Prof. Izael Da Silva receives Legend in Energy Award
Strathmore Universitys Deputy Vice Chancellor was recently honoured with the Legend in Energy Award by the AEE – Association of Energy Engineers; an American association based in Atlanta. The association which comprises of more than 100,000 members with 75 chapters in the world, trained Prof Da Silva in 2006 as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). After passing the exam offered at the end of the training, Prof Da Silva started working on a project from the World Bank called Energy for Rural Transformation. It entailed conducting energy audits in industries in Uganda with the objective of saving energy and hence reducing production costs.
In 2010, Prof Da Silva moved to Strathmore in Kenya and upon realizing that there were very few CEM energy auditors, he with the help of other engineers started the long process of establishing a local chapter of AEE as the only chapter on the continent outside of South Africa. This was achieved in October 2014 as the Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa became the chartered chapter to fully represent AEE in the five countries of East Africa including Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The Energy Bill 2015, which is currently before Parliament for approval, states that any outfit that uses more than 15,000 units of electricity per month has to carry out an energy audit every three years. More than 4,000 consumers qualify for this audits and thus there is a need to have at least 500 energy auditors to handle this captive market. In order to build capacity of Kenyans engineers, the Association organized a Train of Trainers (TOT) and trained a number of them. Today we have already seven fully qualified trainers which has improved the situation of not having to bring in trainers from South Africa, hence reducing the costs of carrying out the audits.
From 2016 onwards, CEM training will be carried out by Kenyans, hopefully making the cost of this training more affordable. The CEM training is a pre-requisite for anyone applying to ERC Energy Regulatory Agency for a license as an energy auditor. All this effort was brought to the attention of AEE by some colleagues of Prof. Da Silva who nominated him to receive the Legend in Energy Award. He travelled to Orlando Florida during the World Energy Engineering Congress where he presented a research paper as well.
DVC Izael is optimistic that in time, some Strathmore students will be trained as Certified Energy Managers so that even if they are not engineers by profession, they can consider doing business in this important area in Kenya.
Congratulations are in order for Prof Da Silva for this worthwhile recognition.