Consumers can make a difference in the face of load shedding – Chikwanda

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ZAMBIANS are facing power cuts despite being in the rainy season, this situation has many scrambling for solutions, but Dr. Johnstone Chikwanda, a prominent figure in the energy sector, emphasizes a key factor: consumers can make a difference.

While broader solutions are necessary, Dr. Chikwanda highlights the power of everyday actions to mitigate the crisis.

He told Kalemba in an interview that simple steps like switching off appliances at the socket instead of standby mode can significantly reduce wasted energy.

“Even if you are just two in the house, you cannot be filling the electric kettle to the brim,” Dr Chikwanda advised.

He encouraged a more mindful approach to electricity usage, suggesting consumers consider the true amount of power needed for tasks like boiling water.

For those with the possibility, Dr Chikwanda suggested exploring renewable options like solar geysers.

He said traditional electric geysers are major energy consumers, but solar alternatives offer a more sustainable and cost-effective solution, especially in Zambia’s sunny climate.

“This country is big with good sunshine,” Dr. Chikwanda points out. “The household can operate on a solar geyser. If that is too much, you can get a hybrid, a hybrid solar geyser.”

Hybrid geysers combine solar and electrical heating, allowing flexibility during periods of lower sunlight.

Dr. Chikwanda emphasised that consumer education was crucial.

He said by understanding their energy consumption habits, Zambians could make informed choices that not only reduce load shedding but also save money on electricity bills.

While individual efforts are important, Dr Chikwanda acknowledged the need for a broader solution.

This includes government action and investment in renewable energy infrastructure.

However, Dr Chikwanda said empowering consumers to participate in the solution is a vital step towards a more stable and sustainable energy future for Zambia.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba March 25, 2024

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