In light of the growing electricity crisis, which Egypt has been subjected to since last July, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy launched a campaign on its official website urging citizens to reduce electricity consumption. Al-Masry Al-Youm hit the streets to find out: What are the effective measures adopted by citizens to combat the electricity crisis?
Fadia Ismail, housewife: “I think it is necessary to reduce the over-consumption of electricity. I am one of the citizens that responds to the government’s guidance. Of course, I did not stop using essential household electric appliances, but I quit using them all at the same time. For example, using a water heater and an ironing machine at the same time consumes a lot of energy. I also cut down on the use of unnecessary appliances such as the dishwasher. During Ramadan, my family gathers to watch television in one room in order to switch on just one air conditioner unit instead of using two at the same time for the same reason. I guess if every one follows these steps, we will be able to save vast amounts of energy and avoid the electricity cut off.”
Engy Moustafa, banker: “I am trying to follow some measures to reduce my electricity use. I return home from work around 4PM, so all electric household appliances are used at the same time, like the washing machine, dishwasher, and vacuum cleaner. So I started to divide the housework time across the seven days of the week. Moreover, I quit using a deep freezer at home by reducing quantities of food. Now, I just use the freezer in the refrigerator, which conserves energy and turns out to be a great way to cut the expenses as well. Besides, there are some electric appliances that people are not aware of how much they consume energy, like turning on the water heater in both bathrooms and the kitchen all day without using it, while others are in dire need of this energy.”
Gamal Abdel-Razaq, supermarket owner: “It is difficult for me to reduce energy, as my work requires the use of electricity the whole day. Refrigerators are an indispensable part of my business. They keep my goods fresh and help avoid contamination. But, on the other hand, I am trying to reduce the use of light in the supermarket. After the frequent power outages last July, some food was contaminated, which made me lose a lot of profit. The government cuts electricity randomly for a long period of time without advance warning, ignoring the rights of citizens. This forced me to purchase small quantities of goods. It is the only way to avoid financial loss as well as reduce the need to turn on all the supermarket’s refrigerators.”
Galal Shadid, owner of cyber and playstation shop: “The power outages are affecting my business badly as I depend on electricity only in the usage of computers and play stations. So, in order to prevent high levels of electricity losses, I turn off computers as long as there are no clients using them and sometimes I use the sleep mode, which saves energy as well. Starting in Ramadan, I close my shop in the morning as most of my clients come in the afternoon after breaking their fast, so there is no need to consume energy for no reason.”
Marwan Sabry, engineer: “After the electricity crisis, I converted electric household appliances, such as the oven and water heater, to gas. I believe that gas appliances are more energy-efficient than electric ones. Besides, it is a very good idea for cutting down on the electricity bill. Sometimes, I sleep at night with the ceiling fan instead of the air conditioner. Also, the coffee machine, electric toothbrush, and toaster are all inessential appliances which I stopped using.”