ISLAMABAD: The country’s energy conservation plan, launched by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in January, is seeing the successful implementation of various measures to promote the judicious use of national resources.
The plan focuses on steps such as austerity in the usage of electricity and fuel, and promoting alternative modes like solar technology and electric vehicles.
As part of the plan, the government is encouraging the public to amend its behaviour patterns and avoid wasting national resources. Departments of the federal government have started implementing an official notification to avoid unnecessary electricity usage, which is expected to result in a 30 percent reduction in energy usage.
To cut power consumption, the government has introduced a program to promote the use of energy-efficient fans, imposing additional duties on inefficient electric fans, and halting their production from July 1.
The use of energy-efficient fans will help save Rs15 billion annually, as they consume 40 to 60 watts of electricity compared to outdated technology that consumes 120 to 130 watts.
Similarly, the production of incandescent bulbs has also been stopped, and a duty has been imposed on them, resulting in an annual savings of Rs23 billion. The government has also introduced reforms in the by-laws of housing societies and building codes to ensure energy-efficient infrastructure.
Other measures include the mandatory installation of conical baffles in geysers within one year to trap heat using less energy, reducing street light illumination by 50 percent to save Rs4 billion per year, and shifting over 150,000 industrial and commercial consumers to an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system by June to control power pilferage.
The government is also promoting the use of solar energy through the Prime Minister’s 10,000 megawatts solar energy project, which aims to reduce the import bill of costly diesel and furnace oil.
The project involves supplying electricity to government buildings, tube wells operating on electricity and diesel, and domestic consumers with low consumption.
The solarisation of 671 buildings is already in progress, and another 600 buildings under the Education Ministry are in the process of solarisation.
Moreover, the government is also negotiating with motorcycle manufacturing companies for local production of e-bikes, while slowly phasing out motorcycles that run on petrol. This is expected to save Rs86 billion from the national exchequer.
To promote awareness about energy conservation, the government has launched the Planet Champs application, which aims to educate children on climate, water, and energy conservation, as well as proper waste disposal.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is also running a comprehensive campaign on electronic and print media, as well as social media, to create awareness among the public about the measures being taken under the austerity plan.