LAHORE - The Energy Department at Civil Secretariat has implemented an energy conservation plan, as a first step to switch over to solar energy. Under this Punjab government’s initiative, offices of chief secretary, commissioners and District Coordination Officers (DCOs) will use solar panels. This Rs47million programme will bring down the loadshedding in the government offices up to 30 per cent.

All the nine offices for the divisional commissioners and the 36 offices for the DCOs will be converted on the said facility in near future, said an official at Civil Secretariat.

Another source in the Energy Department said about 50 offices would be using solar energy during the current fiscal year. He said that after the completion of work on the said offices, the project would be extended to other offices in the public and private sectors.

“The plazas’ administrators would be asked to convert the complexes on the cheaper facility,” the officer held.

Many old projects like installation of 100 Solar Water Pumps in the Agriculture Sector costing Rs320m, construction of 2.3MW Solar Power Plant at Bahawalpur with cost of Rs460m and Rs100m for the installation of Solar Geysers at government institutions and to convert road signals on solar energy have also been under consideration since 2011.

The energy department had also selected 46 sites in the province where solar power projects were to be installed. Two days off a week for many public sector offices for the federal government employees like secretariat, other divisional offices, was also started as a measure to save energy.

An Energy department officer said that posting of a full time Additional Chief Secretary (Energy) would further accelerate the pace of work on such projects. He added that alternative energy means like coal, bio-fuel, biogas, wind and hydropower would be used to overcome the energy crisis in near future.