Air Conditioning the Victim of Energy Cuts in Egypt
Egypt, which has a continuously growing energy demand, has a short supply of the natural gas that is used to power the country. As a result, widespread blackouts are expected this summer.
“Eliminating blackouts and reducing loads this summer is impossible,” said Mohamed Shaker said in comments published by the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper.
He added that the government would make an effort to “reduce to the lowest level possible” but acknowledged that solving the energy problem would take “a few years.”
Though Shaker might be right about this summer, there are steps being taken to try to avoid the power shortages. New rules and regulations meant to cut energy usage are being implemented with the hope that blackouts will be short and contained when they do occur. The biggest target of the new programs?
Power cuts have already been placed on homes and factories, and now they are even extending to mosques. The religious endowments minister ordered the religious centers not to turn on air conditioning systems until May 15 and, even after that date, they can only be run during prayer and for the half hour before and after.
In addition to cutting the amount of time mosques are allowed to run their AC systems, the government has also put a ban on the production and import of AC units that produce temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius. That regulation, introduced last year, will be implemented in mid-July, right before the hottest times of the year. It should bring energy savings, but experts don’t believe it will be able to prevent blackouts completely.
“Widespread blackouts are expected this summer when Egyptians crank up their air conditioning and increased demand stresses the aging power grid, forcing the government to take measures to cut energy use,” says a Reuters report.
For the most part, those regulations mean that hot summer months with little relief are on the horizon. Thankfully, there are ways for people to keep cool on their own while reducing their energy consumption.
“Running newer, more efficient air conditioning units could allow you to lower the energy costs, while at the same time keeping your home cool and comfortable,” explains Bo Thomas, President of Thomas HVAC Company.