Summer time draws nigh so do our apprehensions associated with the weather.

We have faced the power crisis since almost a decade. And it is not going to subside. Every year our government makes drunken promises about resolving this crisis but to no avail.

60% of Pakistan is brooding in the dark with no electricity. The remaining 40% is subjected to load shedding which is a great inconvenience.

With consumerism on the rise the industrial sector has expanded which has led to an increased consumption of power. In addition, our population is growing exponentially, creating a great chasm between the demand and supply of electricity.

Living under such circumstances becomes unbearable especially when you have to pay the electricity bill that is incongruous with your consumption.

One feels helpless in such circumstances not only due to the infernal heat but the regular life routine that gets disrupted due to the power cut.

We take great measures to protect ourselves from the heat and to keep general life in order by installing generators and UPS. We try to do whatever is in our control to maintain the daily routine.

But more is to be done.

Although we might not able to build dams or construct windmills but a little effort on individual level can propel us in the right direction.

We need to understand that it is not only about maintaining life without power but it is about conserving power!

Being a third-world country, we try to implement the practices of the first-world country blindly. In some cases it is good. But in others it is not.

For instance it is quite trendy to paint the walls with different psychedelic colors. People adopt such fashion which does not even suit our climate. They do not realize that loud and dark colors emit copious amounts of heat. Such rooms are hotter than those which are painted with light colors. These rooms require more cooling which in turn consumes more power.

Same goes for rexine furniture. Although it looks quite contemporary, however such material is not breathable and causes more sweat, making it unsuitable for our climate.

Furthermore, most houses have glass panels fitted in them. Either they are glass walls adorned with stain glass artwork or huge windows. These glass panels are for mere ostentation purpose and create a greenhouse effect inside the house, trapping in heat. With 8 months of summer, it takes double electricity to keep such houses cool no matter how many layers of insulation one adds.

Other than that urban dwellers use extensive lights. Most households use unnecessary garish looking lights while other parts of the country sulk in the dark and are unable to light a single bulb. Commercial users on the other hand have rows of fat bulbs to attract customers. The lights not only feed on energy but also add to the heat of such outlets, which in turn is reduced with the excessive use of AC that again devours the power base.

What we can do is to try and use AC and other heavy appliances to a minimum. The windows of the air conditioned room should be properly sealed or covered to keep the temperature cool even without the AC.

Timings to use the AC should be set. Two to three hours in the afternoon would suffice during the day. And from midnight till day break to have a good night’s sleep.

People are in a habit of using the AC in moderate weather and catch a cold. For instance in the months of March, April, May and even June the room coolers work effectively because the weather is not humid. Room coolers are a cheap substitute for AC. But some regard it as a bourgeois appliance and do not use it.

Also, we should paint our houses and offices with softer colors. Painting the roof can also be beneficial since it reflects sunlight.

Buildings should be constructed with insulation and built with a lot windows and even skylights for cross ventilation, which is quite effective.

Everything is inter-related which we fail to see. It is only a matter of understanding the bigger picture.

If each individual puts in effort then the cumulative effort might benefit us all.

Let us be frugal and not ostentatious. For once let us not blame the government and try to do our bit for a better tomorrow.

We reap what we sow.