By Godfrey Marambe

The author is a Certified Energy Manager and Licenced Energy Auditor by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in Kenya and has many years of experience in the energy sector. He has conducted many ERC compliant energy audits. He has provided professional solutions in energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability; he can be reached on 0728153000 and godfreymarambe@gmail.com

 

The risks associated with an untrained energy auditor doing an audit are high, so the work must be restricted to competent (licensed) workers. The skills needed to carry out a successful energy audit are highly specialised and require extensive training to achieve. The government of Kenya through the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has embarked on efforts encouraging the manufacturing industry and other large energy consumers to adopt energy saving practices. 

There are over 3,000 large power consumers required by law to conduct audits ahead of the September 2015 deadline. Aiming at saving energy and cutting costs by up to 35 per cent, the Energy Regulations of 2012 require industries, business premises and institutions with annual power needs of more than 180,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) to conduct energy audits at least once every three years. Those companies that are not compliant stand to be charged and suffer huge fines.

A licensing system is in place to ensure only competent workers conduct energy audits. In Kenya, THE ENERGY (ENERGY MANAGEMENT) REGULATIONS, 2012 provide that only persons with the appropriate energy auditor’s licence (as issued by the ERC) may carry out an energy audit unless it is a type of work that is exempted by regulation.

ERC has ensured that only those who meet competency standards are licensed. A disciplinary process is in place to ensure that only those competent remain as licensed persons. The competency standards cover work practices, equipment, and installation. Those who breach regulations may: be prosecuted in the courts; lose their licence; and/or; Pay a fine of up to One million.

To be licensed as an Energy auditor an applicant must have a minimum of any one of the following combinations of academic and professional qualifications

A) 1. A degree in technology or engineering or equivalent in a relevant field and At least three years work experience in Energy operations or Maintenance or Planning.

2. Post graduate Engineer (Masters of Engineering / Masters of Technology) and At least two years work experience in Energy operations or Maintenance or Planning.

3. A graduate Engineer with postgraduate degree in Energy Management or equivalent and At least two years work experience in Energy operations or Maintenance or Planning. 

4. Higher National Diploma Engineer or equivalent and At least six years work experience in energy operations, maintenance, or planning.

5. A postgraduate degree in Physics or Electronics or Chemistry (with Physics and Mathematics at graduation level) and At least three years work experience in Energy operations or maintenance or Planning.

6. A First degree in Architecture or equivalent field and At least three years work experience in design and use of Energy efficient buildings.

7. A Masters degree in Architecture or equivalent in relevant field and At least two years work experience in design and use of Energy efficient buildings.

B) An energy management certification examination from a body recognized by the Energy Regulatory Commission (Certified energy Manager by Association of Energy Engineers of America is recognized), or Post Graduate Diploma in Energy Management, or Masters of Science in Energy Management from recognised University.

C) A person applying for energy audit license shall have conducted at least five energy audits under a licensed energy auditor. For Category, A licence you need to have one investment grade audit.

After meeting all these qualifications, one is then eligible to apply to the Energy Regulatory Commission for a licence. ERC will then take you through a two stage process; written and practical experience interviews, and if successful, you will then be issued with a licence.

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