Just make holes in the soda bottle, attach it to a hosepipe and wolaa!!! You are good to go. This will also help save on water.

Tutorial

Mobile Phone Holder

With a simple plastic bottle you can make something as cool as a mobile phone holder. This can be used when charging your phone. Especially when the socket is located far from furniture. Placing your phone on the floor while charging is a bad idea and prone to accidents.

Tutorial

Vertical Gardens

To the lovers of gardening this one here is for you. You don’t have to worry about gardening space any more. Just collect plastic bottles, preferably soda bottles. Cut them into shape, fill with soil and arrange them in any desirable pattern and now you are able to plant flowers and even vegetables floating on air.

Tutorial

Toilet Paper Dispenser

The toilet paper holder in your bathroom is broken and you are wondering how to handle the situation. Just get hold of an empty plastic bottle and transform it into a toilet paper dispenser.

Tutorial

Birds’ Feeder

Imagine having birds flying around and singing their melodious tunes around your house. Priceless right? Well, you can achieve this by setting up a birds’ feeder outside your house. And even better, you don’t need to buy one instead you can make one yourself and all you need is a plastic bottle.

Tutorial

Indoor Sandals

Sandals made out of a plastic bottle, impressive right? Can’t trace where you last left your indoor sandals or having visitors yet you have no extra indoor sandal? Problem solved, you can transform two 2lts soda bottles into nice indoor sandals.

Tutorial

Flower Vase

Plastic bottles make very cute flower vases, you won’t believe your eyes. Making your home environment pleasantly looking has been made simple since all you need is a plastic bottle, soil and the flower you want to plant.

Tutorial

Stylish Bangles

Looking stylish does not have to be expensive and with the help of old bangles and plastic bags, you can make super cool bangles to spice up your look!

Tutorial

Grocery Bag

Plastic bags can be woven into cool durable grocery bags. Next time you won’t need to buy carry bags each time you go into a grocery store.

Tutorial

Chandeliers

Plastic bottles can also be used when designing your house interior look. For instance having your chandelier made out of plastic bottles. This will not only improve on the look but also will be passing across the important message of recycling.

Tutorial

Decorations

In addition to having a chandelier made of plastic bottles, more decoration details can be done using colorful plastic bottles.

Tutorial

Broom

Your broom got detached from the stick? Worry not since you won’t need to buy a new one. Instead just replace it with a plastic soda bottle. This broom is suitable for outdoor compound.

Magazine Holder

Organizing magazines can be a bit challenging unlike books, they cannot stand on their own unless stacked tightly together. This problem can be solved using a plastic container to organize the magazines.

Mosaic from Caps

Plastic bottles cups can be used to make beautiful mosaic.

Illustration

Ribbon Dispenser

When it comes to ribbons tangling and running, the solution is converting a plastic bottle into a ribbon dispense. You won’t need to worry anymore about your ribbons tangling.

Tutorial

Spoon Lamp Shade

Plastic spoons can be used in making a lamp shade. Try different colors to achieve a more interesting lighting in the house.

Tutorial

Baskets

Plastic bottles can also be used in making storage baskets.

Tutorial

Jewelry Holder

Having a disorganized jewelry collection can be hectic especially when you cannot find your favorite piece. Well, plastic bottles can serve as jewelry holders.

Tutorial

Soap Bottle

Plastic bottles can also serve as liquid soap bottles. All you need is a plastic bottle and a siphon lead to get the liquid out when squeezing.

Tutorial

Paint Stamp

This a cool way to create patterns on your painting. The bottom part of a soda bottle can be used to make flower patterns in paintings.

Book Organizer

This one goes to the bookworms who love their books and want them organized. Even without a shelf you can have your books well organized using only plastic bottles.

Grocery Bag Holder

You can use a plastic bottle as a central point of storage for all your grocery bags. So next time you want to go shopping you know where to find them.

Tutorial

Snack Bowl

For those of us who love snacking, plastic bottles can make really cool snacking bowls.

Parking Shade

Installing a parking shading has become so cheap and easy to make thanks to plastic bottles. No expertise needed to achieve this.

Source

Christmas Tree

How about you do some recycling during the festive seasons. A Christmas tree made out of plastic bottles sounds really cool.

Tutorial

Greenhouse

Here is a cheaper way to construct a greenhouse. Just collect plastic bottles and start working!

Tutorial

Zip purse

Using a plastic bottle you can make a durable zip purse.

Tutorial

Drip Irrigator

Plastic bottles make the best drip irrigators. It’s simple! Just make tiny and the desirable holes on it, fill it with water and hang it over the plant.

Candle Holder

For the fancy home dinner dates we dream of having, convert plastic bottles into candle holders and then enjoy the food…

Tutorial

Toys

Children are not left behind in the recycling world. There are so many ideas here. Plastic bottles make the best toys you could ever think of. For instance a sky rocket jetpack, toy cars and many more.

Tutorial

Soccer Ball

Plastic bags can be woven into soccer balls.

Tutorial

Boats

You will need so many plastic bottles for this but trust me it is worth it. A boat made of plastic bottles does not sink easily.

Tutorial

Trash Can

Plastic bottles can also be used in making an outdoor trash can.

Tutorial

Pencil Holder

Pencil and pens allover? Here is a solution, make a plastic bottle pencil holder.

Solar Light Bulb

In this case recycling and energy efficiency come together.

Tutorial

How about next time you transform a plastic bottle into something cool instead of throwing it away. The ball is now on your court!!

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR WORLD ENERGY DAY 2019?

By Ruth Carol Atieno

October 22nd is a day set a side every year as World Energy Day, to raise awareness on energy related issues globally. Here in Kenya Eenovators Limited has championed this cause and has since 2016 been holding events and awareness activities to commemorate this very important day.

I can personally attest to this as since Eenovators Limited decided to be the whistle blowers of this event in Kenya, the impact has been huge. More awareness has been created and many people now understand the importance and impacts of energy use and conservation through the World Energy Day celebrations. People have also become more interested in sharing this piece of cake by taking part in activities that run during the month of October every year.

Justice has been done and more is yet to come!

How it went down in 2018

Speaking of 2018, we had a very big and successful World Energy Day conference which took place on the 25th and 26th of October in Nairobi.

Powerful topics of discussion, powerful speakers and very great audience whose main objectives were to listen, learn and interact made the event so captivating. And the feedback we got was that they could not wait to attend the next World Energy Day conference.

Click here to read more about World Energy Day 2018 https://wed.eenovators.com/index.php/wed-2018-highlights/

Was the event impactful?

The event had a huge impact on Kenya and the world at large since we had people from various regions of the world attend as speakers and delegates. The students were also not left behind they had a platform to showcase their very innovative ideas and won huge cash prizes, holidays and mentoring opportunities.

Click here to read more on the Student Innovation Challenge 2018 https://energyzedworld.com/index.php/2018/05/27/kenyas-biggest-2018-student-energy-innovation-challenge-officially-launched/

Are you ready for what’s in store for World Energy Day 2019?

The official launch of World Energy Day is set to happen on the 22nd of October.

This year we are having a slightly different but interesting approach as we gear towards the big day. We are having several activities running throughout the month of October to commemorate the World Energy Day 2019. These activities are both online and physical. The activities are structured to accommodate all age groups and audiences. Why miss out when there is something for you to take part in?

1. Student Challenge

Under this category of students we will have activities such as painting, drawing, poetry, Fill in the blanks and essay writing. This is open to anyone in the age group between 13-30 years. So much to be won here, cash prizes, holiday experiences, shopping vouchers and a platform to publish your art work and pieces.

To secure a winning position your write up, painting or poem has to capture this year’s theme which is, Energy sustainability in Africa: Unlocking the energy & climate change equation.

Click here to submit your artwork   https://wed.eenovators.com/index.php/innovation-challenge/

2. Talks in Schools and other Institutions of learning

You need to be ready to listen and learn so much as we might just visit your school. We have really interesting topics of discussions that we can’t wait to share with the young generation. Focusing on energy and careers around energy.

3. Tree Planting & Nature Walk

On the week of World Energy Day we will have a tree planting session in Ngong Forest along the Southern By Pass in Nairobi. Stay alert as more information will be put across on all our social media platforms. Forests play a big role in making our environment clean and so we saw it fit to do something around tree planting.

Love adventure? We got you covered! We will also set aside a day and go on an adventure in the nature trail on the same day in the forest. Just to appreciate the existence of vegetation and even wildlife.

Don’t miss out on this fun World Energy Day activities!

Follow us on our online platforms to make sure you do not miss any updates and information on the activities.

JUST HOW MUCH ARE WE WILLING TO SPEND ON ENERGY MANAGEMENT?

Electricity is a form of energy formed by the transfer of electrons from the negative and positive points within a conductor. Electrical power should also be added to the list of basic needs as it is a fundamental commodity in the modern way of life and since it is not free of charge, bills have
to be incurred perennially. The amount paid to the utility companies is highly dependent on how we manage our energy consumption.

Over the recent years, most companies have taken the crucial steps in ensuring they conduct an energy audit to monitor their energy consumption.

Initially, most companies conducted the audits for compliance with the energy regulation laws stipulated by the regulating authority. However, this situation has shown some form of evolution from an obligatory to a voluntary exercise.

Current trends reveal that most companies are now requesting for real time energy management systems with an aim of slashing their electrical bills which account for a large portion of their expenditure. Data analysis of the recommended energy conservation measures over the last five years has shown that energy auditors recommended measures to the tune of over 2 Billion Kenya Shillings. Yes, Billions!

At the helm of the top 5 recommended energy conservation measures sits a technology we are all familiar with, Solar PV, at 61% of the total investment costs. If we can all recall, solar PV was a widely used technology in the rural areas as the main source of power when grid power was not yet accessible.

To the contrary, we were made to believe that solar power was for the poor and those living in upcountry in the rural areas. Owing to this popular thought, when grid power finally set foot, all households decommissioned their solar panels and turned to this option. If only we were well informed, we would have stuck to that technology.

Flash forward to the present, most industries are in an up-and-down rush to install solar panels to offset a chunk of their electrical bills. In the high-rise and real estate sectors, solar thermal technology has been made mandatory for all newly erected buildings to offset bills incurred by heating since heating appliances account for the largest portion of household electrical billing.

I have observed over time as an energy engineer, that the most frequent energy conservation measure is retrofitting previous lighting, mostly fluorescent and incandescent, to LED. LED technology is the latest technology in the lighting sector and it offers a higher efficacy i.e. a much higher luminous flux for the same watt rating as the elder siblings.

Modern buildings now invest in the installation of Building Management Systems that help control how much power is spent on lighting and water. These systems incorporate a couple of technologies such as:

  • Occupancy sensors: Automatically switch lights on/off depending on the occupancy status of a room.
  • Keycard controls: Switch the lighting on when the card is in the cardholder and off when the card is removed.
  • Dimmers: Vary the level of lighting depending on the daylight.
  • Timers: Automatically turn the lights on/off at preset times of the day. This is common with street lighting.
  • Smart water flow rate meters: Automatically open water valves to usage points when they detect occupancy.

Energy management is as straightforward as the name itself, managing energy usage. At an industrial level, energy management requires professional training and experience to better comprehend the operation of machinery. Conversely, at a household level, no training is required and we can all become energy managers and reduce monthly energy billing.

This would include activities such as:

  • Convert incandescent and florescent lightings to LED.
  • Switch off lights when rooms are unoccupied.
  • Utilization of natural daylighting.
  • Avoid using running tap water for household chores.
  • Choose energy-efficient electronic equipment i.e. with a higher energy star rating.
  • Unplug idle electronics as electronics still consume power when left on standby.
  • Utilize natural ventilation in place of air conditioners.
  • Harness rainwater (if possible)
  • Hang clothes out in natural air rather than drying with washing machines.

Charity begins at home. Let’s strive to become energy managers starting from our homes, workplaces and the environment at large, as most energy conservation measures require absolutely no financial input.

By Eric Gitonga Gitahi

Energy Engineer,

Eenovators Limited.

Advertisements

Dissatisfiers in Energy Management

By Martin Ochieng

The energy management space is rapidly expanding. More companies than ever are increasingly facing pressure from both the market and policymakers to become more energy-efficient, an occurrence that has created a significantly large market for the services energy management firms offer. However, experts agree that policymakers have still not done enough, but I digress. 

G:\__High as a kite\eprs_brie_tt_608721_energy-policies_final.jpg

Given the business nature of this interaction, the model requires that the proprietors account for a variety of factors regarding customer requirements and expectations. Ransom, Joshi, & Nash (2004) categorise these expectations as a range that relies heavily on the sigma six approach for understanding through the Kano analysis. The Kano model classifies these customer expectations into delighters, satisfiers, and dissatisfiers. 

G:\__High as a kite\adobestock_69882312_customer_expectation_service_survey_barometer_fmt.png

Clients in the energy field draw from a variety of industries. As such, the nature of this interaction means clients expect delighters, satisfiers, and dissatisfies in their interaction with energy management companies. This article will focus on dissatisfiers as contributors to the building blocks for a working relationship between clients and proprietors in the energy management space. 

Dissatisfiers are the essential expectations one has when interacting with a business. Other authors describe them as fundamental requirements a client expects as part of the service package. For instance, a client buying a vehicle expects them to have brakes. The absence of brakes would probably mean the business will lose clients both literally and figuratively. 

G:\__High as a kite\brake_cartoon(2).jpg

In energy management, an instance would be a reduction in consumption. A client expects a decrease in consumption from interactions with an energy management company. The absence of this feature would make the business model significantly less than feasible.

Various dissatisfiers exist within the context of energy management in the Kenyan market, for instance. These include compliance with government regulations, the ability of the client to market their products as produced through efficient energy practices, reduction in wastage, and being able to qualify for the regulator’s compliance certificate.

The last dissatisfier (compliance certificate) could also be eligible as a satisfier depending on contract agreements between the client and energy management firm, but that will form part of the next article in this series. Still, the two most significant dissatisfiers with regards to energy management remain a reduction in consumption and a reduction in carbon footprint.

Dissatisfiers in the energy management space have the potential to have far-reaching consequences not just for energy management companies, but for society as a whole. At this point, it is essential to note that energy management companies are among entities at the forefront in the drive to reduce the effect human activity has on the planet. 

G:\__High as a kite\RS18613_Daniel Cooper_260 (Image_wide_high).jpg

Their recommendations are, at the very least, incrementally working towards reducing man’s carbon footprint. Dissatisfiers have the potential to stop these efforts. This assertion draws from the fact that policy development approaches energy management and climate change from a highly disadvantaged and thus significantly lenient position. 

As such, the responsibility to ensure the viability and sustainability of the business model rests on energy management firms. The implication is that these companies have to work a little harder to ensure clients and potential clients see the immediate value of what energy management firms offer. 

G:\__High as a kite\1946.jpg

The bigger picture still exists, that is a reduction in man’s carbon footprint. However, clients will always prefer immediate returns over the greater good. It’s not their fault, that’s just how business works. This assertion shows precisely where the Eenovators Eagles program comes in. This program embodies what the energy space needs to do to remain relevant with one eye on the bigger picture.

In conclusion, the Energy space needs innovative solutions to remain relevant. A perfect scenario would have policymakers create strict guidelines that have energy management companies’ focus remain on the greater good and not have to work harder to stay relevant, but that may not be the case for a long time. For now, the Eenovators Eagles program is the answer the energy space desperately needs.