Building renovations can save 50% of energy costsby Jumana Abdel-Razzaq on Jan 18, 2017
The renovation of old buildings, lead by government initiatives, could reduce electricity cost by 50%, an expert said during the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) Energy Efficiency Expo on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Rockwool Group CEO Jens Birgersson said the UAE had made significant advances in energy efficiency for new construction projects, slowing the speed at which demand was increasing.
He also said these were now being supported by policies to promote energy efficient renovations on existing buildings.
In the UAE, the biggest single energy cost was air conditioning, and keeping out the heat would deliver the biggest savings, he added.
Birgersson said the said: “There is a lot of talk about smart energy solutions, but it is also very important to consider the building envelope.”
“Globally, 30 to 40 per cent of energy consumption comes from buildings, but in the GCC that figure is up to 80 per cent. If you retrofit a building with energy efficient products, such as improved insulation, you can reduce energy consumption by half.”
There are currently several programmes in the UAE that aim to promote retrofits, including Abu Dhabi’s Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB) Powerwise initiative, which has retrofitted 10 domestic villas for energy efficiency so far.
Birgersson believes international experience showed that strong government support played an important role in encouraging building owners to see energy efficiency as an investment rather than an unnecessary cost.
“We are talking about buildings that were built 20, 30, 40 years ago, and can be brought up to modern standards,” he said.
“There are a range of different measures that can be considered to encourage improvements. It does not necessarily have to be in the form of financial incentives, but there does need to be a framework that supports building owners.”
Rockwool Group, which is a founding sponsor of the Energy Efficiency Expo, is the world’s leading manufacturers of stone wool-based insulation products.
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