Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
View of the Dubai Marina skyline. Experts say a lack of knowledge on the benefits of energy efficienct products is hampering their use in homes in the UAE. Pawan Singh / The National
View of the Dubai Marina skyline. Experts say a lack of knowledge on the benefits of energy efficienct products is hampering their use in homes in the UAE. Pawan Singh / The National

Lack of knowledge hampering battle to curb UAE's rising use of resources

Ignorance of benefits of energy saving schemes is slowing down their implementation, warn industry specialists.

Lack of knowledge on the benefits of energy efficiency is blocking the level of adoption it needs to curb the country's rising use of resources, industry sources say.

Khaled Bushnaq, chief executive of the consultancy Energy Management Services, said technology and expertise were readily available from local companies.

"Everything is available in the UAE to be energy-efficient," Mr Bushnaq said. "All of the components are there but no one is adopting it."

Mr Bushnaq represents his company on the board of the Emirates Green Building Council, which is spreading the message that efficiency is not only good for the environment, it can also cut operating costs.

Efficiency schemes include better air conditioning, lighting and insulation in existing buildings, and upgrading equipment or capturing the heat from processes such as cement making in industry.

"You can take it as a rule that in any house, 15 per cent of the utility bill can be recovered by simple measures," Mr Bushnaq said.

Such savings can be achieved with simple measures that do not require sacrifices in comfort.

"People think they need to suffer if they want to save energy but this is not true," said Mr Bushnaq.

Adnan Sharafi, chairman of the council, said energy-efficiency schemes could help to extend the life of power infrastructure.

Mr Sharafi said the lack of awareness was not only on the part of the public and business owners. Banks lacked the ability to assess energy-efficiency projects and the viability of financing them.

He said schemes such as energy-performance contracting, in which the cost of upgrades is financed by energy savings achieved, could overcome the financial challenge.

"The potential is huge," Mr Sharafi said. "We just need to make people aware that there are many choices available."

He said the council was putting together a database listing companies offering energy-efficient technology and services, and that anyone who wanted to be included should make contact.

Government departments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are looking at ways to encourage energy efficiency. Dubai has a target of 30 per cent reduction of energy use through efficiency measures by 2030.

In Abu Dhabi, the Regulation and Supervision Bureau is running a trial in which 400 villas are charged power prices that fluctuate - higher rates at times of peak demand and lower at times of weak demand.

The trail is yielding "encouraging early results", said Nick Carter, the bureau's director general.

"We have rolled out several energy-efficiency programmes in collaboration with our Abu Dhabi electricity sector partners," Mr Carter said.

"There are many opportunities to implement energy-efficiency measures in Abu Dhabi and this is something we have been focusing on for some time.

"With the launch of our Powerwise Office in January this year, we are able to work with key stakeholders to recommend effective energy-management technologies, and encourage simple yet effective behavioural changes through education.

"As well as looking at energy-management technologies, consumers' behaviour is a key factor when it comes to energy efficiency."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Sarah Geronimo. Courtesy: FLASH Entertainment

Sarah Geronimo brings her star power to Abu Dhabi this weekend

Ahead of her Abu Dhabi concert on Thursday night, we take a look at the Filipina singer Sarah Geronimo’s extraordinary career.

 Fatema holds a picture of her son Nurul Karim as she poses for a photograph in front of her slum house in Savar. Fatema lost her son Nurul Karim and her daughter Arifa, who were working on the fifth floor of Rana Plaza when it collapsed on April 24, 2013. All photos Andrew Biraj / Reuters

These women know the real price of cheap high street fashion

Survivors of the world's worst garment factory accident, struggle to rebuild their lives from the rubble of the Rana Plaza collapse as Bangladesh prepares to mark the first anniversary of the disaster.

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

Disney confirms that Star Wars: Episode 7 is filming in Abu Dhabi desert

Disney yesterday confirmed that the filming of Star Wars: Episode 7 is taking place in the desert in Abu Dhabi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National