Alternative Electricity Options

Contributed by our reader, Zeeshan Syed.

There are Chinese generators available all around Karachi. Now, we all know China produces both Category A, B, C maybe even U but the point is that you can get a generator that will not prove to be heavy on your pocket.

People tend to buy and install UPS systems. I tend to disagree with the whole UPS idea. UPS needs time to recharge. In a city where electricity is a major problem and where power failures can even extend 24 hours, you can not expect to have UPS working for ya without getting fried!

It needs time to recharge. We have 2 hours of load shedding here – twice or thrice in 24 hours. That means at least 4 hours of UPS usage. Your UPS will get recharged properly and this will have a major impact on the life of your UPS.

With generators, you have the power to produce energy for as long as you want. Generators do not cost as much as a UPS costs. You can get a small generator which runs on Petrol for as low as 4.5k, while a domestic made UPS costs somewhere between 10k-14k. The small generator’s fuel consumption is not bad if you ask me. It can run up to 2 hours/liter and I guess that’s pretty impressive. It can light up 4 fans and 4 tube lights (or 8-10 energy savers).

These generators though have no guarantee and they can run straight for 2 years or won’t even work for a year and this what happened to me. I also made a huge mistake of NOT running it throughout the winter season. I should have ran it for a couple of minutes. I am sure that’s the reason why my generator malfunction.

I am getting a nice deal. Let me explain about the generator that I am looking forward to buy. I am getting a Chinese-made generator that will produce enough power (when running on Petrol) to run the following:

3 to 4 Tubelights (or 10 Energy Savers)
4 Fans
1 Television
1 VCR (or DVD player)
1 Fridge

The generator that I am talking about is also a Chinese product. It will Self-start. It means that I won’t have to pull that string kinda thingie and hurt my back every time I run it. Self-starting generators can easily be turned ON or OFF by using a KEY. Pretty much like how you start your car. The non self start generators work like starting a motorcycle engine or a rickshaw.

The best thing about the above generator is that it can produce a good amount of electricity running on natural gas. Natural gas and that does not mean you will need a CNG cylinder attached. Your normal SUI GAS will do the job. Please keep in mind that every generator works like a car/motorcylce’s engine. That means, you will have to run it on Petrol for at least a month (after buying it) and once the engine has start to run smooth (jub generator RAWAN ho jaye), then you can run it on GAS. Pretty much like any brand new or overhauled car engine.

How much does it cost?

Well, it will cost you somewhere near 19,000-21,000.

What can I run once I start running my generator on SUI GAS?

Basically, all the stuff that I mentioned about but running your Refrigerator would be a difficult on FULL load is not a good idea. If you want to run your Refrigerator then turn off a couple of lights and that’ll do the job.

Should I trust these Chinese brands?

If you can buy a decent Japanese made Generator then go for that. Because Japan’s third quality products are still better then Chinese’s A grade products.

Any after-sale support?

This is not a BRANDED generator (like HONDA, Yamaha etc). The shop keeper though is promising “2 free services in a year”. He has clearly told me that if there is a fault with any “parts” then I’ll have to pay for that.

Any alternative to Chinese generators?

Honda is officially operating in Karachi. ABN Amro Credit Card users can get a HONDA generator on 6-10 months on 0% mark up. Anything that exceeds 12 months of repayment schedule and you will have to pay mark-up.

Are HONDA generators made in Japan?

They are also made in China. Difference is that the company is here and the deal is legit. They have service centers in major areas of Karachi (Gulishan, Shahra-e-Faisal, Defence etc) and they promise ON YEAR HONDA WARRANTY plus a FREE HOME DELIVERY. Unfortunately, this offer is only limited to ABN AMRO CREDIT CARD users.

29 Comments so far

  1. verysmart (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:37 am

    for interested onlookers…

    seems impressive, these guys have a large showroom in Nursery

  2. wasiq (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:47 am

    this is definately a SPAM….LOL

    THANKS rabayl….all my parosans already have a ups…..

  3. Zeeshan Syed (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 7:37 am

    Oh hey WOW! :D Hey that’s me! :D yaayyy!

  4. Farhan (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 11:18 am

    How about having hamsters running on the wheel which will move the cogs leading to movement of turbine producing electricity

  5. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 11:28 am

    Atleast these guys are happy :-)

  6. Sajid (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

    There are always two options or path that you have to take, out of them one is to invest properly so you get good reward or return in the end. If you are happy to sweat in heat in trying to repair and look after your generator all the time then buy chinese products, else go for original japanese brands, some japanese companies like sawafugi, dynamac etc. ( i don’t know exact spelling ), sell generators with honda motors, they are completely made in Japan, so if you need peace of mind then go for them, they are double in price then chinese but affordable and will be value for money? After all you are buying a generator to cool yourself? The chinese products will burn your fat!

    Those who have good budget can go for denyo, yanmar etc. They are pretty expensive and work on diesel mainly.

  7. JK (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    lol thats a good one adnan

    aur paach saal baad ‘bijli ka kounwaan’ dryaft ho gaa?

  8. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

    @JK after 5 years everybody will have their private power plants running on enriched uranium..

  9. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

    our policy makers haven’t got their priorities right, they are more interested in transfer of technology for making Augusta Submarine and JF 17 fighter and that Tank .. why not go for transfer of technology for making power plants.. making indigenous power plant here when ever the need arises instead of being dependent on others…

  10. axiomatic (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

    I wonder why nobody is talking about wind energy. Wind is the single most reliable and perpetual source of energy specially for those in Karachi and coastal areas.
    Windmills of up to 3 KW are locally manufactured and available. A windmill of 2KW costs around Rs 200,000 or so. It can run 04 tubelights, 04 fans, TV and DVD. The recurring cost is zero. It’s virtually maintenance free and has a life of at least 20 years.
    A typical windmill for home use can be easily installed on rooftop. Imagine having 2KW of electricity all the time without using any fuel, maintenance or repair for 20 years!!
    As for the government, it’s about time for people at helm of affairs to START USING THEIR BRAINS. For God’s sake give some good news to this heavily exploited nation. Invest in renewable energy like wind and solar, because that is the future.

  11. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 5:56 pm


    installation cost of wind tubines is many times that of oil /gas fired plants!

    i was dealing with KESC representing a multinational power co and gave a few presentation to KESC /KWSB around 5 years back and they are still discusiing the same issue even now. 300 – 350 MW won’t solve our problems and in that price a 1000MW or so oil fired power plant can be installed!

    by the way iam an elect. engineer

    the cost of installation is simply prohibitive & too much for a country like ours.

    we can have, lets say a samll part of our needs met by wind power, but to think we can meet a majority of our needs by this is simply not going to happen.

    one more thing. though there is no oil cost involved in wind turbines, it’s maintenanve is not cheap!

    so as far as a poor country like ours is concerened, lets forget that wind power will solve our problems.

  12. Kashif (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 7:48 pm

    mairay shehar say bijli jaatay hi
    mairay gaon main bijli aai hay

  13. ronin1770 (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

    Trip to Sher-Shaw = Rs. 100
    Toyota Lite-ace Engine : Rs 24,000
    Robinson’s Alternator : Rs 36,000
    Parts, Steel, Labor : Rs 10,000
    Resulting in 18 KVA Generator : Rs 70,000

    Running whole house (including 4 ACs) during Loadshedding : PRICELESS

  14. ronin1770 (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

    btw : from what i understand by alternative energy normally include solar, wind or hydro-based power generation.

    generators normally are categorized as conventional power generation sources.

  15. Rukun (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

    @ RONIN1

    you do run it on petrol right?. what does it cost you monthly

  16. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

    @ronin1770 whose idea was it? and some one else assembled it for you or your self did it all?

  17. HASSAN' (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 4:48 am

    Well whoever wana pay for once n enjoy forever should go for “alternate energy” not “alternative electricity”. Solar energy is the best way n by this u can have much current stored in battery which can run ur house appliances at least for that time when electricity would not available by KESC.

  18. Susana (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 2:11 am

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  19. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 12:00 pm


    sweete, we are discussing pakistan here, not EU or the USA.

    What rebates are u talking about?

    the govt here does not even give the compensation money it promices to people killed in incidents like the 12th of May, 07 & u are talking about generous rebates!!!!

  20. axiomatic (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

    You are right, the INITIAL cost for alternative energy (wind/solar) is many times that of conventional (generators, turbines etc). However, what makes it attractive is that it is perpetual and free. As I said, windmill life is 20-25 years. The only maintenance required is lubrication. We had a 2kw w/m installed in one of the coastal villages close to Karachi under arrangement by an NGO. Now electricity has reached that village so we have removed it, and it is still in perfect condition after 06 years.
    Windmills are currently installed and generating electricity in a few homes in DHA. Solar panels are also installed at many homes here. I think it’s a question of being penny-wise or pound-foolish. Those who can afford should go for solar and wind energy as it is pollution free, environment friendly, renewable, more reliable and cheaper in the long run.
    By the way, solar power solution of 600 watts (comparable to a basic UPS) is available for around Rs 40,000. Life is again 10-15 years with no maintenance.
    On the national scale, I think that government can go for wind or solar option in areas where conventional electricity is scarce. Obviously, not ALL power requirement can be met this way. But entertaining alternative energy options will reduce the overall elecricity requirement, and bring down the huge oil import bills. Moreover it will be cheaper in the long run.

  21. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 5:31 pm


    there is no denying the benifits of the solar, wind…etc power but as i pointed out and you agreed, it can cover a small part of the total requirement.

    the rich people are finding it exp. (even though, you pointed out a normal unit costs 40K) so we can’t expect the poor to follow suit.

    in any case a majority of the elect./gas is consumed by the industrial sector, run by the richest people in pakistan and they do not seem to be in any hurry to fork out the extra buck and install the alt. tech.! until they comeon board it will never make any considerable difference.

    but it should be given a try! the cheapest and the fastest way to make a difference and reduce oil consumption/burning is to duild more dams.

    dams do have their side effects but nothing compared to buring these fossil fuels!

  22. Moinuddin (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

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  23. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 6:12 pm


    nice article. just one question?

    r u in the Denyo Sales team? just curious:))

  24. axiomatic (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

    I tend to agree with you. However, we are putting up a windmill on shara-e-faisal soon. somehow, i am hooked to the idea.

  25. Bond (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

    Dear All,

    Well i have another idea as if you see we facing problem of electric city here what we can do that like we 4 to 5 homes in a community can get together and buy a good generator and the supply can be distributed to all of them and the running cost and the intial can be share. That might reslove the problem on temp basis here.

    Brgds Bond

  26. Neena (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

    I always wonder why government is not inviting private sector to setup some alternate energy plants. I got my answer via Irfan Hussain’s Column.

    A London-based friend who puts deals together in different parts of the world says that he has never encountered the degree of greed in Pakistan as he does now. When he was looking at the possibility of setting up an energy-related project recently, he received a call from somebody who claimed to represent various generals, offering to facilitate the deal. When my friend asked to meet the principals involved, he was told the upfront fees, to be paid prior to the meeting, was a million dollars. Added to this demand was the implied threat: “If you try to push the project through without us, we will see to it that you are blocked at every turn.”

  27. salim s. dostmohammad (unregistered) on May 29th, 2007 @ 8:12 am

    I read your metro bloggin news and they are great. Good work. Thanks.

  28. Athar (unregistered) on June 1st, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

    That Trip to Sher Shah for a custom-made generator will end up in many trips to a Mechanic near you.
    1. Diesel Engine Needs Frequent Oil Changes.
    2. Running Cost: Lite-ass engine = Alot of Diesel to run.
    3. Heavy maintainance: It needs a Mechanic every now and then.
    4. Noise + Vibration + Pollution (all in 1 package)

  29. rajeshwar (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

    i am interested in solar electricity please send me information how can we get electricity from solar energy

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