The National Assembly Standing Committee of Water and Power on Tuesday has finally passed the much discussed National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2015 after considering the proposed amendments. The use of efficient power devices is a central focus of the bill, which would empower the board to implement a fine up to Rs 500,000 for failure to upgrade devices to be power efficient.

A halfhearted effort was witnessed before in 2009, when an $85 million project of distribution of energy savers was approved and sadly a large number of energy savers are still lying with the distribution companies. Before the project could reach its completion, newer, more energy efficient technologies like LED lights enter the market. Where does this money go if the average Pakistani is still using incandescent bulbs? How are we going to address the problem of energy conservation without first raising awareness of this issue and presenting affordable solutions?

It was also pointed out that international companies in the country are selling obsolete technology instead of selling devices like air conditioners, meeting international standards of efficiency. The question arises; who is to be held accountable? If the government fails to implement laws that prohibit the discarded, inefficient products of the world to be sold here, how can we hold the expectation from the company itself to ‘do the right thing’ and provide Pakistanis with the latest technology?

Considering that the energy crisis has gone on long enough, an effort to upgrade energy systems to keep up with the situation should have been implemented a long time ago. Energy conservation should be on the government’s top priority, and maybe some progress can be made with this bill. Affordable solutions need to be created, like the use of renewable energy like solar power accessible. We may have the laws but implementation remains to be seen.