Fashola: Lifestyle Changes Can Boost Power Supply

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said if more Nigerians would learn to conserve and efficiently use electricity available to them, the country could have more power to give to its citizens who have less power supply.

Fashola stated recently in Abuja that the entire hub of the government’s plan to achieve incremental; steady and uninterrupted power supply was hinged on the ability of its citizenry to make some lifestyle adjustments, which included managing electricity supplied to them well.

He made this remarks at the launch of the Building Energy Efficiency Guideline (BEEG), which was developed with support of the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), jointly financed programme of the European Union and the German Government.

BEEG was developed to provide useful information to professionals in the country’s building sector on key factors to consider when implementing energy efficiency measures in their building designs.

The aspects of the building, which the BEEG aims to impact include: the architectural design of the building; materials used for construction; equipment used in the building; regional hazards common in Nigeria; and tools for estimating energy efficiency indicators.

Fashola who launched the guideline, explained that the government would adopt its recommendations into the country’s national building code which is still being developed.

He said: “It is clear that sustainability of life supporting facilities will remain a continuing issue for government; communities; states and nations to deal with.”

“In the context of Nigeria, we still have insufficient energy, that is why the first leg of our electricity roadmap is how to get incremental energy, and from incremental energy, we plan to go to steady energy and from there we go to uninterrupted energy.

“Getting to uninterrupted energy will require some lifestyle changes especially by citizens that is why this document will become most important not just for us but for professionals like architects; builders; designers for houses and also as a tool for education in our education institutions about changing lifestyle,” he stated.

He added: “As we finalise the country’s building code, it is my hope that we will find an appropriate place to embed this document into our country’s national building code.”

According to the NESP, the BEEG supports architects, engineers, and builders in the design and construction of energy efficient buildings.

It noted that through such guidelines, low cost energy efficiency measures such as shading and efficient lighting can ensure energy savings of up to 40 per cent in buildings and mid-high cost measures like energy efficient equipment and renewable energy integration can ensure energy savings of up to 75 per cent.

NESP explained that case studies it conducted also show that payback period for investments in energy efficiency was between one to 15 years for both residential and office buildings.

It stated that the guideline was a first step to introducing a holistic regulatory framework on energy efficiency in buildings in Nigeria, adding that the next step will be the development of energy efficiency in buildings code to be integrated into the country’s building code and incentivise voluntary efficiency adjustments in buildings.