LAHORE: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has devised an action plan to instal conical baffles in all locally manufactured conventional geysers after the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) declared them mandatory following the prime minister’s energy conservation plan.

Under the plan, the company would initially instal conical baffles at 200,000 geysers in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while a door-to-door survey is set to be launched within the next few days to know the exact number of such geysers, Dawn has learnt.

“Under the energy conservation plan devised on the orders of the prime minister, the SNGPL decided to file a petition to Ogra in a bid to empower it to inspect the premises of consumers and ensure installation of conical baffles at all conventional geysers. The petition was accepted by Ogra that also organised a public hearing in Islamabad on Jan 9 in this regard. Eventually, the authority gave the SNGPL a go-ahead,” a senior official of the SNGPL told Dawn on Thursday.

According to the agreement between the consumer and the company, the latter was not authorised to force the consumers to get such devices installed at their geysers. Due to this, the company couldn’t make such campaigns successful as it faced non-cooperation from the consumers. In the ongoing year, despite awareness drives, only 250 consumers got conical baffles installed while a majority of consumers were still using geysers without them, wasting the gas up to 25pc.

All consumers liable to instal conical baffles; company authorised to inspect premises

After permission accorded by Ogra, all consumers would be liable to get conical baffles installed at all of their existing and newly installed geysers. Under the new clauses added to the consumer-company contract, the company now has the right to inspect premises of the consumers to ensure that all installed geysers are duly fitted with conical baffles. In case, the geysers are found without such devices, the company can install the baffles and charge the amount (Rs2,600 per device) in 12 monthly installments–Rs200 per month.

The company claims that the installation of conical baffles will result in 20 to 25pc saving in the gas bills. It will also help in mitigating the ongoing natural gas crisis in the country.

The SNGPL teams, according to the company, will shortly be initiating a door-to-door survey of the premises of gas consumers to ensure that conical baffles are installed on the geysers. The company has also requested the consumers to extend maximum cooperation for early installation of conical baffles.

“We have devised a plan under which we will complete the door-to-door survey by April 30. Side by side, we will also complete the tendering process to procure 200,000 conical baffles and get them installed on the geysers. By Sept 30, we will ensure installation of baffles on all geysers,” the official said, adding that using geysers without such devices wouldn’t be possible in the near future.

It merits mention that due to depleting indigenous gas reserves, the share of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) consumption has reached to 55pc of the total gas supplies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Since the dependence on RLNG continues increasing after depletion in the local gas reserves, the SNGPL had, in October last year, launched a drive to switch commercial consumers to the RLNG in a bid to ensure indigenous gas supplies to the domestic consumers.

The company had also advised its 23,000 commercial consumers using indigenous gas to sign the contracts and switch to the RLNG by Oct 31. By the end of October, around 3,000 of the 23,000 consumers signed the contracts and switched to the RLNG. Later, 3,000 more consumers signed the contracts. Till date, the switching of commercial consumers to the RLNG is underway.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2023

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