End-users need cooling options

Keith Levers, CEO of Palm District Cooling has called on end-users to be given the freedom to choose the cooling source for their accommodation.

Levers: district cooling use should be end-users choice.
Levers: district cooling use should be end-users choice.

Keith Levers, CEO of Palm District Cooling has called on end-users to be given the freedom to choose the cooling source for their accommodation.

Speaking ahead of the International District Energy Association (IDEA)-led International District Cooling Conference in Abu Dhabi, Levers cited a recent survey carried out by the firm to gauge end-user awareness of the advantages of district cooling.

The survey findings showed that consumers are either unaware of the benefits of using the technology or are unable to exercise their freedom of choice, even they wish to use it.

In the survey carried out in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 71% of the respondents said they knew little or nothing of the advantages of district cooling, while 29% said they knew that district cooling was more efficient than other forms of air conditioning but had no option but to accept what was offered to them in the real estate market.

"Let us not take the consumers for granted or doubt their intelligence," called Levers. "Our findings clearly demonstrate the need for educating the end consumers so they can be the market drivers, instead of being passive users," he added.

"Before undertaking a project, every real estate developer tries to conform to what the consumer desires in terms of design, size of dwelling, amenities and finish. So let us also ask the future residents what they want in terms of the climate control of the building," he added.

District cooling can bring benefits on several levels. For master developers, it requires less power infrastructure, plant space and capital investment. For property developers, use of district cooling means an elimination of the cost of chillers and associated electro-mechanical works, with a corresponding reduction in property taxes and insurance plus reduced operational, maintenance and upgrade costs.

It provides end-users savings through reduced energy and maintenance costs and removal of the need to replace equipment.

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