- The early closure of shops to reduce electricity consumption by 1,000-1,200MW at night
- Demand for oil in power generation will drop too
- Shop owners say the government should have considered imposing the restriction after Eid
Shopping malls, markets, and shops in Dhaka city started to follow the government's directive to keep stores closed after 8pm from yesterday to save electricity amid soaring global energy prices.
If all shops and shopping malls across the country comply with this instruction, the country's electricity consumption will drop by 1,000-1,200 megawatts at night every day, according to sources at the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
A reduction in power consumption will also reduce the use of fuel oil in power generation. The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, however, has not estimated the extent of the fall in oil consumption.
While on visits to the Dhaka's New Market, Mirpur, Moghbazar, and Farmgate areas of the city yesterday, The Business Standard found large malls including Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, Grand Plaza Shopping Mall, Property Plaza Shopping Complex, and Fortune Shopping Mall shuttering as soon as the clock struck 8 at night.
Customers were not allowed to enter the Mouchak market after 8pm.
Shop-owners, however, said the government should have considered imposing the restriction after the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
Tofazzal Hossain, a sales representative at Shovon Garments in Mouchak market, said, "We are obliged to follow the government's directive. But, it would be better for us if this instruction were imposed after Eid. Evenings are the peak time for sales before festivals such as Eid."
Meanwhile, the BPDB says commercial users including shopping malls, shops, super shops, and kitchen markets have around 10.58% share in the country's overall electricity consumption.
If these businesses remain shuttered following the government directive, around 1,250MW electricity demand will drop after 8pm every day, said officials at the BPDB.
Currently, electricity demand reaches a maximum of 12,100MW at peak hours that last from 5pm to 11pm.
Data provided by the BPC show that power generation at both state-run and private power plants accounts for around 10.35% of the country's total fuel oil consumption.
The power sector takes around 1,786 tonnes of furnace oil and diesel oil daily on average.
BPC officials said the early closure of shops and shopping malls will also lead to a drop in the demand for fuel oil in the country, but they have not yet estimated the amount of the fall.