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Owners of more than 3,000 buildings risk jail terms or fines of up to Sh1 million for failure to conduct energy audits on their premises.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) says only 106 out of the 3,500 buildings asked to undertake the energy audit three years ago have complied with the directive with only 22 days remaining to the statutory deadline.
Under the Energy (Management) Regulations, 2012, buildings which consume more than 180,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year have up to September 28 to conduct consumption assessment.
The audits are designed help to large hotels, universities, industries, hospitals and office complexes to troubleshoot and seal off leakage loopholes as ERC seeks to cut costs by up to 35 per cent.
“We have sent letters asking them to perform the audits and submit reports to us before the deadline to avoid legal suits, fines or both,” said ERC director for renewable energy Pavel Oimeke. “Those who default on this requirement will have no excuse.”
Mr Oimeke said that such assessments would only be approved if done by licensed energy auditors.
The ERC has licensed 50 energy auditors and 15 energy audit firms. The auditors charge between Sh500,000 and Sh1.5 million for the exercise that takes between two and four weeks.
Large-scale power users account for up to 60 per cent of Kenya Power’s sales with half of them located in Nairobi’s Industrial Area and central business district.
Building owners who have conducted the assessments include British American Tobacco (BAT), Nation Media Group, Village Market, Nairobi Safari Club and Kenyatta National Hospital.
Others are Rea Vipingo, Kenya Ports Authority, Bidco Oil, Mombasa Cement, Oil Libya, Total Kenya, Wilson Airport and Kenya Utalii College.
The Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM), which in January had 14 in-house energy auditors, offers 25 per cent discount to its 850 members.
Owners of companies need to submit energy audit reports to ERC for scrutiny and issuance of recommendations tailored according to their needs.
Nation Media Group is for instance projected to save about 418,302 units per year or Sh6.5 million should it adhere to the recommendations such as investing in energy efficient equipment and efficient use of lights.
The firm conducted its audit last October together with BAT, which uses both electric and thermal energy, and is poised to save 1.4 million mega joules (MJ) or Sh10.9 million per year if it adheres to the recommendations.