Theme 1 

Energy Audits and Targeted Recommendations for Energy Savings

Energy transmission, Power Lines. © Gennadiy Ratushenko / World Bank

Energy transmission, Power Lines. © Gennadiy Ratushenko / World Bank

Context

Building owners in Kenya with energy consumption in excess of the mandated kwh threshold set by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum are required to perform energy audits every three years. Using information from the audits energy efficiency measures are implemented resulting in energy savings. Primarily, this applies to commercial and public buildings (banks, malls, government offices, and schools) but many Kenyan small-medium enterprises (SME’s) are also interested in lowering their utility bills through auditing in order to increase profits and grow their businesses. To deepen the understanding of how behaviors, choice in appliances, and building specifications impact energy usage, consumers need access to their energy consumption data.  Performing energy audits allows building owners to establish baseline building consumption levels and understand the costs associated with particular aspects of the building. Disaggregating the data further allows facilities managers to understand specific consumption characteristics within the building and provides them the information necessary to develop and implement energy efficiency strategies to lower consumption and monitor their continued progress. Currently, barriers to wide-scale energy auditing in Kenya is due to their significant cost to perform and limited availability of technology necessary to conduct them.

 

CHALLENGES

1 • How might we provide the citizenry of Nairobi universal access to their energy related data (Eg. billing, usage, and efficiency opportunities)?

2 • How might we design a cost-effective energy audit service with targeted and tailored energy savings recommendations?

3 • How might we help customers measure and understand the energy usage in real-time and compare their utility bills to similar buildings, friends and neighbors?

4 • How might we help customers use the audits to achieve energy savings. This could range from providing access to information about how to save energy to more innovative measures?

 

What are we looking for?

We are looking for startups to develop a hardware or software solution for Kenyan commercial building owners or SMEs to carry out energy audits in a cost-effective and convenient way. Since the energy audit is only the first step toward improved energy efficiency, the solution would benefit from also including recommendations to the building owner for what steps to take to reduce electricity consumption, including technological and/or behavioral changes. For example, Remote energy audits using sensors, interval data or other software could reduce the cost of energy audits drastically (up to 80%) and identify additional energy savings (up to 30-35%).

Also, given that there isn’t an existing culture around energy audits among SMEs in Kenya, the solution could benefit from including ways to increase awareness of the economic benefits of carrying out energy audits.


THEME 2 

Demand Reduction Through Behavioral Change

Village shop at dusk lit by solar panels © Dominic Sansoni / World Bank

Village shop at dusk lit by solar panels © Dominic Sansoni / World Bank

Context

Access to real-time data can empower home and business owners to monitor their energy usage and identify opportunities for reducing consumption through energy efficiency.  This has been successfully demonstrated by a number of software providers and startups in recent years. For example, in the UK, offering households a simple home energy monitor showing energy usage has resulted in significant energy savings. Behavior Based Energy Efficiency (BBEE) programs are considered a potential new source of large-scale energy savings beyond that extend beyond traditional utility programs and have included incentives and gamification. In addition to changing behavior, financing the energy efficiency measures is a substantial barrier to implementation. For this, innovative business models can provide a solution. For example, lighting is responsible for an average of 20% of household energy consumption and LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional light bulbs. To encourage energy savings and manage electricity supply shortage, the India Prime Minister has proposed an innovative financing scheme allowing Indian citizens to purchase LEDs for a fraction of their cost and pay off the rest through future savings.In terms of electric appliance use, residents lack information on the cost and benefits of available energy efficiency solutions available on the market (eg. ceiling fans, refrigerators, televisions, lighting, efficient pumps). Increasing awareness and inducing behavior change around demand reduction practices helps consumers save on energy costs and can be a benefit to the electricity utility working to manage blackouts and supply shortages.

 

CHALLENGES

1 • How might we deploy innovative software or hardware solutions to reduce energy consumption in Nairobi.

2 • How might we develop an innovative business model to finance available EE appliances in Kenya.

3 • How might we decrease the barriers to obtaining capital for energy efficient projects, target bulk procurement or encourage the development of a P2P lending system for energy efficiency in Kenya (e.g. Prosper)?

4 • How might we utilize gamification strategies to incentivize demand reduction from electricity customers in Nairobi?

5 • How might we enable housing estate managers to make timely decisions that reduce energy waste and increase tenant satisfaction across building portfolios?

 

What are we looking for?

We are looking for startups to develop a hardware/software solution that provides energy users (residential and commercial) accurate energy consumption data (e.g. lighting, air conditioning, pumps, televisions, etc.). Additionally this solution should enable users to identify and predict the cost saving potential of specific energy efficiency interventions. Solutions could also include innovative ways of financing energy efficiency appliances that aim to unlock and make sense of pre-existing EE information through product, service, or business model innovations.

 

#datavisualization #datascience #businessmodelinnovation #B2B


THEME 3 

Lack of electricity & Power Outages

Interior of plant. Kenya.  © Curt Carnemark / World Bank

Context

According to the International Energy Agency, 35 million Kenyans currently lack access to electricity. Even for those connected to the grid (who primarily reside in urban areas with electrification rates of ~60%), power surges undermine household energy efficiency by shorting energy appliances like lightbulbs and phone chargers (which drastically cuts their life period).
In Nairobi’s urban slums, which lack any formal connections to the electricity grid, unregulated and illegitimate electricity providers sell stolen electricity to millions of slum residents without any other electricity alternatives. As Kenya Power (Kenya’s sole electricity provider) expands its pilot slum electrification program while it continues to face ageing infrastructure issues, what can be some alternative methods/solutions to provide a decent quality and fairly priced power source for Kenya’s urban population (especially urban slum residents)?

 

CHALLENGES

1 • How might we make mobile phone power chargers more accessible, especially during power outages?

2 • How might we incentivize consumers to reduce their electricity consumption during times of peak demand?

3 • How might be develop new business models to improve access to electricity ranging from small amounts of electricity (e.g. used to charge cell phones) to large amounts used to power typical households in Nairobi?

4 • How might we invent and efficiently distribute a low cost electrification solution to Nairobi’s urban slum populations?

5 • How might we leverage ubiquitous mobile phone ownership among slum residents to create a service model innovation around electricity provision?

 

What are we looking for?

We are looking for startups to develop solutions that harness new methods/ technologies / business models of delivering sustainable power to residents without access to the formal electricity grid.

#hardwarehack #powerbackup #remotecharging