Dewa leads by example in race to cut energy use

By implementing simple measures, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) cut down electricity use by 12 per cent in its offices last year.

DUBAI // The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority says it cut electricity use in its offices by 12 per cent last year, using simple measures.

They included reducing air-conditioning to 27°C from 24°C, and shutting down equipment outside working hours or in unused areas.

The authority, or Dewa, also installed revolving doors at its head office to reduce the amount of hot, humid air entering the building.

“All of these measures resulted in reducing the cooling load and lighting consumption, and achieving 12 per cent electricity savings in 2013 in Dewa offices,” a spokesman said.

An investigation by The National two years ago measured indoor temperatures at 19 buildings, including Dewa’s head office in Garhoud.

It found temperatures ranged between 17.5°C and more than 25°C in buildings including government offices, a hospital, hotel lobbies, common areas in shopping malls, and shops and supermarkets.

Most were significantly cooler than 24°C, the temperature that efficiency experts have been recommending as a good compromise between the need for cooling and energy efficiency.

Dewa said it had no control over how buildings’ cooling systems were designed and used, but it had issued recommendations for the prudent use of energy.

Besides keeping the thermostats at 24°C or higher, it is important for maintenance teams to monitor units that determine how much fresh air cycles through a building.

“The fresh-air handling units are one of the main sources for hot and humid air, especially during summer, and consume significant amounts of energy to cool it down and de-humidify it,” Dewa said.

The authority is recommending that air-handling units be controlled by sensors that measure the amount of carbon dioxide.

The maximum permitted concentration has been stipulated in the Dubai Green Building Regulations, Dewa said.

Published: July 31, 2014 04:00 AM