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UAE FM firm Farnek awarded ESCO credentials

The company has been accredited as an approved energy services company (ESCO) by Dubai's Regulatory Supervisory Bureau

L-R: Farnek's Markus Oberlin with RSB chairman HE Ali bin Abdullah Al Owais.
L-R: Farnek's Markus Oberlin with RSB chairman HE Ali bin Abdullah Al Owais.

UAE-based facilities management (FM) company Farnek has secured accreditation as an approved energy services company (ESCO) by Dubai's Regulatory Supervisory Bureau (RSB).

RSB's programme was established to offer building owners, developers, and managers added confidence when contracting ESCOs.

Accredited companies are required to have the qualified management and staff, and financial footing necessary to implement contracts in the energy management sector.

The decision to approve Farnek was made by an accreditation board which assessed the company based on criteria such as experience, capabilities, financial strength, HSE, and equipment.

Remarking on Farnek's ESCO accreditation, Markus Oberlin, the company's CEO, said: "This is official recognition that we are fully equipped to identify, design, deliver, and finance energy reduction for building owners and developers.

"We believe this creates more cost-effective buildings and a healthier environment." 

The accreditation board comprises members from RSB and Etihad Energy Services, which was established to fulfil the role of 'super-ESCO' to implement a city-wide strategic energy efficiency programme in Dubai.

Under the ESCO programme, RSB has designed energy performance contracts (EPCs) that cater based on the two main approaches to energy performance contracting.

The shared savings model refers to ESCO investment into equipment and materials to generate energy efficiencies, and is remunerated from a pre-determined percentage of the savings generated.

The guaranteed savings is a more traditional and popular model, whereby an ESCO would recommend implementing energy-saving solutions (ring-fenced by contractual key performance indicators), with the building owner providing required finance.

Commenting on RSB's EPC models, Oberlin said: "It is an ideal solution for building owners who want to reserve their cash-flow and retain their capital.

"With the guaranteed savings model, building owners acknowledge that any investment will attract a return, based on the energy saving performance of the building.

"However, both of these contracts are intended to be fair and balanced and allocate risk proportionately between the ESCO and the building owner." 

Oberlin said that up to 30,000 retrofit projects could be carried out in Dubai by 2030, making it "essential that the primary savings made from energy-efficiency initiatives are reinvested as capital to upgrade the infrastructure of the building, further improving energy-efficiency levels". 

He added: "To put some figures on that, typically pay-back periods vary from one to three years for modest investments and four to eight years for higher capex investments."  

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