Switch off lights, after work, give ACs a break!

MUSCAT, Aug 11 – Lights on at offices even after work hours. Computers, gadgets not turned off. And air-conditioners running non-stop. These are but some of the glaring examples of waste of precious electricity. Even as the demand for electricity is increasing by nearly 15 per cent every year, a lot of it is going waste, courtesy such extravagance vis-à-vis electricity usage. “Keeping lights and computer monitors on through the night is resulting in a huge waste of electricity, which is ultimately a national wastage,” said Ali al Mashafi, an energy expert.
Added to it is the imprudent usage of ACs and keeping temperature unchanged in different weather conditions, according to experts.
Temperatures set for summer continue in winter too.
By and large, a large number of offices seem to be paying little attention to saving energy, while some corporates, mostly in the private sector, follow a discipline in the use of energy.
They also educate employees on the value of frugal use of electricity.
“Temperatures should be set anything between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius. Any attempt to keep it low will increase the consumption by 7 per cent in summer,” said Al Mashafi, who was playing a prime role in an electricity distribution company and later shifted his focus to renewable energy.
According to him, the extravagant usage (of electricity) is taking a toll on the environment and the economy as a whole.
Light pollution, an often unheard term, is one of the major reasons behind waste of electricity.
If the produced electricity is wasted, it will result in burning more fossil fuels in order to generate the lost energy.
“Wasting electricity for non-productive purposes will result in fuel consumption for compensating the lost energy. This scenario is not good because fossil fuels release harmful greenhouse gases into the environment,” said an environmentalist. It has been noticed that many mosques keep the lights on even when it is not the time for the ‘mandatory prayers’. A believer has all the freedom to switch on AC, fan or light when he visits a mosque at an odd time.

“But he needs to switch it off after prayers. This way, we can save much of the energy from going waste. Why should mosques be kept in freezing cold when there is no one inside,” asks Al Mashafi.
On the same note, some business units dealing with frozen foods and perishable fruits and vegetables, and pharmacies cannot do without constant running of ACs.
Asif Ali, HSE manager at the Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), the company has two major systems to save energy.
The first is the ‘Auto Cut-off System’, a pre-adjusted system that allows ACs and lights go on ‘hibernation mode’ after office hours and make them active when work begins in the morning.
Similarly, the ‘Building Management System’ (BMS), a motion sensor system, will ensure lights and other electrical gadgets are automatically turned off when not in use.
Corridors will be lit up when someone passes by.
“We conducted a study on all our 73 grid stations across the country and found these unmanned stations are consuming a huge volume of electricity. Then we implemented the BMS. Results are amazing,” said Ali.

KABEER YOUSUF