light bulbThe acute shortage of electricity generated in the country may have prompted the power efficiency and conservation initiatives by consumers in the country.

However, the attitudinal disposition of electricity consumers to power efficiency still brings to the fore a question of whether it should be imposed on consumers at this critical stage of the nation’s power reforms.

The Wikipedia defines energy conservation a way of reducing energy through using less of an energy service. Energy conservation differs from efficient energy use, which refers to using less energy for a constant service.

Observing that wastefulness is an unacceptable attitude in any normal society including Nigeria experts that spoke with The Guardian on the issue therefore noted that conservation of energy should be a willing and proud attitude to be adopted by every Nigerian.

The experts noted that it is not unperturbed that large number of electricity consumers in the country are ignorant of the meaning of energy efficiency, methods of preserving energy and the enormous benefits of the wise thought.

The Guardian’s survey indicated a mixed scenario that spelt out clearly the need for more enlightenment on energy conservation in the country.
At the one of the series  of campaigns held by The Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in collaboration with Lagos State Electricity Board, in Lagos recent, it was fun to catch a new way to calculate energy and know more about energy conservation, even as some Nigerians claimed complete ignorance of the idea.

About 30 per cent of the respondents at the point of survey could not define energy conservation and could not really pick out the methods of conserving energy. Though, they clamour for improved electricity supply, they didn’t believe they have a role to play in the drive.

Almost 50 per cent have an idea, but have not really practiced conservation, Such that a respondent said; “I only have light two out of 24 hours in a day, so why must I ration light again?”

Although, these categories of consumer s believed in optimal usage of electricity, sources in the power firms hinted that the new prepaid metering system would force many consumers to comply with conservation, because it is pay-as -you-go.

A public officer, Davies Ode, said, “I don’t know about energy efficiency, but I will try to know more about it.”

A medical doctor, Emmanuel Nwakwo said energy efficiency is a way of conserving energy, whereby much money could also be saved by reducing energy wastages.

“Im an advocate of energy conservation. In fact all by bulbs at home are energy saving, in that way I have saved a lot in terms of energy usage’’.

A banker, Akin Faniyi, also promotes energy conservation. He said he so much believe in conservation. ‘’With the issue of pollution and rising cost of energy all over the world, its high time for everybody to received the awareness on energy conservation’’.

However, the experts have estimated that Nigeria could save about $85 million yearly, if energy savings technologies are fully adopted in the country.

The Chairman, Nigerian National Committee on International Electrochemical Commission (IEC), Afolabi Esan, said the nation would be saving such huge amount of money and drastically reduce emission if the global energy trend in conservation is adopted.

Indeed, the Economic Community West African States (ECOWAS), had established that a regionally coordinated framework to phase-out inefficiency incandescent lamps by 2020 in order to save a total of 24 terawatt hours of electricity – equivalent to 6.7 per cent of total yearly energy consumption. The strategy is expected to save the region an estimated $220 million yearly.

The Lagos State government at its campaign recently estimated that Lagosians waste over N1.2 billion yearly by leaving their computers on standby; waste over N8 billion yearly by using high wattage convention light bulbs; waste over N5.6 billion yearly by boiling more water than they required; waste over N4 billion yearly by leaving appliances on standby and waste over 1.2 billion yearly from dripping taps.

The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofiq Ajibade Tijani said, “Energy Conservation is very important as part of an energy development agenda and is a part solution for power problems. The state has incorporated energy conservation by retrofitting all light bulbs at Alausa secretariat with energy saving bulbs and dedicating the month of October to energy conservation.

“The ‘Conserve Energy, Save Money’ campaign uses Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) materials that carry step by step, do it yourself instructions on energy efficiency and conservation improvements to save Lagosians money and make our city more energy efficient. In addition, the Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB) has taken a prominent stand in favour of renewable energy with about 70 per cent of its energy supply at its office in Ikeja coming from a 12kWp Solar farm installed within the premises.”

The General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB), Damilola Ogunbiyi said that the Lagos State energy conservation strategy would ensure that the nation maximizes   the power available.

She said the state government embarked on the campaign because it discovered that some people were not really enlightened, but expressed optimism that the continued campaign would bring Nigerians to see the benefits of energy conservation.

“We started with government utilities, in our schools, hospitals, among others were we have installed energy saving bulbs, so we are showing the public that we are not hoping, we are doing it ourselves in Lagos State government.”

She assured that the state government would still be talking to people on conservation through every means.

Experts believed that one of the primary ways to improve energy conservation in buildings is to use an energy audit. An energy audit is an inspection and analysis of energy use and flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output.

Building technologies and smart meters can allow energy users, business and residential, to see graphically the impact their energy use can have in their workplace or homes. Advanced real-time energy metering is able to help people save energy by their actions.

Energy audit is part of the strategy adopted by the state government to collate a comprehensive database of the installed capacity from the grid versus the real-time power demand of Lagosians.

Facts obtained by The Guardian showed that over 13,000 residential, commercial and industrial locations have been audited so far revealing that just over 10 per cent of the power demanded by Lagosians is being met by the national grid.

“A total of over 17,000 generators were discovered in the locations audited implying that every location has at least 1 generator.

This necessary practice of self-generation has led to a total consumption of approximately 162,000 litres of diesel a day resulting in 178lbs of CO2 being emitted per household per day in Lagos. On average, Lagosians are powering themselves at a cost of N44/kWh, almost four times the cost of supply from the grid,” it stated.


Information from The Guardian was used in this report.