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Cheaper Alternatives to Cooking Gas in Nigeria

Introduction

As the cost of living continues to rise in Nigeria, finding cheaper alternatives to cooking gas for everyday necessities has become a priority for many households. One area where Nigerians are looking for cost-effective options is cooking gas. The high cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has made it difficult for some families to afford it, leading them to explore other options. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the alternative cooking fuels that can be used as a cheaper substitute for LPG in Nigeria.

What to Note:

LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is a source of energy used for cooking, lighting, and heating. It is a colorless and odorless gas.

BioLPG has been identified to be an LPG Renewable Alternative since it has a low-carbon energy source with a footprint of about 80% lower than that of the conventional LPG. Its flexibility makes it easy for LPG users to switch to.

Categories for Cooking fuel as cheaper alternatives to cooking gas

  1. Liquid fuel which includes methanol, kerosene, plant oil, ethanol, etc
  2. Renewable gaseous fuels which are biogas and wood gas
  3. Fossil gaseous fuels include LPG and natural gas

The average cost of cooking gas today in Nigeria is about N1,000 for a kilogram and 12kg reportedly selling for about N 12,000 and this is a result of the depreciating value of the Nigerian Naira which has ultimately caused a sharp rise in inflation.

Owing to this fact, the average Nigerian has now decided to explore other alternatives to cooking gas to keep paste with the situation of the economy hence the listed alternatives.

Firewood – Cheaper alternatives to cooking gas

Firewood is one of the traditional cooking fuels that is still widely used in many parts of Nigeria. It is readily available in rural areas and can be obtained at little to no cost. While cooking with firewood may require more effort compared to LPG, it can be a cost-effective alternative for those on a tight budget. Though this practice has been phased out, the recent economic challenge has driven people back to it as a way of substituting the cost implication for cooking gas.

However, it is important to consider the environmental impact of using firewood, as deforestation can have long-term consequences on the ecosystem as well as possible effects on health from the inhaling of smoke. Firewood remains a major use for cooking during ceremonies and festivals where many dishes that take longer time to cook are involved.

Charcoal – Cheaper alternatives to cooking gas

Charcoal has long been used as a cooking fuel in Nigeria, and it continues to be a popular choice due to its affordability and accessibility. Charcoal stoves are widely available and can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of LPG cylinders. Additionally, charcoal is a renewable resource, making it a more sustainable option compared to fossil fuels like LPG. However, it is important to note that cooking with charcoal can produce smoke, so adequate ventilation is necessary to prevent indoor air pollution. There are however modern charcoal stoves that are now efficient, which use less fuel and emit less smoke thus having less effect on how black the back of the cooking pot can become.

Kerosene – Cheaper alternatives to cooking gas

Kerosene is a widely available and less expensive fuel compared to cooking gas that can be used for cooking purposes. It is commonly used in kerosene stoves, which are affordable and easy to use. While kerosene may not be as clean-burning as LPG, it can still be a viable option for those looking to save money on their cooking fuel expenses. However, it is important to note that kerosene can produce harmful fumes if not used in a well-ventilated area, so proper precautions should be taken.

Biomass Briquettes

Biomass briquettes are a relatively new alternative to traditional cooking fuels in Nigeria. These briquettes are made from organic waste materials such as agricultural residues, sawdust, and charcoal dust. They are compressed into small blocks that can be used as cooking fuel. Biomass briquettes offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for cooking, as they utilize waste materials that would otherwise be discarded. They also produce less smoke compared to traditional firewood, making them a cleaner option for indoor cooking.

Biogas 

Biogas is generated through the processing of various organic wastes, such as food and animal residues, utilizing micro-organisms in an oxygen-deprived environment. The resultant fuel is known for its eco-friendly attributes. Affordability is a key advantage, given the ready availability and lower cost of the raw materials. Despite these benefits, biogas remains underutilized in the country, with only a limited number of people adopting this sustainable energy source.

Biogas cookers, available in different brands and configurations, exhibit price variations based on factors like brand and the number of burners (ranging from one to two). The widespread use of biogas cookers could be instrumental in enhancing its overall adoption.

For comprehensive biogas integration, digester systems are commonly installed in households, hotels, schools, and other institutions. The installation cost varies according to the system’s size, influencing the monthly gas production volume. This adaptability caters to diverse energy needs, making biogas an attractive option for a range of users.

Promoting awareness about the environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness, and versatility of biogas is crucial to encouraging its broader acceptance. By maximizing the potential of biogas, communities can contribute to sustainable waste management practices while reaping the economic and environmental advantages of this innovative energy source.

Bioethanol fuel 

Bioethanol fuel is derived through the fermentation of sugars found in various plant sources, including rice straws, corn, sugarcane, wheat, and other agricultural feedstocks. The ethanol produced from the sugars extracted from these crops serves as a renewable and environmentally friendly fuel alternative. This sustainable approach to fuel production underscores the potential of harnessing the energy content within agricultural resources for powering various applications.

Other alternative means of cooking apart from cooking gas include

  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Slow cooker
  • Countertop oven
  • Air fryer

Steps to reducing the cost of cooking gas

  1. Plan your cooking format to avoid gas wastage
  2. Reduce the flame of the gas when cooking
  3. Use burners that burn less
  4. Ensure to cover your pot properly when cooking
  5. Try using utensils with lightweight
  6. Get a pressure pot if possible
  7. Cut food into small Portions so they can cook faster
  8. Allow frozen food to thaw before cooking to reduce cooking time and gas consumption.
  9. Cook in Batches to save cooking gas from frequent use
  10. Use the microwave for reheating food to avoid gas wastage
  11. Use other alternative cooking systems like a toaster oven, slow cookers, and electric griddles for some dishes.

Safety should always be a priority. If you’re making significant changes to your cooking habits in other to save the cost of cooking gas, ensure they align with proper usage and safety guidelines.

Ways in which the Government can solve this challenging gas problem and find cheaper alternatives to cooking gas

  1. Reversing VAT on imported gas
  2. Stabilizing the Naira to reduce inflation
  3. Reducing multiple taxation on gas products
  4. Rehabilitation of infrastructural deficit among others

Conclusion

While LPG has been the go-to cooking fuel for many households in Nigeria, the high cost has made it inaccessible for some. Fortunately, there are several cheaper alternatives available that can help alleviate the financial burden of cooking gas. Kerosene, charcoal, firewood, and biomass briquettes among others all offer viable options for those looking to save money on their cooking fuel expenses. However, it is important to consider the environmental impact and safety precautions associated with each alternative. By exploring these alternatives, Nigerians can find a cooking fuel that suits their budget and needs without compromising on quality.

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