KARACHI - Project Espire has enabled industries to save 7pc of their energy costs with investments that paid back in less than 9 months. This is the average result achieved in 55 SMEs from textiles, auto-part and other sectors since 2011 through energy saving measures implemented under the project.This was stated by International Project Coordinator of Espire Martin Straehle after conducting a workshop on importance of energy efficiency for sustainable growth to a group of journalists. He said that energy conservation and efficiency is a crucial factor to overcome the energy crisis.He gave an example that a factory in Karachi nowadays has to pay Rs 12 to 18 per kWh, and the implementation of Espire’s energy efficiency projects in the industry show that companies can save 1 kWh with an average investment of only 2 Rupees which is 6 to 9 times less than the purchase of the same amount of energy. The participating factories from Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot together realised energy savings of 28,000,000 kWh per annum which corresponds to a total of Rs 92 million, said Martin, adding that Project Espire was started by the Vocational Training & Development Centers of the Bavarian Employers’ Association (bfz) gGmbH – one of the largest private providers of vocational training in Germany. The International Division of bfz conducts development cooperation projects on behalf of World Bank, European Union, and the German government in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In Pakistan bfz gGmbH is collaborating with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) which is a strategic partner in Espire project providing matchmaking & technical services to the industry.The Project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via Sequa gGmbH. Shutting-down lights when leaving the room, increasing temperature of Air Conditioners to 25 and considering energy efficiency when purchasing new electric equipment are only few examples in this regard,’ he added. He further added that this change of behaviour requires knowledge of the public that can only be achieved through regular information on the subject in newspapers, internet and television. Martin informed the participants that plans to overcome the energy crisis concentrate on costly long-term power plant projects to increase the energy supply, while a more efficient use of energy can be a short-term economic solution.