LAHORE - The massive usage of air conditioners (ACs) at work places and homes is making it an uphill task for Pepco to overcome the ongoing electricity crisis as the mad race for ACs-style living is frustrating all government efforts to keep a balance in power generation and consumption. At the moment the air conditioners alone are consuming 5000MW electricity out of the total electricity generation of about 13050MW and it is feared that use of ACs and Microwave Ovens may multiply in the next few years, Pepco officials said referring to Pepco study on surge in ACs usage in the last 12 years. The officials said it is result of policies of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz which made consumerism in the country which forced middle class people to buy electric appliances by taking even loans from banks. The Pepco officials said according to a data compiled by Bureau of Statistics Government of Pakistan and domestic Appliances Manufacturers over half a million (500,000) ACs-mainly split version ACs- was sold and added to the power system during FY2005-06. Referring to the study the officials said that in 2007-08 about 750,000 ACs and other electric appliances including Microwave Ovens were added to the electricity system while no steps were taken for boosting power generation by the Musharraf regime. Being encouraged by the trend of consumerism set by Shaukat Aziz importers and manufacturers of air conditioners at that time sold millions of more ACs in 2007-08 which has now created power crisis in the country putting extra load on the system. The present 2,500MW in shortfall in the power system is gift of the rising load of ACs and other electric appliances in the country, officials said. According to report, now Pakistan became good market for sale of even second hand ACs and Microwave Ovens which are giving tough time to Pepco and the government as well which is bearing the brunt of Shaukat Aziz policies that benefited cause of global capitalist markets in the country. The ACs and UPS purchase mania has added to the worries of the common man and the trend is on the rise in the wake of consumer society mindset took roots in our society braving inflations and price-hike. The sale figures for three years 2005-08 show a phenomenal 2 million new ACs came into usage which later put additional 4,000MW load on power system and as continuity of the social trend number of ACs is increasing on daily basis in offices and homes across Pakistan. The 2000-08 nine years are said to be consumer finance availability years and from 2000-08 at least 4 million ACs alone both window size and split version ACs were added into the system. In addition, surge in the trend of centrally air-conditioned buildings has added load of additional 1,600MW on the system in last 10 years. The ACs have been used by the well of people specially after1080s but it got a boost in 2000-08 in Musharaf regime while its negative results in terms of power crisis are being seen now. The situation is taking alarming turn as ACs are becoming biggest challenge for Pepcos power capability and as the power generation will increase the ACs and other appliances will also add up which means Pepco will produce power only to feed ACs and still remain under blame. Currently, about 70 percent electricity is being used in homes and offices while 20 per cent in industrial sector and 7 percent for agriculture like tube-well, which will hamper economy growth in future. Talking about ACs corollary Pepco spokesman told The Nation the ACs load on the system is taking horrible turn and it seems that legislation will be needed in near future to control unnecessary installation of ACs at home and offices to end power crisis. He said Pepco may make it mandatory for its customers to seek prior permission to add more than one AC in one home or at work place.