Pakistan’s energy sector has long faced challenges due to limited access to foreign currency and the unsustainable burden of its gasoline import bill. In an effort to address these issues and promote energy conservation, the federal government has introduced a comprehensive National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (NEECA) EE&C Policy 2023. With the goal of saving 9 million tonnes of oil equivalent in energy by 2030, this policy aims to generate substantial savings while ensuring the country’s sustainable development.
Pakistan’s gasoline import bill in the previous fiscal year reached a staggering $27 billion, highlighting the urgency for sustainable energy practices. Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency and conservation, the federal government has emphasized the need for a concerted national effort to reduce energy consumption throughout the entire energy value chain.
The Planning Commission estimates that implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures could result in potential savings of up to 10-15 percent of the country’s primary energy supply. This equates to approximately $1 billion in savings. These figures demonstrate the immense value that energy conservation initiatives can bring to Pakistan’s economy.
On May 10, 2023, the Cabinet approved the NEECA’s EE&C Policy 2023, marking a significant milestone in Pakistan’s energy conservation journey. The policy outlines various measures to be implemented, with the overarching aim of achieving the designated energy savings target by 2030.
To expedite the conservation efforts, the policy proposes several quick-to-implement administrative initiatives. These initiatives include the 8 p.m. closing of all commercial markets, the phasing out of incandescent bulbs, and mandatory installation of conical baffles in water geysers. Additionally, demand-side load control programs will be launched for large consumers in collaboration with Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and gas providers.
Despite the approval of the administrative energy conservation measures, their implementation has encountered difficulties. However, the National Energy Conservation (NEC) authority has given the go-ahead for implementing the measures from July 1st, 2023. The NEC also emphasizes the role of federal and provincial ministries and departments in enforcing and supervising the conservation measures.
Conclusion: Pakistan’s focus on energy efficiency and conservation is a crucial step toward sustainable development and economic stability. The implementation of the NEECA’s EE&C Policy 2023 is expected to result in substantial savings and a reduced reliance on costly energy imports. By embracing energy conservation measures, Pakistan can unlock its potential for economic growth while safeguarding the environment and ensuring a brighter and more sustainable future for its citizens.