Assessing household energy consumption in Kampala city
Bazimudde, Jackie Doreen
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Over the years, the population of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda has more than doubled, and this has increased the demand for energy. However, adoption and use of modern energy cooking services remains limited. Over 81% of households use charcoal as their primary source of cooking which poses both health and environmental risks to the users. This study presents findings from a household survey carried out in Kampala city to examine household cooking practices, energy consumption patterns and preferences. It further presents findings from a Kitchen laboratory Controlled Cooking Tests (CCT) which enabled computation of energy consumption and associated costs. The CCT involved preparation of local dishes identified as commonly eaten in Kampala from the surveys using the three commonly used cooking fuels that included; 1) Electricity, 2) LPG and 3) Charcoal. Fuel performance was tested on the amount of time taken to prepare a meal, energy consumption and fuel costs for meal preparation. The CCT focused on two categories of local dishes namely; staples (matooke and rice), stews (beans, beef, groundnut paste and chicken) and boiling water. Results showed that the charcoal, electricity and LPG energy consumption rates per unit cost were; 116.12 UGX/kWh, 735.89 UGX/kWh and 741.7 UGX/kWh respectively. The mean cooking times for charcoal, electricity and LPG were; 100 minutes, 83 minutes and 70 minutes respectively. This means that the high energy consumption rates per unit cost make LPG and electricity expensive to use as compared to charcoal despite the fact that they consume the least time. LPG was the costliest option across all the cooking devices used. For example, it was observed that steaming matooke using an LPG stove cost UGX 1,921which is three times more expensive to use than using a charcoal stove (UGX 645). It can be recommended from this study that energy-efficient and clean technologies as represented by electricity and LPG offer an opportunity for households to cook efficiently and at low cost if prices are further subsidized. However, it is important to address user perceptions as regards adoption of cleaner and modern fuels for cooking.