Electricity appliances that are left in standby mode in our homes account for 13% of household electricity consumption that is lost, a new survey by the Gramax Energy Group has revealed.
The survey, which covered fifteen households across the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions of Ghana, found that the 13% of household electricity consumption that are lost on standby power amounts to 420GWh of the 3,228GWh of electricity spent on residential electricity annually.
The study quantified the loss of power due to standby household electronic appliances at GH¢162million annually.
Household appliances which recorded large electricity losses when left in standby mode or switched off but left plugged into a power socket were sub-woofers, printers (Inkjet), and Set-top boxes.
The survey findings noted that: “It is interesting to know this (13 percent losses due household negligence) corresponds to 11.4% of ECG’s annual revenue (ECG Annual Report 2012, page 21).”
The losses due to householder negligence is alarming, given that the ECG’s system losses hovers around 20 percent. This means that about 33 percent of power generated in the country is lost through system losses and household negligence.
ECG’s system losses reduced from 27.2 percent in December 2011 to 22.48 percent in April 2013. Within the next two years, it projects that it will achieve 17percent through the use of various approaches in tackling its persistent problems. That will bring it close to the international benchmark of 15 percent.
An estimated 60 percent of the power generated by the Volta River Authority and independent power producers like Sunon-Asogli and Cenit, are consumed domestically.
Commercial consumption, which describes power consumed by small or micro-businesses, accounts for 18 percent; and industrial or large-scale consumption accounts for 20 percent.
Insufficient power generation over the weekend plunged large areas of Accra into darkness. Residents in some communities protested the prolonged power outages with reported damage to ECG properties.
The Ashanti Region was one of the hardest hit, with prolonged power outages reported in the main technology hub of the Magazine area.
The VRA says it requires about US$1.5billion investment to improve on its power generation. “I am sure we will be able to move our power system a little forward. What we need to do is plug our deficit, the mole which is causing the load-shedding,” Samuel Fletcher, Head of Corporate Communications said on Monday.
Given that demand outstrips supply, energy experts have advocated a comprehensive conservation campaign as the short-term solution to the current crisis.