Dubai Sets to Transform 30,000 Buildings toward Green Standards

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A subsidiary of the Dubai Water & Electricity Authority (Dewa) offers to finance the transformation of any building into an energy and money saving structure without any costs involved for the building owner. Too good to be true?

It is happening, and it is happening as we speak. Last year, Dewa created Etihad Energy Services, with the aim to facilitate the transformation of 30,000 buildings in Dubai into green buildings. In order to lead the way, all Dewa buildings will first be subjected to the critical eye.

Etihad Engery Services critically looks at the existing buildings in Dubai, and suggests solutions as to how these buildings can become more efficient, explains Stephane Le Gentill, CEO of the company. This can be done on various ways, depending on the building. “It may be the lighting of the building, the isolation, the use of air conditioning etc. Every building is different,” he adds.

Dubai Municipality already developed a Green Building Code, which imposes certain criteria on new building contractors in order to achieve efficiency. However, there are many old buildings in Dubai that could be more efficient. These buildings require what is named ‘retrofitting’.

Retrofitting does not come without a cost, and this is where Etihad Energy Services jumps in. “We are offering building owners to finance the project, while gaining the savings that will be made. The savings that are earned can be used to finance other projects,” explains Le Gentille.

Once the project is completed, the savings will come to the account of the building owner, who will not have lost anything in allowing for the transformation. Most buildings can easily save 30 per cent of their energy use, he stated in an earlier interview.

The transformation of the Dewa buildings is a jumpstart project which paves the way for the transformation of various government buildings, of which many are old and depend on traditionalbuilding management systems. The retrofitting of public buildings should set an example to the wider market, Le Gentill said.

The private sector is equally welcome to make use of these services. However, the challenge with the private sector is that a building owner may not necessarily finance the energy consumption, as the tenant usually pays the bill. This means that there may be less incentive for a private building owner to turn to an energy saving plan, he explained.

Although financial gains may be the incentive, the underlying aim of course is energy saving. With a target of 1.7 TWh in energy saving for 2030, a lot still needs to be done.

Source: Zawya

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