Government in move to police energy use in facilities

This is under the Draft Energy (Energy Management) Regulations, 2021.

In Summary

•Facility owners face fines of up to Sh2million for failing to adhere to regulations.

•Facilities that achieve recommended energy savings rates shall be allowed to sell excess energy savings.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter/
SUMMONED: Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter/
Image: FILE

Owners of energy consuming facilities face fines of up to Sh2 million if they fail to share information on consumption within their premises, in a new proposed law.

This is under the Draft Energy (Energy Management) Regulations, 2021 currently undergoing public participation, as the government through the Energy Ministry pushes for energy efficiency and cut on carbon emissions.

It targets any place in which energy is consumed including but not limited to factories, commercial buildings, power utilities, institutional buildings, local authorities, municipalities, pipelines, water companies and street lighting, whether directly owned or leased.

Under the proposed law, facility owners will be required ensure they undertake an energy audit at least once every four years, with the use of a licensed energy auditor, an energy audit firm or an energy service company.

“An owner of a designated facility shall within six months from the approval of the energy audit report, prepare and submit to the Authority (Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority) an energy investment plan for implementation of the energy conservation measures in the approved energy audit,” the draft reads in part.

They then shall be required to implement the energy investment plan to realize at least 50 per cent of the recommended energy savings, within three years of submission of the

energy investment plan to EPRA, and comply with the energy performance indicators published by the authority from time to time.

Failure to keep records of energy consumption information will attract a Sh1million while those who fail to to audit and or submit an audit report within the stipulated time will be liable to a Sh2 million fine.

Records relating to energy consumption at a facility will include monthly consumption of electric power, fuel (including biomass and petroleum products), and water.

The law also requires records on monthly production data, occupancy levels and or any other variable affecting energy consumption, nergy consuming equipment, machines and their ratings and up to date building plans, infrastructure plans, and floor area.

“The owner of a designated facility shall submit data for every financial year before June 30, of the following year in a manner prescribed by the authority from time to time,” EPRA notes.

According to the energy sector regulator (EPRA), the country can save up to Sh44.7 billion annually with a national compliance, where 2,563 Gwh (Gigawatt hours) can be saved.

This is up from the current Sh19.2 billion on 1,102 Gwh.

About 297,363 tonnes of carbon dioxide can be avoided with a nationwide compliance of the energy efficiency by facilities, up from the current 127,866 tonnes.

This, as the government continues to push for clean energy and double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, a drive that is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal number seven, on energy.

“The Sh44.7 billion likely to be saved annually in the full compliance scenario will help ease the cost of production on the factories,” EPRA noted in a statement yesterday.

With this saving, the facilities will have more money to expand their production lines or output resulting to creation of employment, increasing disposable income of Kenyans, which will increase the aggregate demand, thus increasing the national aggregate output, the regulator says.

Savings from energy efficiency will also help reduce the price of goods and services.

“Such a reduction will help Kenyans either consume more of the product or service, or divest their money to other sectors, thus improving the economy. Increased consumption leads to increased economic activity which leads to improvement in Gross Domestic Product,” it notes.

Facilities that achieve recommended energy savings rates shall be allowed to sell excess energy savings.

The energy savings credit conversion factor between one facility to another will be one energy unit to one unit of energy.

For instance if a facility saves excess 100 kWh units of energy, it can sell 100 kWh of energy to another facility no matter the differences in sectors or operations.