Egypt limits air conditioning in mosques as power shortages worsen

A mosque in Cairo, Egypt

(Reuters) – Egypt, facing the worst energy shortages for years, has set limits for electricity use at mosques as part of government efforts to ease the impact of power cuts already affecting homes and factories.

The religious endowments minister has ordered mosques not to run air conditioners before May 15 and after that date to use air conditioning only during prayer time and half an hour before and after the call to prayer.

Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said in comments reported by state newspaper Al-Ahram that he would also ensure that electricity meters were installed at mosques that do not have them.

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…