The need for energy conservation has again been emphasised as it is seen as a necessary step Nigerian should adopt for the purpose of having a sustainable and efficient power supply.
Energy conservation means using energy more efficiently or reducing wastage of energy. It is important that any energy conservation plan eliminates wastage of energy without affecting productivity and growth rate.
Oladele Amoda, the managing director and CEO of Eko Electricity Distribution Company canvassed this view at the 13th distinguished Electrical and Electronics Engineering annual lecture, titled: “Power Distribution side Management in Development Economies,” adding that this could be achieved.
Amoda, who spoke extensively on one of the tested principles of managing energy, the principle of Demand Side Management (DSM), also advocated that the principle could be carefully tailored to the Nigerian space.
He added that the fundamental concept of Demand Side Management (DSM) was the modification of customers demand for energy through various methods such as financial incentives, and behavioural change through education.
“Usually, the goal of DSM is to encourage the consumer to use less energy during peak hours, or move the time of energy use to off-peak times such as night time and weekends.
In the final analysis, it is really an energy conservation mechanism, which directs action towards the user’s end, rather than at the supplier’s side. At the supplier’s side, electric energy consumption can be controlled using a number of actions carried out by the utility on its own installations to manage electricity supply. This is done to achieve a set of objective geared towards cost reduction and reliability,” he said.
According to him, there are four categories, namely, financial incentives, energy reduction programs – reducing demand through more efficient processes, buildings or equipment; load management programs – changing the load pattern and encouraging less demand at peak times and peak rates; and energy conservation programs.
He said demand side management has different meanings for different categories of people.
For utility companies, DSM means avoiding or delaying the need to construct new generating capacity by reduction or shift of consumer’s energy usage period.
While for domestic and industrial consumers, DSM means an opportunity to save money through subdued electricity bills; and translate to lower production cost and more competitive products, respectively.
“DSM refers to steps taken by utility and customers on the meter side of the electricity supply value chain to change the amount or timing of energy consumption.”
Demand side management, he said, has been traditionally seen as a means of reducing peak electricity demand, so that utilities can delay building further capacity, thus, reducing the overall load on an electricity network, mitigating electrical system reliability.
Possible benefits can also include reducing dependency on expensive imports of fuel, reducing energy prices, and reducing harmful emissions to the environment.
Various reasons, he stated, are being put forward for promoting or undertaking DSM.
For example, DSM may be aimed at addressing cost reduction, inducing environmental and social improvement and resolving reliability and network issues.