In recent months, Kenyans have seen a significant rise in the price of electricity tokens.
76 proven hacks to make Kenya Power tokens last longer
Follow these energy-saving tips from Kenya Power to make your tokens last longer
This increase has affected households and businesses across the country, that rely on prepaid meters to access electricity.
Many customers have found themselves struggling to keep up with the high cost of tokens, which has led to concerns about affordability and access to electricity.
In this article, we will explore advice from Kenya Power on how customers can save energy to make their tokens last longer.
Since prepaid electricity meters use a credit-based system, the more electricity you use, the more tokens you need to purchase to keep your meter topped up.
By conserving energy, you can reduce your electricity usage and therefore, stretch out the number of days or weeks that your tokens will last.
Reducing energy consumption can help reduce power bills for domestic consumers while protecting the environment.
In fact, a 3% reduction in peak demand can save the country over Sh5 billion in generation capacity expansion and an equivalent of Sh1 billion in fuel costs per year.
Below are proven tips on how to conserve energy and make Kenya Power tokens last longer
- Use Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFLs) which last longer than ordinary incandescent lamps. CFLs also generate less heat which means less cooling bills. CFLs can save up to 80% of the energy used on lighting.
- LED lighting is also very efficient and you save up to 85% energy compared to ordinary bulbs. They last much longer than CFLs and can fit directly into ordinary bulb holders.
- Ensure that all lighting fixtures are cleaned regularly as dust on the surface impairs the light output.
- Use electronic ballasts which are more efficient than the conventional magnetic ballasts for fluorescent tube lighting. The electronic ballast uses up to 40% less energy, is flicker-free and eliminates hum. Electronic ballasts also generate less heat thus lowering the cooling bills.
- Enhance the use of timers to turn security lights on in the evening and off in the morning to ensure the lights are switched on only when necessary. Motion sensors, where possible, are important to ensure lights are on only when required. Additionally, you can utilise photo sensors for security lighting to automatically turn your light on at night and off during the day.
- Turn off lights when you are not using them, even for a few minutes. You save electricity every time you turn lights off, no matter how short the duration.
- Separate the lighting circuit to ensure that only the required lighting is switched on.
- Design houses that maximize natural sunlight during the day. The reflectance of interior surfaces has an important bearing on lighting efficiency. In-home decoration, therefore, chooses lighter colours for walls, ceilings, floors and furniture. Dark colours absorb light and would require higher lamp wattage for a given level of illumination. Light-coloured surfaces should be kept clean for maximum reflectance.
- Dimming switches allow you to regulate the light level and so reduce electricity consumption.
- Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners. The reflection of the walls will give you more light.
- Enhance the use of pressure cookers which cut food preparation time to one-third of that required by conventional methods.
- Use pots and pans with flat bottoms to enhance effective heat transfer since they will be heated uniformly.
- Always make sure that the pan matches the size of the cooker element.
- Turn off the oven, surface units or burners shortly before food has completed cooking to make use of residual heat.
- Preheat the oven only when necessary and only for the required time.
- Use the oven to capacity by cooking more than one dish or one meal at a time.
- Do not open the oven door unnecessarily; every time you open the oven door to check cooking, you lose 20% of the heat. (Oven temperature drops 25-30oC every time you open the oven door.)
- Thaw frozen foods first to reduce cooking time. This saves energy used to heat up the food.
- Use only enough water to cover the food being cooked.
- Cover the cooking pan and once the food boils, turn down the heat to the minimum.
- Use a microwave oven for small quantities of food as it is quicker than using the cooker or the oven.
- Use an electric kettle to boil water instead of the cooker.
- Use a toaster instead of the grill to make toast.
- Use the kettle to boil small amounts of water - it uses less energy.
- When using the kettle, only boil the amount of water you need. Make sure, however, to cover the element to avoid damaging the kettle.
- Buy a kettle with a water level indicator which makes it easier to measure the quantity of water needed.
- Always match the size of the fridge to your needs.
- A medium-sized refrigerator (rated 150 watts) uses 36 KWh per month which costs more than Sh500.
- Place the fridge away from heat sources such as direct sunlight, ovens and other appliances.
- Ensure there is adequate ventilation at the back, sides and top. At the very least, two inches of space all around should ensure an efficient exchange of heat.
- Adjust the thermostat to maintain the correct temperature. The most efficient temperature for a fridge is between 3 °C and 5.5 °C. Cooler temperatures are not necessary and incorrect temperature settings cause an increase in energy consumption.
- Keep the coils at the back dust-free as accumulation of dust on condenser coils can increase energy consumption by up to 30%.
- Ensure the door seals are in good shape. If the door doesn’t seal well, cold air escapes and lets in warm air which the fridge uses more energy to cool.
- Minimize the number of times you open the fridge. Open/close habits waste 50-120 KWh of energy a year which accounts for 10 - 24% of the total energy consumption of the fridge.
- Defrost a non-frost-free freezer before the frost exceeds a quarter inch in thickness. More frost makes the fridge use more energy.
- Allow for foods to cool before placing them in the fridge. Cooling hot food in the fridge uses more energy.
- Cover liquids and food stored in the fridge. Uncovered foods release moisture and in turn, get dried out. This process makes the compressor work further.
- Remove all heavy wrappings from food before storing it in the refrigerator
- Turn off, empty, clean the refrigerator, and leave its doors open when taking a holiday.
- A large number of electrical appliances cannot be completely switched off without unplugging the device or turning it off at a power strip. When this is not done, the appliances continue to draw power. This power consumption is known as 'stand-by power.'
- A television left on standby can use up to 10% more power.
- Switching off your DVD player can save up to 50% of the energy it consumes.
- Switching off your music system at the set or unplugging it can save up to 50% on energy consumed.
- Always unplug phone chargers when not in use and avoid charging a phone longer than necessary.
- An air conditioner rated 1200 watts that is on 12 hours a day will use 324 KWh a month which will cost more than Sh4,212.
- Use ceiling fans where necessary - they use less energy.
- Ensure doors and windows are shut when you use air conditioners to keep out warm air.
- 95% of the energy used by a washing machine goes to heat the water. You could save a lot by just lowering the temperature of the water.
- Reducing the wash temperature at a full load from 60 °C to 40 °C can save up to 110 KWh per year. Wash at 40 °C or lower wherever possible. A typical washing machine uses 5.24 KWh of electricity per wash load and costs about Sh68 per wash (when washing with hot water).
- Making 15 loads of washing per month will cost approximately Sh1,020. Washing with cold water uses 0.26 KWh per load and costs only about Sh3.38.
- When making a purchase, opt for an energy-efficient washing machine. Choose a front loading model which uses 63% less water on average. Less water costs less to heat.
- Ensure that the laundry machine is fully loaded in each cycle.
- Purchase energy efficient dishwashing machines.
- Don’t run hot water continuously while washing clothes or rinsing dishes by hand.
- Use cold water for rinsing clothes.
- Line-dry garments and household items when practical. If there’s no sun and you need to use the dryer, spin the clothes well and use the medium setting instead of the high setting which wastes energy and harms fabrics.
- Clean the lint filter thoroughly after each complete drying cycle.
- Sort out laundry and schedule washing so that a complete job can be done with a few cycles.
- First iron fabrics that require lower temperature and work up to those requiring higher heat.
- Turn off the iron box five minutes or so before all clothes have been ironed and finish ironing with the residual heat stored in the sole plate.
- Do not leave the iron box on the electricity supply if you have to attend to other duties.
- Always use an iron box that is thermostatically controlled.
- Using a 1,000 watts iron box for 1 hour per day will use 30 KWh per month costing you about Sh 390.
- Iron clothes in large batches.
- Ensure hot water tanks and pipes are well insulated to avoid loss of heat.
- Repair leaking pipes or taps to prevent loss of hot water; every 30 drops per minute from a hot water tap costs you around 18 KWh per month (roughly Sh320).
- Reduce the amount of hot water used by not letting water run while shaving or when washing dishes.
- Locate water heaters as close to the points of use as possible.
- Turn the thermostat to a lower temperature; 50 degrees celsius is ideal for most purposes.
- If water heating costs are too high, use tankless units for instant water heating; no hot water is stored therefore no heat losses.
- An electric heater (1500W) uses 4.5kWh of electricity during a period of 3hrs or 135Kwh per month.
- Insulate the ceiling.
- Keep doors to unheated rooms closed. Draughts through doors and windows can increase the room-heating costs by as much as 15%
- Use lower-wattage heaters. Our cold season seldom warrants elaborate heating systems. Ensure that the heater has a thermostat.
- Curtains also help to retain heat in a room
- Always make sure that the aluminium part at the back of your heater is clean and shining because it helps to emit heat into the room. Once it has turned black, you can coat it with foil paper so that your room remains warm.
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