Outflow of $1.15b can be saved through energy efficiency: PIAF

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DNA

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front has stressed the need for up-gradation of energy efficiency and conservation standards, as the outflow of around $ 1.150 billion could be potentially saved annually through implementation of efficiency and conservation measures.

PIAF Chairman Faheem ur Rehman Saigol said that the government is not ready yet to undertake structural reforms related to circular debt and management of state owned enterprises. Moreover, reliance on indirect taxes for meeting revenue goals is also a major issue meaning thereby that government should improve its taxation system if it wants to create a business friendly environment. 

Referring to the data of Power Division, he maintained that electricity worth Rs380 billion is stolen every year in the country despite anti-theft measures taken by the power companies. 

He said that the impact of Rs520 billion in stolen electricity is estimated to be passed on to the consumers in bills from the next fiscal year. 

Besides strict enforcement, the replacement of inefficient appliances and consumer awareness for responsible use of energy are the key areas which should be identified for action as a national priority. 

He said that enforcement of administrative measures like hybrid work model and alternate switching of streetlights are must as this will result in saving to the tune of 568 million dollars annually through fuel and electricity savings. In the same way switching to LED lights from traditional incandescent bulbs will enable annual savings of $ 103 million, as approximately 2.65 million fans out of total annual production of 7 million, are inefficient and cause a loss of around 0.68 billion units annually. He said that ban on production of inefficient fans shall enable savings of around $ 69 million annually while existing installed water geysers consume around 105 million MMBTUS of gas annually which can be reduced by 25 percent through installation of conical baffles. Accordingly, installation of conical baffles in the existing water geysers should be progressively ensured to enable annual saving of around $ 419 million through gas conservation annually.

Pointing out electricity connections of over 300,000 primary and secondary schools, he suggested that school solarization could result in substantial savings. He pointed out that in Sindh, the line losses ran as high as 9 percent over and above the percentage allowed by Nepra. He informed that theft and line losses should be addressed through advanced metering and cabling. 

Pakistan’s economy has been under adverse external conditions, due to spillovers from the war in Ukraine, and domestic challenges, including from accommodative policies that resulted in uneven and unbalanced growth. Steadfast implementation of corrective policies and reforms remain essential to regain macroeconomic stability, address imbalances and lay the foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth.

Efforts to strengthen the viability of the energy sector and reduce unsustainable losses are also essential. Further efforts to reduce poverty and protect the most vulnerable by enhancing targeted transfers are important, especially in the current high inflation environment. 

He pointed out that the power sector has been suffering from miss-governance, lack of DISCOs’ competence and missing coordination between the generation and distribution systems.

The sector alone can drag the economy down to an abyss unless it is resolved. And for that to happen, nothing short of deregulation and privatization will work, as successive governments have used the energy sector for their political gains by taking decisions that have resulted in unabated rise of circular debt.