Archive for the Blogs Category

Good News……Energy Regulator Cuts Power Costs for Large Users by at Least 20%

05/10/2021 10:38
In a fresh bid to reduce the retail prices, The energy watchdog has cut retail electricity prices for large manufacturers in a fresh bid to make power costs competitive compared with other African nations such as Ethiopia, South Africa and Egypt.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has lowered retail tariffs for big consumers to Sh7.99 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from Sh10.10 a unit, reflecting a 20.8 percent fall.
Manufacturers operating in Special Economic Zones close to the Naivasha standard gauge railway (SGR) station will pay Sh5 per kWh, from the current rate of Sh10.10 and Sh12.
Domestic, commercial and small industrialists have been exempted from the discount as Kenya Power continues to push for higher tariffs. The lower electricity prices for industrialists are meant to boost economic growth, entice investors and rev up job creation. The Kenyan government has been trying to boost investment in the power-hungry manufacturing sector in recent years, including the opening of light vehicle assembly plants by global firms like Peugeot and Volkswagen.
Pavel Oimeke, EPRA Director-General, reckons that the discount will apply to larger manufacturers connected to the 220 kilovolt lines, arguing that the power cut will ease their production costs.
“The large industries will enjoy significant relief from this new revision given that they also have the cheaper time of use tariff and the ongoing rebates plan. We have also come up with a special tariff for the Special Economic Zones,” Mr Oimeke said. The lower time of use tariff applies from 10pm to 6am every day to boost usage of electricity when most households and businesses have shut down.
The new prices are effective from January 30 and will apply to postpaid bills due at the end of February. Taxes and other levies account for about a third of electricity tariffs and manufacturers have been lobbying for these charges to be reduced.
During his second term inauguration, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he planned to increase the share of manufacturing to annual economic output to 15 percent from nine percent.
Kenya Power has consistently sought higher tariffs, arguing that it needs them to cover the capital-intensive nature of building and maintaining a nationwide electricity distribution infrastructure. The listed utility firm has made an application to increase electricity prices by up to a fifth in a review that if implemented will hurt household budgets and raise the already high cost of doing business in Kenya.
Kenya Power is seeking higher tariffs to reverse its reducing profitability and review the temporary reduction of power charges that expired in July. It wants to increase the consumption charge for those consuming less than 100 kilowatts per month to Sh12.50 a unit, up from the current Sh10.
This will apply to approximately 5.7 million customers who use below 100 kilowatt units per month. The law provides that electricity tariffs be reviewed every three years, but the timetable has been erratic as the regulator has often delayed or amended the rates, partly due to the government seeking to ease inflationary pressure on households and industries.
Kenya Power has hinged the recovery of its earnings on the new tariffs after issuing a profit warning for the second year in a row.
The firm in 2018 returned the worst performance in a decade as profits fell 63.7 percent to Sh1.92 billion, denying investors dividends.

Categories:Blogs, Policy & Advocacy

Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX Asterisk Appliance

05/10/2021 10:29

Affordability without sacrifice. The s20 VoIP PBX delivers an incredible array of business features and advances Yeastar’s popular line of Asterisk based appliances. the s 20 adds features, and advances both the hardware and software, with one of the best intuitive user interfaces.

Review of the Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX

Yeastar keeps getting it right. The S20 VoIP appliance is everything that a small company might want. With the host of features that came with the MyPBX SOHO like Fax to Email, Voicemail to Email, MOH, Queues, Ring Groups, Time Conditions, etc., the S20 also offers some neat new features like AutoClip, more robust call recording, and SIP Forking.

The S20 comes with 2 on-board slots that can be used for expansion modules, including FXS, FXO, or T1/PRI ports, and can now also now accept a GSM module (new with the S-20). The hardware has been upgraded and includes Texas Instruments voice processors, a Freescale ARM A9 industrial grade Quad Core CPU, 4GB Samsung flash memory, and double the RAM to 512 MB DDR3.

The S-Series PBXs also have an improved software component and uses version 13 of Asterisk. Review of the S20 shows how well liked the redesigned clean Web-interface (GUI) is. In the design form of a desktop, much like Windows, most people will feel quite at home with its look, navigation design and ability to get to the settings that you need. For example, OpenVPN can be found on its own tab in Network Settings. Administration becomes that much easier, as one can work with several settings at the same time, each opened in its own folder. Shortcuts can then be placed on the PC desktop for quick access to frequently used configurations.

Yeastar S series VoIP PBX GUI screenshot.

Another big improvement that the S20 offers over the SOHO has to do with the way the recording function of conversations operates. SOHO only would record conversations in an on demand basis with the recording started after the user’s initiation. With the S20 additional functionality has been added so conversations can be setup to record for a certain user or a specific trunk (record all incoming and outgoing calls). This is a huge improvement for companies that need this ability and recordings can be setup to be stored on an external network drive.

It goes without saying that the Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX is one of the best Asterisk based affordable appliances on the market. Yeastar has improved the MyPBX line (although the user capacity of the S20 is less than the MyPBX SOHO) and done so while keeping the appliance, even when adding a FXO or GSM module card, very affordable. And just like its predecessor, you have a choice of SIP based phones that you can use for your deployment, however using Yealink phones, which offer easy configuration and design compatibilities that the two companies have collaborated on, makes this a top choice for any small to medium sized company.

Review for Yeastar S20 VoIP Asterisk Appliance

Young professional rating the Yeastar ip-pbx system.

The S20 VoIP PBX shows Yeastar has doubled down and improved their extremely popular MyPBX SOHO appliance and now offers one of the best affordable small office phone systems anywhere.

Improved upgraded hardware with software improvements have moved the Yeastar s20 as one of the best asterisk IP-PBX appliances on the market for the small office.

Yeastar S20 VoIP PBX Asterisk Appliance
  • The Yeastar S-Series is compatible withphones by Yeastar, Polycom, Grandstream Snom, etc..
  • Easy Installation and Configuration.
  • Multiple Language Support, Great for International Satellite Offices.
  • An excellent clean intuitive Graphic Interface (Metro UI).
  • Supports up to 20 Users, 10 Concurrent Calls and 20 VoIP Trunks (Less than the SOHO.)
  • Add PSTN Connectivity through the Addition of a 2Port FXO Module(s).
  • Additional application solutions (extra license) such as the Hotel App and Queuemetrics.
  • Call recording, SIP Forking, AutoCLIP, Event Center and Visual Status Monitor installed.
  • No License Fees and Free lifetime software/firmware upgrades.
  • Well written documentation and configuration guides with support through online community, knowledgebase, webinars and Yeastar Academy.
  • Enhanced Security with Built-in Firewall.
  • 3 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Test drive of the Yeastar S series IP PBX



10/28/2020 13:29

The amount spent on energy depends on the type of fuels used (such as electricity, oil, LPG and Wood) as well as the rate at which it sells for in your locality. in most cases, especially in Kenya, the price of these fuels may be outside of one’s control as a property owner, but one thing is certain; the less energy your home consumes, the more the savings on your electricity bill.

One surest way on ensuring that you are as efficient (and, therefore, as conservative) as possible in energy spending is conduct a home energy audit.

What is Home Energy Audit?

A home energy audit means assessing your home, and determining what improvements that can lead to greater energy efficiency.

  • A home energy audit help assess all of your home’s energy uses and outline all of the specifics.
  • The audit helps identify a particular home is losing energy and auditor gives recommendations on how to improve efficiency and save money spent on energy.
  • Your home is among the easiest and most obvious places to start to reduce electricity consumption without affecting your comfort.
  • Home energy audit can be as simple as walking around the home and making a list of changes that look simple and which can be made straight away. Alternatively, a professional energy auditor can be hired to conduct an in-depth analysis.

Professional Energy Auditors use professional grade equipment that is specifically designed to provide accurate measurements. A professional audit provides the most complete picture of your home’s energy use.

However, some homeowners choose to conduct their own energy audit.

How to conduct your own mini home energy audit

While having a professional do your energy audit is the best way to identify the problem areas in your home, there are a few energy savings tips that can help you make energy efficiency improvements on your own. These include:

  1. Switching OFF lights that are not in use especially in corridors, washrooms and bedroom
  2. Switching OFF electronics when no one is using them such as television sets, computers etc.
  3. Load control is critical. For example, if you are boiling water for washing hands, only boil the quantity required instead of filling the kettle while you only need a small portion
  4. Allow food to cool down before putting into the fridge. This helps in reducing the cooling load.
  5. Pre-plan on your warmers/microwaves. You can reduce energy requirement by removing the food/beverage from fridge some time before warming.
  6. When buying new equipment, check on energy star-rating. A more efficient equipment/electronic will help you save more. Examples are LED lights.

What to expect from a home energy audit?

Professional home energy audits can take about 30 minutes to 4 hours, though this is dependent on the size the home. Special tools are used in carrying out measurements to establish the problem(s) and come up with recommendations. The figure below shows loads to expect in a typical home.

Load to expect in a typical home

How much is the cost of an energy audit cost, and, how much can one save?

  • The charges for a home energy audit are dependent on the scope of work. The auditor visits the facility to check the loads that are available, and this informs the type of tools to use and man-hours required to perform the task.
  • It is estimated that a home can save between 5% and 30% of the electricity bills. This implies that though the upfront cost of conducting the audit is high, the resulting recommendations will be worth it.

When to Conduct a Home Energy Audit

The best time to conduct a home energy audit is anytime. The sooner the energy saving measures are determined and implemented, the sooner you start saving money and enjoying the benefits.


Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Tests)

01/29/2020 13:36

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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) entails testing the safety of electrical appliances to ensure that workers or tenants who come into contact with any electrical appliances are not in any risk.

Portable appliances include all equipment that is not part of a fixed installation but is meant to be connected to a fixed installation or generator. Any appliance that uses a flexible cable or plug and socket qualifies as a portable appliance. Electrical defects in most of the equipment can be identified through visual examination while some can only be detected through testing.

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Frequency of Inspection

Normally, the environment that the equipment is used, type and nature of operation determines the frequency of inspection and testing. For instance, a power tool used in a carpenter’s site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a house. Currently in Kenya, we do not have law that state what needs to be done or how often should PAT Testing be done. However, HSE best practice simply requires employers to ensure electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger.

Do you Need to Keep Any Records After Testing?

There is no legal requirement on to labeling or keeping records of equipment that has been inspected or tested. Nevertheless, a record and / or labeling is critical as it acts as a monitoring and management tool that can help in reviewing the effectiveness of existing maintenance scheme.


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Do You Need to Test New Equipment?

It’s a common practice that new equipment be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, simple visual check is highly recommended to verify the item is not damaged

Can Any Person Conduct the PAT Test?

The person doing testing work needs to competent to do it. In many low-risk environments like small office space, a sensible (competent) member of staff can undertake visual inspections if they have enough knowledge and training. However, when undertaking combined inspection and testing, a greater level of knowledge and experience is needed, and the person will need to have extensive knowledge on the test meters to use, equipment classes and how to interpret the results from measurements.

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Capitalize on our understanding, experience & skills in electrical systems

With many years of experience, our team of engineers each have a detailed knowledge of the systems they install – ensuring that they are able to offer you a truly tailor security system that provides the level of protection that you need

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Water Audits

01/9/2020 16:12

It is true that water has long been a forgotten utility. It was inexpensive. It was perceived to be plentiful. The average facility in Kenya utilizes almost triple the amount of water than is necessary. Most of that is not an issue of belligerently wasting water, but simply a lack of knowing how much water the processes need, how efficient the pumping and distribution systems are, and how to control the balance.

Ten years ago when energy conservation became an important issue in Kenya, many facility owners responded by removing fluorescent lamps and replacing them with compact fluorescent lamps (commonly referred to as energy savers in Kenya) and recently LEDs are considered as the most efficient lighting system.

Such ‘quick win’ strategies did produce much energy savings as other avenues of energy conservation that involved a certain level of capital investment were ignored. The ‘ignored areas’ with even greater energy-saving potential went unaddressed simply because they were either misunderstood or overlooked. Nevertheless, to produce more savings than could be achieved through quick win cutbacks, facility managers invested in energy audits. The energy audits proved to be one of the most effective tools towards energy management.

An energy audit is an effective tool towards identification and quantification of energy savings as it gives the steps that can be taken to reduce energy consumption. More importantly an energy audit gives facility managers a detailed assessment and analysis of how energy is used in their facilities.

Similarly, the same process is required in the world of today so that water usage can be reduced without necessarily affecting the operations.

What is Water Audit?

Just like energy audits, water use audits are an important first step towards understanding water usage in a facility and give directions on how to reduce water usage.

  • This entails tracing water usage from its point of entry into a facility through to its discharge into the sewerage system.
  • Our auditors are tasked with identification of each point of water usage within and around the facility, as well as estimation of the quantities of water used at each section. They identify and quantify any unaccountable water and leaks. Thereafter, they provide the facility owns/managers with a road map of potential savings and associated costs of implementation.
  • Water use audits should also take into account the water quality. Recycling of water and rain water harvesting are among the main ways through which huge water savings can be realized. Also, through water audits, potential uses for alternative sources of water can be identified.
  • A comprehensive water use audit will assess all of the major areas in which a facility uses water, including maintenance, sanitation, mechanical systems, irrigation, building processes and manufacturing processes.
  • The audit provides a breakdown of where, how and when of the water usage.

Steps in Water Use Management

  • Step 1: The Water Use Inventory: It is important that facility executives develop an understanding of exactly how and where their facility uses water. To do this, an inventory of all water use points in the facility with flow rates must be developed.
  • Step 2: Metering:Tracking water meter readings will provide a baseline of water use for the facility. The key to gaining useful information from submeters is to have the meters read on a regular basis, and as frequently as possible. Frequent readings help to quickly identify and locate leaks.
  • Step 3: Review Maintenance Practices: Preventive maintenance programs have long been recognized as effective tools for improving system performance while reducing overall operating costs. With water use historically being an ignored or low priority item, chances are few preventive maintenance steps have been put in place to specifically address water use.
  • Step 4: The Water Efficiency Plan: Once information has been gathered on how water is being used in the facility, an action plan can be established for reducing water use. The plan should identify who will take responsibility for implementation. It should make certain that individual has the authority and support needed to implement the plan.

Benefits of Water Audits

  1. Reducing water use in a facility is a win-win situation.
  2. Using less water means lower utility costs.
  3. It also means reduced chemical treatment costs in systems such as boilers and cooling towers.
  4. Finding and eliminating long-standing leaks can create a better work environment for building occupants, as well as reduce damage to building components.
  5. Reducing water use can also enhance the public image of a facility.
  6. Facility executives should publicize the program’s successes and give credit to those involved.
  7. Even something as simple as installing moisture sensors on an irrigation system can improve the facility’s image. Consider how many times you have seen an irrigation system operating in the rain. What impression of the facility did it leave you with?



Energy Management- Bigger Picture

10/8/2019 15:24

For a business to remain competitive, strategic prioritization of investment decision is key. Energy efficiency is among the key tools that has the ability to position businesses in a more competitive position globally by lowering energy bills, reducing down times and equipment maintenance costs, as well as increasing the asset value of the facility.

The money saved from implementation of energy saving measures proposed during energy audits can be reinvested and this leads to business growth, creation of new jobs and improved economy of the country.

In a bigger-picture, energy management can be considered as the “first fuel” in addition to other energy sources like solar.

What is Energy Management Training?

Energy management training refers to the process of improving the performance and increasing the awareness of the individuals (technical and non-technical) responsible for energy use in a facility. It is an integral component of any effective energy management strategy – and is a key energy management best practice recommended by Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) of Kenya.

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The ultimate goal of any training program is to improve the performance of both the individuals (by increasing their professional skills and preparing them to respond to new challenges as they emerge) and the organization as a whole.


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Components of Energy Management Training

In general, energy management training involves three components:

  1. Technical training (i.e. Machines, Equipment, Process and Related utilities)
  2. Organizational training (i.e. Management systems)
  3. Behavioral training (i.e. People’s actions)


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Direct beneficiaries of Energy Management Training

  • People who are directly responsible for managing energy in an organization;
  • These are facility and property managers, building operators and maintenance technicians (including electricians, steam engineers, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning [HVAC] and control technicians).
  • Contractors, service providers and energy consultants
  • General employees and managers may also take part in training

Venue Format of Energy Management Training

Energy management training can be carried out in many venues and formats, including:

  • Conferences and industry events
  • Classroom settings
  • Workshops can be held in-house (during lunch-hour information sessions, for example),
  • Online, via webinars
  • At centralized location hosted by the client.
  • Less formally through staff meetings, peer-to-peer training or publications.

Benefits of Energy Management Training

Specifically, energy management training plays a key role in:

1. Enhancing skills and raising awareness

Energy management training provides participants with the broad base of knowledge and skills they need to effectively manage and monitor the organization’s energy use, identify opportunities to implement additional energy-saving actions, and select and operate appropriate new energy-efficient equipment and technologies. Energy-saving technology does not run itself. To effect energy savings over time, a trained and skilled workforce is required to ensure that the technology operates as intended.

2. Facilitating energy and cost savings.

Training can help organizations manage their bottom line and remain competitive in the face of rising energy costs. Better technologies, better heating and cooling controls, and better and more efficient lighting all help reduce an organization’s energy consumption. When staff have the know-how to effectively deliver those energy savings, organizations benefit from even greater utility and maintenance cost reductions. Employee salaries are likely one of any organization’s greatest expenses – but if viewed as an investment, the benefits of energy management training are clear. Greater access to energy management training programs increases the staff’s ability to save the organization money, which, in turn, increases the return on investment of salaries. As a result, with properly educated and skilled professionals, an organization is better positioned to improve its bottom line.

3. Promoting employee engagement and a culture of energy efficiency

Energy management training does more than save organizations money and ensure that their facilities operate more efficiently. The benefits to the organization’s culture, while less tangible than financial benefits, are no less valuable. These include:

  • Making staff feel valued because you invested in their training.
  • Creating a culture where staff can share ideas.
  • Promoting good resource stewardship within the organization.
  • Building the organization’s relationship with the greater community by providing concrete example of how the organization is working to reduce its environmental
  • Offering staff opportunities to network and share ideas with like-minded individuals.
4. Other benefits

Other Benefits include:

  • Offers opportunity for employees to participate in professional development activities, and it can even contribute to their professional certification requirements.
  • By reducing the amount of energy used, organizations see a reduction in the environmental impact of their operations, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If an organization has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions – either by law or voluntarily-energy management training can help to identify opportunities to use less energy, thereby reducing the cost of purchasing carbon offsets.

Key Barriers to Investing in Training

Despite the obvious benefits of energy management training, it can sometimes be difficult to get a training program off the ground. The key barriers we have identified are:

1. Securing funding for training

Budget concerns are often cited as the primary barrier to energy management training, particularly because there are often competing values within an organization. A common misconception among senior managers is that energy management costs money rather than saves money. As a result, other issues are prioritized over energy management training.

2. Getting buy-in from senior management and other key personnel

Energy management training requires buy-in from senior management and key personnel, but if they view training as a cost rather than an investment, it becomes much more difficult to secure funding or get approval for staff to take time off to attend training. In every organization, there are competing demands for money; without buy-in from the right people, it is easy for energy management to slip down the priority hierarchy.

3. Monitoring and verifying training-related savings

Part of the challenge of gaining support from all levels of management is that the measurement and verification of energy savings from training is difficult to assess. Compared to the installation of a new boiler or lighting system, it can be challenging to quantify the energy savings resulting from a day-long (or multi-day) training session. Furthermore, training can produce different outcomes, and there is no guarantee that the ideas and opportunities originating from training will actually be implemented once the training is complete.

4. Getting buy-in from staff

Managers and leaders are not the only ones who need to support training. Staff may not see the value of energy management training and may resist making changes to their work routines. Some operators, particularly those who have been in the industry for a while, may feel that they do not need any training and that having to attend training means management does not respect their skills and expertise. Staff in more specialized industries may also be concerned that the training will be too general to apply to their work.

5. Finding the time required for staff to attend and organize training

Some organizations have found it difficult to get the right people to attend their training sessions. People in key positions are often busy, with their tasks so critical that they cannot be left unattended for the duration of the training. Energy management training also takes time to organize – something energy managers and facilities managers may not have because of their busy schedules.

6. Short-term investment barriers

In addition to the six barriers mentioned previously, energy management training that happens on a one-time or sporadic basis creates particular challenges. Because it is not a regular part of the organization’s procedures, one-time energy management training may be seen as a “flash in the pan” initiative, heightening the difficulty in generating buy-in and interest. Because it is not a part of the organization’s normal processes, there may also be concerns from management about the long-term benefits and employees’ retention of what they have learned.

7. Long-term investment barriers

Long-term training programs – that is, energy management training programs that are integrated into an organization’s day-to-day operations – also bring about a unique set of challenges. Changes over time to the management team may bring on new members who have not yet embraced energy management as a priority, meaning securing funding and staff time may become more difficult. In addition, both staff and management may question the need to continue or repeat training, feeling that the benefits have already been gained.

What is Energy Bench-marking?

Energy bench-marking is the ongoing review of your building’s energy consumption to see how its performance compares to its own past performance, other buildings in your portfolio, or its peers nationwide. Conducting regular energy bench-marking as part of your routine practices enables you to:

  • Identify poorly performing sections.
  • Establish a baseline for measuring improvement in energy consumption.
  • Enhance and create competition through comparison with like facilities.
  • Participate in green building certification programs and other environmental initiatives.

Why is it important?

Energy bench-marking provides a quantifiable means of determining the potential for improvement and how a building compares with its peers. It is a best practice that provides the road map for setting goals and improving the bottom line as well as increasing asset value. The benefits of energy bench-marking include:

  • Providing objective, reliable information on energy use.
  • Highlighting poorly performing facilities so your improvement efforts can be prioritized appropriately.
  • Identifying best practices so they can be replicated throughout your portfolio.
  • Supporting the business case for a comprehensive energy management plan, including training and retrofits.

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Energy Audits: Compliance is beneficial to building owners and tenants

08/15/2019 5:23

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To know how much energy is consumed in your facility, an energy audit must be carried out. The Energy Management Regulations of 2012, which were gazetted on September 13, 2013 by the Energy Regulatory Commission, require that an energy audit be carried out every three years


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According to Energy Management Regulations 2012, any establishment/ business that consumes more than 180,000kWh/ 648,000Mj per year (Designation of Energy Users Gazettement) Energy is required to conduct an energy audit tri-annually. 

Requirements of Energy Management Regulations 2012

  1. Develop an Energy Investment Plan after the Energy Audit. The investment plan shows the timelines and budget allocations for the projects proposed during the Energy Audit
  2. Develop an Energy Policy: The owner or occupier shall develop an energy management policy for the facility which shall have the minimum requirements as provided in the First Schedule of the Regulations
  3. Develop an Annual Implementation Report that covers the projects implemented and the savings achieved. The Implementation report should be filed with ERC. 
  4. Keep records for the Utility Bills and Production/Occupancy for a Period of at least 5 years
  5. Energy Committee and Energy Officer should be appointed to be in charge of the energy matters of the facility. 


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Any new properties are assessed after 12 months to enable Energy Auditors gather the detailed utility data – for electricity, fuel and water – that can then be audited.


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Compliance Certificate is issued when:

  • You implement at least 50% of the Energy Saving Measures proposed During the Energy Audit and the savings are justifiable
  • You have submitted annual implementation report(s) to ERC/EPRA
  • You have a functional Energy Committee and Energy Officer
  • You can demonstrate a continuous commitment towards energy management i.e. training of the staff and communication of the energy policy to all staff and other stakeholders of the organization

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You need guidance on how to get compliance certificate for your organization?

Unisource Energy Kenya Limited is Licensed by ERC/EPRA as an energy audit firm and our engineers are experienced in both energy audits and monitoring & verification of the energy saving measures. We are glad to assist

Contact Us





How Your Business Can Benefit From An Energy Audit

08/14/2019 13:30

To audit or not to audit? This can be a simply answered question when you consider the array of benefits gained from an energy audit. The switch to more energy efficient solutions could really be a benefit for your business.

What’s an energy audit?

An energy audit is an in-depth, outside to inside, room-by-room examination of your business’ current energy efficiency levels and usage practices. Taking this information and the level of savings you’d like to achieve into account, a customized plan can then be developed, focusing on cost-effective solutions for maximizing functionality and efficiency while minimizing your business’ energy usage and expenses.   

What about those benefits?

An energy audit can save you money.

A professional audit pays for itself, offering you the opportunity to discover the most effective ways to cut operating costs through energy efficient improvements. How much can it save? The average commercial building wastes thirty percent of its energy dollars, meaning an investment in efficiency can return, on average, $1.50 for every dollar invested.  

An energy audit can improve health and safety.

By identifying and rectifying potentially dangerous problems, particularly in older buildings, auditors can detect possible health and safety risks such as carbon monoxide from improperly operating or improperly vented combustion equipment, radon leaks, and more.

An energy audit can increase comfort levels.

Improvements in insulation and air sealing reduce heat transfer, leading to a more stable, efficiently heated and cooling space. This increased comfort through an improved thermal envelope can lead to not only increased productivity, but also a reduction in utility costs for you.

Energy audits provide protection.

Energy audits not only protect the environment by reducing fossil fuel pollution, but also ensure a more secure energy future for everyone. Even addressing something as simple as lighting efficiency can net big results.

What does it cost?

Rebates, tax credits and other incentives may be available toward your energy audit in efforts to encourage reduced energy usage and the conservation of natural resources. Contact your local utility company to learn more about the opportunity for a free or reduced price energy audit for your business.

What else do I need to know?

To ensure a successful audit, it’s necessary to provide detailed building information, including function, floor plans, orientation, copies of past utility bills, an equipment list, notes on existing issues, updates you’d like to achieve, and more. Talk to a Mr. Electrical® service professional prior to your audit for details.

Promote the sustainability of your bottom line – and the planet – by contacting unisource energy audit to schedule your commercial energy audit today.


First Step to Saving Energy is to Conduct an Energy Audit

07/23/2019 8:33

Energy audits are a critical tool that uncovers improvements on operations and equipment/machinery that will save energy, that in turn reduces energy costs, and consequently lead to higher performance.

Whether you are looking for quick fixes or long-term energy investment opportunities, an energy audit is the first step. Not only will you gain immediate energy savings from no-cost opportunities, you will be well equipped to develop a plan for action for short-term as well as longer-term energy savings investments.

An effective energy audit will provide the following:

  • Energy consumption levels – Energy Audit identifies the types of energy being consumed and their corresponding cost. Energy Balance is developed to help locate sources of high energy usage.
  • Energy Saving Opportunities – Audit identifies areas of energy wastage.

These include:

  • No-cost operational or maintenance adjustments that will save energy
  • Short-term, low-cost energy efficiency retrofit recommendations
  • Action plans for energy efficiency capital investments
  • Comfort and code issues that can be addressed immediately
  • Opportunities for better adherence to lighting and comfort standards
  • Guidance for prioritization of actions – An energy management plan is formulated which includes recommendations, a cost-benefit analysis, prioritization of best practices, and identification of quick wins.

Typically, energy audits uncover deficiencies in energy consuming systems, such as motors, pumps, lighting, process machinery, steam distribution system, water heating systems, HVAC, refrigeration, compressed air systems, process equipment and machines etc. In most industrial facilities, compressed air leaks, inefficient motors, failed steam traps and pumps form the largest energy wasters. On the other hand, lighting, refrigeration and HVAC Systems are often the major culprits in commercial buildings.

Audit can range from a snapshot measurement, to a walkthrough, to detailed measurement and monitoring over a significant period of time. The duration, frequency and the number of data points to be tested or measured may vary depending on the type of the audit as well as nature of application being assessed. 

Types of Energy Audits

Energy audit generally takes a whole facility approach. This entails examining the facility envelope, facility systems, procedures in operations and maintenance, as well as the facility schedules. Whole-facility audits gives the most accurate depiction of energy savings opportunities at the facility. Energy audits can also be targeted to specific systems such as lighting or heating, refrigeration, compressed air system, ventilation and air conditioning. Targeted audits may miss out on significant bigger picture of the energy savings opportunities but can be off great help especially when one has limited funds and is interested a particular retrofit.

Categories of Energy Audits

We conduct both electrical and thermal audits.

Energy audits can be divided, for this purpose, into two categories, taking into account the kind of audited systems and equipment, as well as the respective energy loads:

  • Electrical Energy Audits, for equipment or systems that produce, convert, transfer, distribute or consume electrical energy or for electrical loads auditing.
  • Thermal Energy Audits, for equipment or systems that produce, convert, transfer, distribute or consume thermal energy or for thermal loads auditing.

Levels of Energy Audits

There are three levels of energy audit, and each level is normally built on the previous level. The complexity and thoroughness of assessment increases as the levels increase.  These include:

Level I: Site Assessment/Preliminary Audits

Entails identification of no-cost and low-cost energy saving opportunities, and a general view of potential capital improvements. Activities include an assessment of energy bills and a brief site inspection of the energy consumption at the site as well as other relevant costs on the basis of energy bills-invoices and a short on-site autopsy.

Level II: Energy Survey and Engineering Analysis Audits (General Energy Audits)

Involves identification of no-cost and low-cost opportunities, and also provides Energy Saving recommendations in line with the financial plans and potential capital-intensive energy savings opportunities. Level II audits include an in-depth analysis of energy costs, energy usage and building characteristics and a more refined survey of how energy is used in your building.

 Level III: Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modification Audits (Investment Grade Audit)

Provide solid recommendations and financial analysis for major capital investments. In addition to Level I and Level II activities, Level III audits include monitoring, data collection and engineering analysis.

The energy auditor you select will work with you to understand your project goals and available budget, and help you determine which level of audit you need. For smaller facilities where there is no major capital improvement plan or budget, a Level I or II audit could yield results that make the cost of the audit worthwhile.

Energy Audit Process

The energy auditor leads each phase of the energy audit process, but the facility owner, key operations and maintenance staff, and controls contractor (if applicable) also play key roles and should be actively engaged throughout the entire process. In multi-tenant buildings, it may make sense to include influential tenants or occupants in the process if shared energy costs or building comfort issues are a potential concern. Identifying an internal project manager to oversee the project will help to ensure success.

Regardless of the audit level you choose or the number of facilities you wish to audit, the energy audit process is generally the same. The first step is to select an energy auditor and develop a contract. From there, phases of the energy audit include:

Phase 1 Preliminary Review of Energy Usage

Involves collection and analysis of historical utility data, calculation of Energy Utilization Index/ Specific Energy Consumption, and assessment of energy efficiency improvement potential

Phase 2: Site Assessment

It involves collection (from in-site measurements) and processing of data as well as a full examination of the installed energy systems of facility. This procedure helps develop a sound techno-economical evaluation of one or more energy-saving approaches, with medium to high investments on specific systems, after a relevant study.

Phase 3: Energy and Cost Analysis

Entails analysis of energy and cost savings as well as development of a list of recommended energy saving measures. The measures are prioritized in accordance to facility’s financial goals and projected savings.

Phase 4: Report Development and Presentation

Findings are compiled in a detailed report and presented to the management for actioning. The audit report should provide enough information to allow the management make informed decisions about next steps to meet the energy savings and financial goals. Audit reports include an inventory of existing equipment, a summary of your facility’s current conditions and energy use, and a list of recommended no-cost, low-cost, and longer-term EEM recommendations based on analysis of historical energy use and the onsite assessment.

Post Audit Activities

Development of Energy Investment Plan

Facility Owner/ Occupier is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the Energy Investment plan. The Investment plan comprises of the projects that a facility commits to implement, the projected savings, projected cost of investment, duration of implementation, dates of implementation and the resources required such as finances, labor etc.


The facility starts implementing the projects as stated in the energy investment plan.

Measurement and Verification

Implemented projects are monitored and evaluated to determine whether the projected savings have been achieved. This is done by comparing measured consumption or demand before and after implementation of a program, making suitable adjustments for changes in conditions. The comparison of before and after energy consumption or demand should be made on a consistent basis, using the following general M&V equation:

Savings = (Baseline Period Energy – Reporting Period Energy) ± Adjustment