DEWA says new regulations will slash consumption

Electricity demand predicted to drop by 20%, water use by 15%

DEWA says the benefits of the new regulations will be profound. Image: Getty.
DEWA says the benefits of the new regulations will be profound. Image: Getty.

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by Florian Neuhof
Editor, Utilities Middle East

Green building regulation approved by Dubai’s Energy Council is expected to reduce the consumption of power and water by almost a fifth, according to Amal Koshak, senior manager for demand and tariff management at Dubai’s Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

“It was approved a month ago by the executive council, and there is a three year grace period, and the expected savings are 20% for electricity, and 15%  for water,” Koshak said on Monday.

The regulation stipulates that new builds are subjected to a range of conservation measures, from energy efficient lighting to the use of thermal storage in district cooling plants.

Apart from the grace period, the regulation makes exceptions for villas, which will not need to be equipped with lighting or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls.

Measures to incorporate onsite renewable energy sources into a building’s electricity supply are also not mandatory at present. But this will change after a study commissioned by the Energy Council has been concluded, said Koshak.

The grace period will help alleviate the financial pressures on developers faced with the dual burden of the economic slump and increased costs stemming from green regulation, said Abdulla Al Hajiri, Dewa’s executive vice president for customer service.

“In the economic recession that we had to live through, didn’t want people to have to pay 30 or 50% more for their building,” he said.

“We definitely wanted the market to take its time to bring different companies,” he added.

DEWA’s efforts to encourage conservation have already borne fruit. According to Koshak, DEWA in 2009 managed to reduce the consumption of electricity by 200 million kw/h, and 1 million gallons of water, saving the authority around $90m.

Koshak and Al Hajiri spoke at the press conference announcing the launch of SmarTech, a platform promoting energy and water saving devices and technology at this year’s WETEX exhibition, held in Dubai from March 8-10.

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