The government’s recent decision to bring back the “shutter down” policy looks to be a questionable approach when it comes to saving energy. While its effectiveness remains questionable in saving energy, its sporadic implementation renders it completely ineffective. Traders have shown their disapproval of this policy, which is likely to cause problems in implementation once more. although shops around the world tend to close between 5-8 pm.
Currently, the government’s approach to tackling the energy shortfall lacks clarity. It fails to outline a consistent and long-term strategy for addressing the gap effectively. While advocating for the closure of shops as a means of conserving power, it provides no concrete plans for accommodating the shortfall of 7,577 MW through improved energy production methods.
The potential savings (62 billion PKR), as estimated by the government, that can be achieved through the adoption of energy-efficient appliances are highlighted, but no path for achieving this shift is provided. Similarly, advocating for behavioural changes, such as utilizing daylight savings more effectively, lacks a clear mechanism for their implementation. Going for early closures of enterprises could still be a potential go-to for the government; however, it needs to be coupled with an effective long-term plan to account for the demand shortages.
On the other hand, traders oppose the closure of shops, arguing that their concerns as stakeholders are not duly recognised in the policies implemented. Traders need to understand that Pakistan faces a significant 7,577 MW gap in electricity demand and supply. A substantial responsibility for bridging this gap falls upon the retail and business industries. While traders should be among the primary stakeholders involved in policy discussions, it is still imperative to implement and explore policies that address the large shortfall through conservation in the business and retail industries.
The “shutter down” policy alone is clearly not a sustainable solution. We must strive for a comprehensive approach that provides actionable steps encompassing improved energy production methods, the adoption of energy-efficient appliances, and the engagement of all stakeholders in shaping effective and inclusive policies.