The Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) will soon begin conducting energy audits in all government institutions, schools, industries and private establishments to know how much energy they consume annually and how they can save about 20 percent off their current energy consumption.
This was revealed by the Minister of State for Energy, Eng. Albert Butare, during a press conference at his office to announce new strategies by the ministry to promote efficient and rational use of Biomass energy and other forms of energy in the country.
He revealed that the Government and the Ministry have embarked on a country wide energy saving campaign in all sectors of the economy in order to deal with the increasing demand for energy by ensuring effective utilisation of the already available energy sources.
“You realise how energy continues to become an issue and you are well aware that without energy, the economy cannot grow, industries will not operate and we also need energy in our homes. This is a campaign is aimed seeking ways to effectively use the available energy to meet our needs” said Butare.
The Minister however regretted the fact that despite the few energy sources the country has, more energy is still used unproductively, something which directly affects those who would wish to use it in a more productive manner.
He sighted public institutions like schools, community centres, hotels and offices among others which don’t endeavour to save energy.
‘Many times you walk into an office or school and find lights on when it is broad day light or in some industries, machines are left in idle mode, when they are not doing any productive work yet they are consuming a lot of electricity, this is not a good practice” said Eng.Butare.
He said that a recent survey conducted by the Ministry shows that the country continues to rely more on Biomass energy, constituting about 99% of which 90% percent still use firewood and charcoal while only 0.2% households use kerosene, gas (LPG) or electricity to cook.
With the trend of things showing no change soon, the ministry is now seeking to sensitise people on how to use biomass energy efficiently while conserving the environment. Among other things, a countrywide campaign to use energy saving stoves in both rural areas and urban areas.
Butare said that the ministry is working with other ministries to promote tree-planting in the country so that as more wood is consumed, more trees are grown while other alternatives such as peat, saw dust, carbonised papyrus and coffee husks can be used to replace firewood and charcoal.
He said that the plan to use only energy saving bulbs is also on track with about 800.000 15watt energy saving bulbs imported in the country to replace high consuming incandescent lamps which were initially used.
Plans are also underway to have solar products for home and commercial use imported and subsidised to allow people to acquire them at cheaper prices.
The government is also negotiating ways to reduce the prices of LPG for households to buy and use in cooking.
The Minister also said that different government energy projects, including Hydro Electric Power projects at Rusizi, Nyabarongo and Rukarara are all on track and are expected to solve the energy problems while the extraction of Methane Gas on Lake Kivu will also increase on the energy grid of the country.