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ADB calls for large-scale use of energy savers

October 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: The Asian Development Bank has suggested to the government to educate households to switch to energy savers from incandescent bulbs (IBs).

The high cost of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), known as energy savers, and lack of awareness or misperceptions about the lifespan of CFLs versus IBs are major factors preventing greater adoption and ownership of CFLs, according to an ADB report titled ‘Adoption of CFLs and electric lightning use in Pakistan’.

The report is based on a survey carried out in Pakistan where almost 77 per cent of households still use incandescent bulbs. It suggests that households may be uninformed about the true savings that can arise from switching to CFLs from IBs.

Ensuring maximum quality standards and carrying out informative campaigns on the lifespan of CFLs relative to IBs can have significant effects in influencing a much greater number of households in Pakistan to adopt and own more CFLs, the report says.

Households in the country may not only be constrained by the price of electricity, but also by the supply of electricity.

“Successfully reducing energy demand requires understanding factors that lead to higher adoption and ownership of CFLs. This will enable the creation of policies that can encourage CFL adoption as a utility-maximising choice. Moreover, it requires understanding the behavioural response of households to the lower unit cost of obtaining electricity services from increased lighting efficiency.”

Pakistan has extremely low levels of energy consumption per capita at 436kwh in contrast to the United States which consumes 13,647kwh per capita.

While the lighting estimated to account for 35 per cent of total domestic electricity consumption, approximately 40 per cent of households in Pakistan are not connected to the electrical grid and the imbalance between supply and demand has led to frequent and unpredictable power cuts.

This has led to concerns that sufficient electricity generation may be one of the major hold-ups to social stability and economic growth within the country, the report says.

CFLs are an existing technological innovation that provides energy savings of 4 to 5 times that of an IB for the equivalent lumen output. The lifespan of CFLs lasts anywhere from 8 to 13 times that of an IB

“Increasing adoption and proliferation of CFLs in households in Pakistan may have potential for partially resolving the issue of insufficient electricity generation,” says the report.