Egypt limits air conditioning in mosques to save energy

Ahram Online, Wednesday 16 Apr 2014

Government calls on 80,000 state-controlled mosques to limit air conditioning use to prayer times

ministry of religious endowments
The ministry of religious endowments in Egypt (Photo:Ahram)

The ministry of religious endowments has called on mosques to refrain from using air conditioning, except at prayer times, before 15 May, Al-Ahram reported.

The move is part of the government's plan to reduce power consumption at ministry buildings by 20 percent.

Fouad Abdel-Azim, the former ministry official in charge of mosque affairs, told Ahram Online that there are around 80,000 mosques under the ministry’s control, a large number of which have air conditioning units bought with donations from worshippers.

However, the endowments ministry is in charge of paying their electricity bills.

The ministry has not clarified the amount of money they expect to save in the move.

Widespread blackouts are expected this summer when Egyptians crank up their air conditioning, forcing the government to take measures to cut energy use.

The trade, industry and investment ministries have banned the making or importing of air conditioners that can be set lower than 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).

Early this week, the petroleum minister signed an agreement to provide the country's electricity ministry with up to 125 million cubic metres of energy on a daily basis at peak hours, representing a 25 percent rise from 2013.

Al-Ahram reported that the agreement includes providing power stations with 105 million cubic metres of low-quality Mazut fuel, natural gas and diesel to produce 23,000 megawatts (MW) on a daily basis throughout April.

This should gradually increase during the following months to match the rising demand for electricity in the summer, the peak of which would be 125 million cubic metres for the production of 28,000 MW of electricity each day in August.

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