Although some rural schools in East Africa have virtually zero energy needs, this is changing, with an increasing requirement for wireless routers, smart phones and computers. While electric lighting can be avoided during the day with strategic natural daylighting design, all schools require energy for cooking and water heating.
Connecting to the national grid is a costly option for urban locations, with standby generators often being implemented during power cuts. For rural schools with limited budgets and increasing energy requirements, it is recommended to utilise smart energy saving principles and tried and tested appropriate technology applications.
Solar energy can provide low cost hot water using anything from a black plastic pipe to glazed solar collectors.