Government To Distribute Automatic Switches For High Voltage Appliances

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The Energy Commission has hinted of its plans to distribute one million automatic timer switches for refrigerators free of charge across the country. These switches, according to the Commission will automatically switch off high voltage domestic appliances periodically to help ease pressure on the national grid especially during peak periods.

The program which will be rolled out in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Importers and Sellers of Used Refrigerators (GAISUR), will seek to help address issues associated with electricity supply, energy efficiency and proper energy conservation practices by consumers.

The mass injection of the one million automatic timer switches have the potential of switching off all connected appliances for a period of eight hours, from 6pm to 2am, thus reducing load by an estimated 200-250MW and estimated consequent energy consumption at 1,066MWh per day.

The statement further revealed the program will be implemented over a three months period using the same mechanism used for the distribution of six million CFLs under the previous administration; it will begin with the Military, Police, then Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government before it is rolled out to the general public.

The Commission deemed that mechanism effective because the Military and Police are category of consumers disciplined by their profession and are unlikely to tamper with the switches, more so because they do not pay for their consumption of electricity.

It plans to program the automatic timer switch to cater for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government in the evening and during weekends when refrigerators and other high voltage appliances are not in use in the office.

Consumers on their part will be required to provide basic information on the size of refrigerator, power input, address etc to make them eligible and to also enable the capture of GIS coordinates of all premises where the timer switches shall be deployed.

It will be recalled that successive governments have in the past implemented programs aimed at improving the efficient use of electricity to reduce load and consumption.

In 2007, government procured and replaced over six million incandescent lamps with energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) which led to a reduction of load by over 124MW and an energy saving cost of over US$33million per annum.

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