According to research conducted by a Lecturer at the Department of Planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Dr. Akosua B. K. Amaka Otchere, 75% households in the Greater Kumasi Metropolis are unaware of the implications of buying appliances with high energy consumption.
The research which was carried out in collaboration with Rhodes University, South Africa, proved that approximately 63% of the participating households within the full treatment and partial treatment groups lived in compound houses with 51% of participating households sharing a single meter; 75% were unaware of the implications of buying appliances with high energy consumption. Majority of participants did not know that energy saving and conservation practices could reduce their electricity bills.
The research was undertaken in six indigenous and low-income communities, specifically, Atonsu, Boadi, Tafo Nhyiaeso, Tanoso, Edwenase and Patasi. It spanned a period of two years after the participating communities were grouped into full treatment, partial treatment, and control groups.
The study examined household electricity use practices and potential interventions for sustainable consumption to address complex African urban sustainability challenges. It was funded by the International Science Council (ISC) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) within the broader framework of leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030).
Some recommendations from the research to key stakeholders including the Energy Commission (EC) suggested the general labelling of a wider variety appliances with the EC energy efficiency rating.
It was also proposed that the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) strengthens its oversight mechanisms concerning current electricity meter acquisition such as the establishment of an online reporting and case management system and a revision of the minimum power consumption threshold.
The research proposed a review by Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) of the process of meter acquisition by consumers to make it less stressful and increase its efficiency.
Another primary highlight of the research to the Ministries of Energy and Education was that Energy Conservation and Efficiency (ECE) practices should be incorporated into the curriculum of basic and secondary schools curriculum to introduce at an early stage the concept of efficient and sustainable energy use.
As part of the project, an electricity-use efficiency guide and consumption monitoring logbook has been developed and proven to be useful in monitoring energy consumption efficiency. The logbook comes in both, English and Twi Languages with illustrations. It has been digitized with video and audio recordings to make it easily accessible to the general populace without barriers. A further step will be to make the digitised copy available in other local languages so consumers countrywide can benefit from it.