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Energy conservation drive launched

Amidst Pakistan`s energy crisis, US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched an innovative approach to create awareness about energy efficiency and conservation through a week-long media campaign, `Bijli, Pani Week.

The campaign includes testimonials of actual beneficiaries of USAID `Tube Well Efficiency Improvement Programme, TV commercials advertising the 50 per cent subsidy available on energy efficient pumps and for the first time in Pakistan, a docu-drama to educate the viewers about the bene-fit of adopting energy-efficient practices.

USAID through its Tube Well Efficiency Improvement Programme is not only encouraging people to save electricity but also showing them how they can actually do it. USAID wants to make `Bilji, Pani Week` a quarterly activity to advocate the adoption of energy-efficient practices.

By replacing their old, energy-inefficient pumps with new, energy-efficient ones, farmers can have substantial savings on their electricity bills while easing the load on Pakistan`s already over-stretched grid. For the first time in Pakistan, through pro-gramme, eight Pakistani pump suppliers have been tested and certified by USAID.

Pakistan`s agricultural sector is the third largest consumer of electricity. It is also home to the vast majority of the labour force. USAID spotted an opportunity to conserve electricity by targeting this sector. Inefficient tube well pumps are responsible for the largest share of electricity consumption. If all such pumps are replaced, the country can significantly cut down on its energy shortage, USAID believes.

The introduction of energy-efficient pumps isone of the several US initiatives announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in support of Pakistan`s efforts to curtail its energy crisis.

By providing 50 per cent subsidy on the new pumps and, through agreements with various banks, flexible financing options to meet the remaining 50 per cent of the cost, USAID is ensuring that the initial investment should be easier for the farmers.

The savings of at least 20 per cent on each month`s electricity bill makes for an attractive return on investment.

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