Saturday, January 3, 2009

Load-Shedding: Shed It

Pakistan is in the dark. Literally. The load-shedding bug is still a far cry from being treated. After all, shortage created over a long period of time doesn't just wither away in the blink of an eye, especially when infrastructure - dams and other power projects - is either lacking or left idle. Of course, it becomes very easy to blame the government. And of course, bad-mouthing employees of local grid-stations has also become a favourite past-time of yours truly. Bad, very bad. I can blame them for not being organized in defining cut-off hours (you never know when they'll snatch away the power supply, so it becomes hard to plan chores and activities), but I can't blame them for being the vampires, having to suck our cities out of light.

We should stop wasting our time, blaming the government. They know the problem is there. Drawing-room talks and demonstrations will not achieve what needs to be achieved. They only waste the precious time of hundreds. If the will and grit is there, the men and women on top will help the country out of these troubles. Let us, for a change, focus on our ownselves, and how we can play a role - and a massive one at that. Two key words: Conserve and Energy. A combination of the two does not herald one benefit alone. Those are two-fold too. It also helps save the environment. Every switch pressed on, every appliance plugged, burns coals and stimulates nuclear power plants.

Consider this a public service message, if you may. But each one of us is capable of not just reducing our reactions to words in this matter; we can actually do something. More than our domestic routines, industry is suffering. A CEO of a well-established textile factory recently came on TV and threatened to commit suicide. The levels of worries and depression are on the rise. Machinery is lying idle, and it has become impossible to meet both local and international demand. Orders are not being delivered. This not only hurts the present, but the future of the country too.
  • Always switch off lights, fans and air-conditioners when you're leaving a room;
  • Replace bulbs with energy-savers wherever possible;
  • Do not put appliances on stand-by (televisions, dvd players, laptops, desktops etc.) at least, over the night. They use about 10 per cent of electricity in that mode; so imagine how much can be saved when trillions of these are collectively switched off everyday. Frantic computer users can put their machines on sleep mode, if shutting down is too cumbersome;
  • Switch off plugs once your mobile phones and other such appliances are charged. One does have the tendency of leaving the switch on indefinitely;
  • Experts say that washing machines use the most energy. So wait till you have a full load ready to run, and use cold or warm wash, instead of hot wash because the heating process consumes a lot.
  • And try to sleep early! (I missed this one tonight.) The earlier you sleep, the earlier you switch off lights, television sets and computers. Who knows, you might even strike the jackpot, you healthy-wealthy-wise citizen-o-da-world!

Please feel free to leave your own suggestions by commenting on the post. 

Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik

21 comments:

Razz said...

There's a BIG problem with our people. They don't listen at all! No matter how many public service messages you put out, they just never listen and carry on going about their lives the same way. Common courtesy, tolerance and respect for the law are something our society is totally and completely devoid of.

Anonymous said...

u must really be an idiot and your blog shows that you dunt live in pakistan.energy can only be conservedd if there is any energy being supplied .How can you exoect anybody to say any energy when they are living in a virtual black out of 18 hrs a day and no gas supply.a friend of mine nearly missed his job interview because he was unable to check his email dur to frequent blackouts.dunt tell us what to do coz u apparently are not living in this nightmare we are.

Saadia said...

You are an example of the kind of people Razz is talking about, above. I am very much living here, and facing the consequences. Please learn to (i) behave yourself and (ii) have the courage to post with your own identity.

Kadri said...

I'm trying to picture how people would react if we had no power where I live. Here we whine if we have no power for less than an hour every other year or so.

Most washing machines should have a "rinse" setting. I'm not sure what it's called in English. Sometimes the clothes don't need to be washed, just freshened up, and the rinse setting use less water as well as less electricity. I didn't think it would work when I first started using it but now I can't do without.

Saadia said...

Imagine being without electricity for a good 12 to 18 hours. Imagine its impact on both domestic life and industry. The latter, especially, devastates, Kadri.

Abdul Sami said...

in england... somtimes... power does go out... but its the panic it causes... its funny

everythin here runs from your main plug... even telephones, alarm clocks!

but since i hav spent most of my time in pak... i kno wat u mean.... unfortunately the solutions to our problems r so easy we do not believe in implementing them... if you get wat i mean !!!

Daanish said...

I think you have nice suggestions.But who is going to implement.Positive results only come up when there is a ray of hope.The uncertainty and lawlessness in our country kills even those masses who really want to change and do their share in conservation of gas and/or electricity.

Onkar said...

I immensely enjoyed reading this piece. As enlightened citizens, we should scrutinise the performance of the Government, but should not ignore what we ourselves can do. Your last piece of advice is worth following the most.

Saadia said...

Abdul Sami, I think I get what you mean! ;-) On another note, try and sell dark-outs in the exotic East to the English. We need tourism, while our factories are static.

Daanish, you and I are going to implement it. I admit that we are all very fond of complaining, but as Onkar has reinforced, we should not ignore what we ourselves can do. Start by contributing yourself.

zeeshan rahat kureshi said...

These were some nice suggestions and i think everyone should try to conserve energy.

By the way, I heard Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (i think he is the minister of power) saying the other day that load shedding will be stopped by next year. I clearly remember the same words being echoed out during a previous PPP government. Its hard to trust these people any more.

Id it is said...

Conserving energy is something that the entire world needs to pay heed to.

jingoist said...

I totally agree with you Author..
btw... its not just about the electricity ..
its about everything that includes every other action of ours that may have affect our daily lives.

Keep up the spirits... cuz altogether we can make the difference =)

UIFPW08 said...

Hi Saadia how are you? Thanks for your visit. I read in your blog that you have serious problems to light and I am very sorry. Your recommendations are good but as you will hear in pakistan .. You have all my understanding
an embrace Morris.

Sujoy Bhattacharjee said...

Energy conservation is the need of the hour not only in Pakistan but all over the world. What you are facing today, the rest of the world may face tomorrow.
BTW, I think the problem gets accentuated during the winter months.
Anyways it is nice to see someone offering solutions rather than just ranting about the problems.

Tazeen said...

Lets start from oneself. I am a conservationist by nature. I drive a CNG car even when i have an unlimited supply of fuel free from my office. I dont have an air conditioner in my room and I switch off geezer during the day because natural gas is an exhaustible energy source. What do i get from people around me. Tazeen, you are such a cheapskate, itnee kanjoosi mat karo, kya qabar main le kay jao gee. Does it stop me, no it does not. I am the way I am and I have been doing it since i was old enough to understand that we owe something back to the planet.

Saadia said...

Sujoy, in winter months, there is reduced supply; and in summers, extreme usage - insofar as electricity is concerned.

Tazeen, what you do is commendable. I'm overjoyed on encountering people like you.

Id, jingoist, Sujoy, thank you for carrying on the spirit.

UIFPW08, the concern is appreciated. Your work is very nice.

human being said...

a resposible citizen of the world...
love this approach and regretfully it's absent much in my country... when i tell people we should care for our own life, future and planet and should not wait for the government to do something, they give me such nasty looks and say i'm an idealist dreamer...

like Tazeen i won't give up... it's not a matter of personal need... it's saving the world...
each small step counts...

exquisite said...

I agree absolutely in all the suggestions you have stated...
indeed, our production capacity has come down to a very abrupt halt...
even the regular citizens are suffering the consequences
of course, blame game is easy... but in our case, it's genuine and real...
when all the city is left in dark, all the gov officials have their places running in extravagant energy juices 24/7 ....

so if we're a 'democratic state' might as well cycle this loadshedding indiscriminately across every single house, not just the regular, hard-working, tax-paying citizens...

Energy savers should be the choice of bulbs lighting every house... i believe traditional filament bulbs should be banned for good ...

MAK said...

I agree with almost everything u said....y almost?? i don't agree with ur statement that on a standby mode an appliance use 85% of its working power. it could had been other way.....Still u have a valid point and these are really good suggestions especially those regarding the chargers.

Saadia said...

You're right, MAK. Thanks for the correction. I've changed my text.

Sikander Hayat said...

To read more about developments in Pakistan and areas around it, please go to
http://real-politique.blogspot.com