In an effort to mitigate Egypt’s energy shortage issue, the Egyptian Initiative for Energy Conservation (EIEC) announced in a Monday press conference that it plans to launch a campaign to encourage citizens to reduce their daily electricity consumption.
Titled “Belma32ol”, which means moderate consumption in Arabic, the campaign aims to decrease electricity consumption in households and commercial and industrial sectors by 20% over the coming summer.
The awareness campaign encompasses the launching of print, outdoor, online and TV ads informing citizens with regards to Egypt’s energy shortage, identifying efficient energy consumption behaviours and suggesting methods of lowering daily consumption.
The conference was attended by Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail and Minister of Electricity Mohamed Hamed Shaker.
During his speech, Shaker stated that the campaign encourages consumers to decrease their dependence on air conditioners as an energy saving method; he added that those who choose to use air conditioners “should not set them below 25C”.
In an effort to meet the increasing electricity needs this summer, Shaker said that a total capacity of 2,400 MW will be added to the national grid.
“Egypt should also depend more on new and renewable energy,” Shaker said, noting that the government has already taken steps in that regard through requesting that ministries intall solar panels on the roofs of their buildings.
Former minister of electricity Ahmed Emam said in February that Egypt is aiming to produce 20% of its energy using new and renewable sources by 2020.
In a similar move, Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Investment Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour issued a decision in late April obliging ministries and governmental authorities and institutions to reduce their electricity consumption by 20%.
Shaker added that an initiative will be launched calling on consumers to build small renewable energy plants on the roofs of their buildings.
In the same regard, the electricity minister announced in early May that his ministry is considering the use of solar energy to generate electricity in outdoor advertising banners in order to rationalise consumption.
Electricity consumption in households amounts to 42% of Egypt’s total electricity consumption, according to EIEC, which noted that around 57% of locally-produced gas is used for electricity generation.
To address the energy issue, the government said it plans to import additional quantities of natural gas, improve the efficiency of transferring fuel and diesel to stations and add more stations to the national grid.
During the conference, Ismail noted that if the campaign succeeds, and 20% of electricity consumption is saved, a similar percentage will be saved in the energy subsidies bill, which is currently valued at EGP 128bn.
In cooperation with the ministries of Electricity and Petroleum, a number of international oil companies operating in Egypt launched EIEC to promote energy conservation.
The international oil companies participating in the campaign are Shell, British Gas Egypt, Apache Egypt, Dana Gas, GDF Suez and IPR Group of Companies, with BP Egypt, ENI and Taqa Arabia offering technical support.