Did you know that the joint family system reduces energy usage per person? That is why Pakistan’s energy use per capita is significantly less than other countries. Of course, another reason is that Pakistan has an energy crisis and is unable to meet the energy demand of its citizens, even those connected to the grid. Also, 30% of the population has no access to electricity, and many more lack access to gas.

But how does the joint family system impact energy consumption?

Well, think of it this way. The average household size in Europe and North America is between 2-3 people. On the other hand, Pakistan’s average household size is 6 people, because of more children per mother, but also due to multi-generational households, i.e. joint families. So every 6 people (who can afford it) share a fridge, TV, washing machine, water geyser, car and other appliances, instead of every 2.5 people.

South Asians already know that a joint family system is an efficient use of resources and reduces expenses, whether of food, rent, or other things. It is good to know that energy efficiency is one other benefit of the joint family system.

Energy use per capita comparison by country
Extracted from World Bank 2011 figures by http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

However, let us not congratulate ourselves too soon. South Asians tend to use appliances that are inefficient and old, so they consume a lot more electricity than the corresponding service they provide. We can cut our energy use significantly more (30-50%) by adopting energy efficient practices. Considering the energy crisis facing most of the countries in the region, it is not only our duty to our countries, but prudent practice for our own financial savings, to be energy efficient in all that we do. You can get started right now by comparing appliances on the Energy Efficient Appliances Database.