Factors influencing efficient electrical power usage among households in estates owned by the Municipal Council of Nakuru
Maina, J Kairu
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This research project sought to investigate the factors influencing efficient electricity use among the households of the Municipal council of Nakuru (MCN) owned housing estates. The study was premised on the desire of Kenya to be a middle income economy by the year 2030, in which case a substantial capacity of electrical energy will be required to power the anticipated industrial activity hence the need to conserve electrical energy which would in turn be utilized in the manufacturing sectors. Households are considered to playa role in inefficient usage of electricity. The goal of the study was to investigate the electricity energy use within residents of the MCN houses. The objectives of the study were to investigate; how electricity is utilized, investigate the influence of awareness to standards on electrical usage ; the influence of level of income; household composition; availability and affordability of alternatives on efficient electricity energy use. Literature reviewed has revealed that in rural areas of Kenya 52% used kerosene for lighting and 60% for cooking, this study however has found out that electricity is dominantly used for lighting within households of the MCN, the households further prefer solar energy as an alternative to electricity however, affordability is a challenge because of the prohibitive capital cost compounded by house ownership issue. The study is a descriptive survey that relied on both qualitative and quantitative data collection. Frequencies, percentages, correlations and Chi-Square Tests have been used in data analysis. The population of the study was the entire number of houses owned by the MCN which in total add up to 5434 houses but a representative random sample size of 358 households calculated using the Cochran's formular was used in the study. Data was collected using Questionnaires and Key informants interviews. The collected data was then subjected to analysis using the Statistical Package for Social sciences (SPSS) version 19. The study found out that electricity was commonly used for lighting, television and radio were the dominant appliances in many households. The level of awareness to standards was found to be substantially low than earlier anticipated. Households occupancy rate was found to be a determinant of conservation of electrical energy and that there are several available alternatives to electricity with their corresponding shortcomings. The study recommends that buildings should have solar panels as an integral component and this should be made a policy; that the Government and Kenya Power should enhance public sensitization and disseminate the standards that deal with electrical power conservation and finally that consumers of electricity in households should embrace a culture of electrical power conservation The researcher has recommended a further study on the evaluation of electricity usage among owner occupied residential houses who have a greater flexibility of choosing the kind of electrical installation as opposed to tenants.