Etihad ESCO discusses energy efficiency in Dubai retrofit workshop

Ali Al Jassim CEO of Etihad ESCOEtihad Energy Service Company (Etihad ESCO) organised an awareness programme on the rising relevance of energy efficiency and to discuss ways to address challenges that impede the widespread adoption of building retrofits

The ‘Dubai Retrofit and Developers Awareness Programme’ is in line with Etihad ESCO’s collective efforts to make Dubai’s built environment a leading example of energy efficiency for the region and the world.

Addressing the challenges related to financing, the session also deliberated easy financing solutions for retrofit and solar projects that are available for developers.

The building sector currently accounts for a large share of emissions and is responsible for 60-70 per cent of the UAE’s electricity consumption. According to the industry experts, in order to achieve 30 per cent by 2030 commitments will require the active participation and cooperation of the developers in the region.

Highlighting this, the forum underscored the importance of developers and energy service companies working together right from the inception of the building projects, the role of financing process in the creation of mutually beneficial partnerships and the need to retrofit existing buildings in order to reduce emissions from the buildings sector.

Ali Al Jassim, CEO at Etihad ESCO, highlighted that almost eight per cent of electricity consumption savings and more than four per cent of water consumption savings were achieved in 2017, compared to normal consumption levels. This corresponds respectively to 3.3 TWh per year of electricity saved and to 4.9bn imperial gallons per year of desalinated water saved. Furthermore, representatives of Etihad ESCO’s clients presented successful retrofit case studies implemented by the company at their facilities.

The workshop further discussed the importance of solar in enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings. It emphasised that the ideal and most efficient phase to incorporate solar is during the construction of the building.

As Etihad ESCO continues to work towards stimulating the building retrofit market that should generate around 800mn worth of energy savings on the utility bill of end users by 2030, the forum discussed the role of measurement and verification (M&V) as an essential tool for effective monitoring of energy savings.

Al Jassim commented, “The building sector holds huge potential in the achievement of energy efficiency and in lessening the impact of climate change. A range of structural and architectural changes can be incorporated at the designing stage itself to make a huge difference, although, the awareness levels about these possibilities remain quite low. The workshop was successful in engaging developers and other stakeholders in meaningful discussions, including financial challenges that pose a hindrance to the adoption of these measures.”

TAQATI elaborated on the significance of capacity building and training in improving the delivery of energy efficiency projects. Representatives of a diverse group of organisations attended the workshop including Emaar properties, Union Properties, Azizi Developments, Diamond Developers, Omniyat, Al Wasl Properties, Dubai Investment and Meydan Group.

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