Tag Archive | "energy efficiency"

Leaders from 150 countries arrive in Abu Dhabi for energy summit as WFES begins

Heads of State and Ministers from over 150 countries as well as representatives from 120 international organisations gathered in Abu Dhabi on Saturday for the opening of the Fourth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Assembly, the Agency’s ultimate decision-making authority, takes place today and tomorrow. Kicking-off Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2014, the event features IRENA’s flagship projects, its current and future work programmes, and several public and media events.

“IRENA’s focus is accelerating the deployment of renewables worldwide, and our Assembly gives us the opportunity to present our current and future work to our membership,” Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s Director-General, said. “We are now engaged with over 165 countries. As more and more countries join, IRENA’s role as the global hub for renewable energy is becoming ever more prominent.”

“IRENA is a global campaigner for the advancement of renewable energy, and a convener that creates a platform for international collaboration,” said H.E. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico Secretary of Energy and President of the Assembly. “It is through important international platforms like this that we will secure our clean energy future.”

Highlights during the Assembly include the launch of “REmap 2030”, the much anticipated roadmap for doubling the global renewable energy share by 2030; and the announcement of the first six renewable energy projects in developing countries receiving loans under the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility partnership from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 124 Members (123 States and the European Union). Over 43 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first global intergovernmental organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East.

IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.  IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

Picture caption: The President of IRENA’s Fourth Assembly,  H.E. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico Secretary of Energy (third from left), is welcomed by Vice-President of the Third Assembly, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Mahdzir Khalid of Malaysia. IRENA’s Fourth Assembly welcomed official government delegations from over 151 countries.

For more information about IRENA’s Fourth Assembly visit www.irena.org.



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Report: Renewable energy should be make up a third of world use by 2030… ‘at no extra cost’

The global renewable energy share can reach and exceed 30 per cent by 2030 at no extra cost, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says in a report “REmap 2030,” that was published yesterday to coincide with the Wolrd Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

The study maps out a pathway for doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix based on the technologies that are available today. Energy efficiency and improved energy access can advance the share of renewables in the global energy mix up to 36 per cent, according to the new report.

“There is a strong economic case for the renewable energy transition. When considering climate change mitigation, health impact and job creation, the transition practically pays for itself,” Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s Director-General, said. “More renewables in the energy system provide greater flexibility, increase energy independence, and make the system more resilient.”

The deployment of modern renewables – renewable energy sources that exclude traditional use of biomass – needs to grow more than threefold, the study shows. A rethinking of energy taxes and subsidies is critical to the economic case for renewable energy. A reduction of fossil fuel subsidies will facilitate the uptake of renewables. Subsidies for renewable energy can disappear altogether, if green house gas emissions and other air pollution are reasonably priced.

“Many governments are underestimating the potential of renewables in their planning the for energy transition. To reach the goal of doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030, additional efforts are needed, particularly in the building, industry and transport sectors,” Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany said. “We identified five areas of national action: Planning realistic but ambitious transition pathways; creating an enabling business environment; managing knowledge of technology options and their deployment; ensuring smooth integration of renewables into the existing infrastructure; and unleashing innovation.”

“REmap 2030” builds on the analysis of the energy supply and demand of 26 countries, which account for 74 per cent of projected global total final energy consumption in 2030. IRENA collaborates with member states and research institutions for “REmap 2030,” which derives its objective from the United Nations Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 124 Members (123 States and the European Union). Over 40 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first global intergovernmental organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East.

IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.  IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

Picture caption:  H.E. The Honourable Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia, discussing the “REmap 2030″ report at IRENA’s FT Question Time in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Panelist of the debate included Michael Eckhart, Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability, Citigroup; Dr José Goldemberg, Professor, University of São Paulo; Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, ACWA Power International; and Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainable Studies (IASS).


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Cable giant tells WFES how it was an early energy saver

Ducab, a leading manufacturer of high-quality cables and cabling products in the Middle East, is a key participant at World Future Energy Summit, being held in Abu Dhabi between January 20 and 22.

WFES is the foremost gathering of organisations and professionals in the energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean technologies sector and Ducab is showcasing its market-leading range of cables and products, especially low and medium voltage power cables that ensure minimal wastage during power transmission.

Ducab was the first cable company to have its Environmental Management System certified by BASEC to ISO 14001 in 1997. In 2002, the company was also recognised with the GCC Award for Environmental Excellence, and since then, has made great strides in three environmental focus areas: rationalisation and reduction of waste; reduction of carbon footprint; and the policy of industrialisation, particularly around the purchase of equipment and raw materials.

Speaking about Ducab’s participation at WFES, Hassan Omar, GM Technical and Quality, Ducab (pictured above right), said: “Ducab has been a great example to the region about how a manufacturing company can achieve significant success in its field while at the same time monitoring and limiting its environmental impact. We have invested quite early in energy efficiency in our manufacturing process, and our cables too are designed to ensure minimal energy wastage and loss during transmission.”

With the nation heading resolutely towards leadership in developing sustainable energy sources, Ducab has cemented its relevance and suitability by working alongside two of the largest solar power-generation projects – Shams 1 by Masdar, Abu Dhabi, and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park together with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

At WFES, Ducab’s stand will feature a cross-section of cables and cabling accessories, with pride of place going to the company’s range of lighting and low and medium voltage power cables, which have been qualified to international standards. The company has met – and in many cases, exceeded – all test requirements to date, and are ideally suited to meet both customer and regulatory expectations and requirements.

Ducab is equally owned by the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and Ducab’s presence at WFES is alongside Senaat of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s largest industrial investment holding company and the representative of Abu Dhabi’s ownership stake in Ducab.

Ducab is a leading provider of copper cabling products and is the first choice for many prestigious contractors due to its record of quality and customer service. Ducab has supplied cables and wires to a number of landmark projects, including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Metro, Emirates Palace, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis the Palm and Yas Marina Circuit. Ducab achieved record sales of AED 4.9 billion for 2011, a 39% increase over the previous year.

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WFES promises window on the future of sustainable living

At the 7th annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, hosted by Masdar, 30,000 attendees from 172 countries will have the chance to see first-hand the latest products and solutions in sustainable living.

The Sustainable Living Expo (SLE) will showcase an actual-size home and a prototype hotel suite demonstrating how energy- and water-efficient technologies, processes and materials can work together to both manage the human impact on our environment and to reduce the cost of consumed resources.

The SLE is a new exhibition feature at WFES 2014, which will also host in-depth technical presentations by international experts in urban sustainability at a purpose-built theatre.

Organised in partnership with Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority, the SLE ‘Eco-home’ will display organic paint, insulating windows, and low-flow water fixtures, among other advanced products and services that reduce waste, use natural resources more responsibly and save money.

The Eco-home exhibit will appear alongside a model hotel suite also adopting the latest sustainable technologies, sponsored by Rotana Hotels and designed and built by Genesis Manazil.

Innovation in the way we build and operate our homes and offices is essential if we are to mitigate the dramatic environmental impact of the urban landscape.

According to the International Energy Agency, buildings consume more than 40% of total energy and generate a quarter of all carbon emissions. And the problem will only get worse: 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2020.

Urban sustainability will also be top of the agenda at this year’s WFES conference, with the session ‘Energy Efficiency-The Built Environment’ sharing new thinking and practical experience on the topic on January 22, day three of WFES this year.

Internationally renowned speakers will include Mark Hopkins, Director of International Energy Efficiency at the UN Foundation; and Bruce Schlein, Citigroup’s Director of Corporate Sustainability.

As the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit will once again play a vital role in gathering the most prominent people and organisations to address our shared energy and water challenges now and in the future.

And as visitors to the Sustainable Living Expo will testify, many of the solutions begin at home.

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BGreen Seminar Series : Energy Efficiency Early in Construction

Sustainability managers, engineers, architects, developers and consultants met in Dubai for the BGreen Seminar series the day after the announcement that the city would host Expo 2020. And as the construction industry prepared for the new shot in the arm, it added an extra dimension to the two seminars: Energy Efficiency Early in Construction and Internal Air Quality. Reports by Lorraine Bangera

The BGreen Seminar series held on November 28, 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, was organised by CPI Media Group in association with Dubai Government and partners Kone and Gyproc.
The two panel discussions dealt with less publicised sectors in the construction industry, the first of which looked at ‘Energy Efficiency in the Early Stages of Construction’ and the second ‘Indoor Air Quality’.
Before the energy efficiency panel discussion, Nicolas Alchal, Managing Director of elevator manufacturer Kone, made a presentation where he praised the UAE and Qatar for their latest achievements in winning Dubai Expo 2020, and World Cup 2022. He also talked about the construction industry and the need for energy-efficient projects that could drive sustainability.
He said: “Urbanisation, environment, safety and aging population”, is what drives the industry. The importance of this panel discussion was highlighted when he mentioned said “The International Energy Agency reports: buildings are the largest energy consumers. The current energy consumed by buildings works up to 38% of the total energy produced.”
Kone is a leading producer of energy-efficient escalators, elevators, auto-walks and automatic doors. Elevators consume 2-10% of the total energy consumption of a building. And Alchal notes that could be reduced through various solutions offered by Kone in terms of eco-friendly products, services, and solutions.

Energy efficiency panel discussion
Moderated by BGreen’s Senior Editor Gary Wright, who welcomed panellists: Eric Johnson, Managing Director, KONE; Stephen Smith, Sustainability Manager, Brookfield Multiplex; Antonio Ceci, Senior Architect, RW Armstrong; Amer H Shehader, Manager of Contracts, Diamond Developers; and Bram Lansink, Marketing Director, Philips.
Initially the panel focussed on the benefits of a co-ordinated approach to energy consumption in the very early stages of any construction project.

Q. How is energy efficiency approached in the early stages of construction and what are the benefits of bringing energy efficiency at the design stage?
Antonio Ceci:
There are numerous advantages in approaching energy efficiency in the pre-design stage. One of the major goals is to identify the energy needs. In pre-design stage, with the stakeholder’s involvement you can identify the target you want to achieve in terms of energy, from 30% to 50% energy reduction. Setting a target will help understand the strategy and how to achieve the goal you choose. After that you can optimise your design to achieve the goal. So, by involving every stakeholder in the project, you will get a direction or vision for the project.
Stephen Smith: The markets in the region have experienced a shift from an early construction build model to a design build model. Thereby, you involve the contractors upfront in the early design phase. This promotes synergy between the project teams and also promotes an integrated design process. This way you not only look at energy-efficient lighting but also the façade and building performance parameters. You can then balance them all.

Q. Including energy efficiency in the early stages has not been done in the UAE as much as the other parts of the world. Do you think that is the case? Or has it been quite good in this country?
Stephan Smith:
It is good in the UAE. I haven’t seen such a shift in any other countries in the GCC.

Q. What would you do to involve stakeholder at an early stage?
Amer H Shehader:
The market is still working in a traditional way, where the client is in one side, the project manager on another side, and consultants on the third side. Since this is a ‘step by step’ process, every time a new stakeholder enters the project you will have to educate that stakeholder to get them in line with the project.
By bringing all stakeholders together from the first stage is definitely better. We are doing it in a different way at Diamond Developers, we have a vertical integration where we have deliverables. We have sister companies who are contractors and consultants, involving everybody from day one.

Q. From a lighting point of view, would you rather be involved earlier than later?
Bram Lansink:
It is very important for a supplier to be involved from the beginning, then we give them pointers on what is the latest innovations in the market. By involving suppliers, the project will have the opportunity to be optimised through solutions.
It is also vital to involve stakeholders throughout the project up until completion. Because as project begins responsibility shifts and there are some decisions being made that do not help in optimisation.
Another point is these projects take so much time, that the speed of innovation in the market is quicker than the speed of construction. For example, in lighting every year there are new innovations in energy-efficient lighting and LED. So what could be a specified a year ago may not be the most optimal solution now.

Q. Elevator energy usage is a high demand on a building’s supply, how much progress have you seen from developers and other suppliers involved in an early stage?
Eric Johnson:
We work with our products and make sure it as energy efficient as possible but the whole picture is not possible. We do include all the stakeholders to make sure the solution can be an energy-efficient one.

Q. Does the panel feel that local contractors don’t understand the benefits of integrating energy efficiency from the early design stage?
Eric Johnson:
I think it’s mixed. There is some examples in the UAE where contractors don’t understand, but I think overall there is some kind of knowledge and awareness in the market. However, what to do with that knowledge is lacking. This should hopefully change with the new legislations coming, it would make things much clearer.
Amer H Shehader: Unfortunately, I feel most contractors are unaware of integrating energy-efficiency because they don’t care. And I don’t blame them. Their target is take the job, finish it on time, and take the money. They are not attached to the project, to be concerned about what would happen to it once it is completed.
I think if we give them a sense of ownership, there might be a chance. We must take ourselves out of the box, out of the traditional way of contracting. We must focus on the contractors, the output and the key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than focussing on the quantity. Taking time, cost and quality as the prerequisites, they are by default factors to be considered. KPIs are a measurement of the achievement, and could translate into a bonus. Instead of thinking about bonuses, contractors currently focus on penalties and how to escape them because developers usually look at guarantees, performance guarantees and time guarantees. Contractors are always threatened. But if we change our mentality, if we try to change the perspective and look at a more efficient way of managing the contractors, it would change their mentality.
Antonio Ceci: I think we must shift the responsibility in the earlier stages. You need to have a KPI in the design stage itself. I have the experience working with Masdar, where the KPIs for design and renewable energy was in every part for all buildings. This same method was taken in construction which made everyone focus on achievement. So you need KPIs in the design stage also.
Bram Lansink: The responsibility should not be solely of the contractors. For example, in lighting, after a project comes to life, and an energy-efficient lighting solution is available. Why does the contractor not choose this solution? Clearly it is in the best interest of everybody but the initial price is high. You will win that back in the upcoming years because of lower energy cost and lower maintenance costs, which will come back to the end user only. So if the performance indicators are set financially only, then the decision will not be towards the most energy efficient solutions.
Stephen Smith: Contractors are contractors. There is a very slim chance that they will think above and beyond unless there is something in it for them. That is just the way it is. We do put in performance indicators, but they don’t usually reflect on the work. Some take it seriously, others don’t.

Q. Are there any specific areas, that you could make a saving if you consider energy efficiency at the design stage?
Bram Lansink:
20% of the energy cost in the Middle East is spent on lighting. There is up to 80% savings involved when investing in energyefficient lighting. Imagine the opportunity we have in reducing the energy cost if we consider energy efficiency in the early stages. Dubai Municipality is taking it up by changing all its buildings’ traditional lighting to LED lighting, this will be a clear savings of over 50%. So it is not just a green solution, it also makes sense financially.
Antonio Ceci: In this part of the world the heat from the sun makes us consume more electricity through air-conditioners. Around 40% energy consumption in a building is from the air-conditioners. We need to start developing roof insulation and insulations for walls. The ‘envelope’ could save energy consumption by 5-10%. In this perspective the first thing to do is to go for passive design solution. There are many factors that could affect the energy efficiency of the building. The owner must have a clear vision about the project and what it must achieve.

Q. How was the Standard Chartered Bank building designed? Were all the stakeholders involved from the beginning?
Stephen Smith:
That was a designer build project. It was difficult at first, as we had to update all our staff and everyone was new to everybody. But by the end of the job, we had the project manager coming into the office and everything was very open and good. So now we have all the inputs taken straight up to top management.

Q. Can buildings still be green without a certification?
Amer H Shehader:
LEED was not made for this region. It may have been introduced for marketing or business purposes and everyone is using it. LEED is more of a documentation than implementation. It is on the procurement side only. There has to be a localised standard for sustainability.
Estidama, is a good approach, but even that has to be tested for a certain period, updated and in certain ways modified.
Dubai has started a draft for having sustainability guidelines and they might be enforced as of January 2014. We have a review with the land department to help draft the regulations. It will be implemented on a test period first, then it will take the inputs of the market.
Antonio Ceci: I partially disagree about Estidama and LEED. I think they are assessment tools used to measure sustainability. Different rating systems target different things. I don’t think LEED is not made for this region. LEED is a global rating system. Of course it does not address many points with water like Estidama does. These rating systems are just tools that could help you decide.

Q. Expo 2020 was announced yesterday. Do you think it is a good thing for Dubai and what will change?
Eric Johnson:
I do think it is good thing for Dubai because they have already shown what they can do. Now it is an opportunity for the region to show its commitment to energy efficiency. Antonio Ceci: It is great for the construction. Hopefully we will learn from the mistakes made in 2009. It is also motivating to see sustainability as one of the key points.
Stephan Smith: It is obviously great news for the industry and for the country. One thing from a sustainability perspective that I look forward to is how they’re going to rate the buildings, or and create regulations. Quite excited to see their master plan, especially if it would include a KPI system.
Amer H Shehader: The market has recovered before the bid, now winning the Expo 2020 will give them a further push. Even if we did not win, I have no doubt Dubai would still grow. The expo’s theme mobility, opportunity and sustainability, the vision of Sheikh Mohammed and the Dubai Government, will be a major drive.
Bram Lansink: Dubai has already had a clear drive to improve energy efficiency even before the expo. Being a part of Expo 2020 will only further accelerate Dubai into a greener place.

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A chilling reduction

The Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB) is the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sector of Abu Dhabi. Through unique initiatives to collect and share information, RSB’s Powerwise office works to create understanding and awareness of the critical issues surrounding the consumption of electricity and promote sustainable consumption. The Bureau’s ongoing energy efficiency projects include the time-of-day trial and AC chiller control demand side management pilot project. Ramiz Alaileh, Powerwise Manager at The Bureau spoke to Anoop K Menon about these projects and why they constitute an essential step towards shaping the Emirate’s future energy roadmap

Could you tell us about the current status of AC chiller control?
The AC chiller pilot project aims to test the technology of remotely controlling air conditioning chillers of high-rise buildings and office towers in Abu Dhabi. The main purpose is to test this technology in the local environment of Abu Dhabi, where the air conditioning load is about 65% of the total electricity summer demand, and to record the resulting reduction in summer peak demand.
The pilot project was divided into four phases. In the first phase, also called the pre-construction phase, we surveyed 15 buildings in Abu Dhabi, a mix of commercial, residential and office buildings, mid-rise to highrise to study and choose the best five for the pilot. We selected the final five buildings on the basis of the good condition of their chillers, proper insulation, and the building not being negatively pressurised. We also wanted to make sure that we have a combination of different chiller manufacturers.
During the second phase, which was the construction and design phase, we looked at the initial design of the controllers that would be mounted on top of the chillers. We studied controlling the chillers by limiting the current to the chillers, and at the same time, getting realtime information from the buildings about CO2, temperature and humidity levels. We also made sure that differential pressure in the building doesn’t get altered. Apart from chiller operation per se, we also took into account fresh air handling units in the design.
In the third phase, we built and installed the controllers in the buildings, and carried out initial testing to ensure they are working properly.
We have entered phase four of the pilot, where we have started running the chillers through controllers that are operated remotely through a dashboard in our offices in Sowwah Square. Of the five buildings in the trial, three are located in Abu Dhabi Island and two are in Mohammed Bin Zayed City. We communicate with the controllers wirelessly or through wired (fibre) network. We get realtime data about the actual chiller loads, actual temperature and humidity. At the moment, we run the chillers in these five buildings on a daily basis from 1pm to 4pm. Our focus is on optimising the chiller demand in these buildings during the peak period.

Are there initial findings that you could share?
In one of the installations, over the three hour operating period, we were able to shave between 20-40%. When we calculated the true savings or overall savings during this period, we found it to be around 750 kW/h.
In the first hour, when we trigger the DSM chiller, we cap the baseline current and from there, reduce 20% in terms of the set-point that is sent to the chiller. This set point lasts for one hour and usually, the chiller current will follow through the controller. At the start of the second hour, we bring it down by another 40%, and that continues for another hour. We release 20% for the third hour and at the end of the hour, disable the DSM. During this period, we monitor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), temperature and humidity. Temperature has changed from 21.5 degree C to 24 degree C while humidity changed between 60 -70%.
The building occupants are unaware about the pilot, and we prefer it that way to prevent any psychological impact on them. During the trial period, we have received only one complaint so far.
Phase 4 of the pilot will run until the end of next year. We could only capture part of the summer last year but in 2014, we plan to capture the whole summer. Based on that, we are going to run a study on the impact of the project in reducing peak demand during summer or hot/humid days. Humidity is a big challenge but so far the results have proven to be positive.
Again, we are trying to run this pilot as a proof of concept. If this proof of concept turns out to be a viable economic solution, we may take it forward with other stakeholders to prepare the ground for a bigger roll out.
In the trial, we have confined ourselves to existing buildings where the focus is on retrofitting and interfacing with existing AC chillers. The option for new buildings in the future could be having the controllers as a built-in feature in the chillers when designing and installing a cooling system.

How does this pilot align with what is happening in terms of smart grid?
What we are doing in terms of DSM in this project is trying to shave peak demand. In other jurisdictions, these peak demand resources (they are called resources because you can shave them) are integrated into the utility SCADA, EMS or Smart Grid systems. The utility will be able to take them into account resources when it wants to carry out peak shaving.

What are the initial findings of ‘Time-of-Day’ trial?
We have initiated the final phase of time of day trial where the objective is to understand over a period of time and in the absence of financial incentives, whether education and information can induce and sustain positive behavioural change in terms of reducing energy consumption.
During this phase, which will run till October 2014, time of day pricing will be switched off but participants will maintain the Customer Display Unit (CDU) in their premises to track their electricity consumption based on the standard tariff.
In parallel, we are kicking off a thorough study of existing data that we have collected over the past nine to 12 months. This includes pre-trial time-of-day pricing and during timeof- day pricing data. In this study, we are looking at the impact of the trial – how much we have been able to reduce overall consumption and how much the participants were able to shift from peak to off-peak.
Initial findings show that the trial was well received. Around 65% of the participants were able to save on their consumption. We have also seen 10% peak to off peak shifting compared to similar premises. We have appointed a third party organisation to analyse the data and advise us on the results.
We plan to release the findings during the International Water Summit (IWS), which will held in January 2014 as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

Are there any more of such initiatives in the pipeline?
In fact, we ran a highly successful summer awareness campaign this year where we interacted directly with the consumers. PowerWise interactive game is our flagship awareness platform to engage with consumers. We are always keen to learn and utilise technology as a tool to engage with the customers. The interactive game was used as part of our summer campaign in select malls in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The players competed against each other to gain the highest score in a race against time, to make the best decisions on how to save water and electricity. The initiative was well received with over 1,000 visitors trying the game.
The game is hosted on our website as well, and players can now share the results over social media. We are continuing to look at different options like web apps to engage with consumers. This is an integral part of our overall strategy of influencing consumer behaviour to encourage wise use of electricity.

All these initiatives impact consumers, directly or indirectly. What is your perception of consumer behaviour in the region with regard to energy conservation? Do they really care or are they helpless in terms of not being able to do what they wish to? Or is it that they are aware but don’t feel compelled to act?
Different consumer segments look at this issue differently. If we take our summer campaign as an example, it definitely struck a chord with consumers and received a lot of positive feedback. I firmly believe that awareness is not a oneoff thing, it has to be continuous and sustained. We have to engage with customers in innovative ways without overwhelming them with conservation messages. This should be done in an acceptable and fun way to achieve the best results.
Another initiative we launched last year in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and the two distribution companies – Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) and Al Ain Distribution Company (AADC) – was the ‘Are you in the Green or the Red’ campaign. The tool we used was re-designed utility bills that informed customers about whether their consumption fell in the green (ideal average) or red (above ideal average) as well as government subsidy that masks the actual cost of water and power.
When we did a study on the impact of this initiative, the feedback again was very positive. Some people were questioning why are we in the Red? We need to be in the Green. It has proved to be a very simple and effective way to engage with the consumers and entice them to do something about conserving electricity and water. In fact, many people didn’t know that subsidy existed. By saving electricity, you save on your utility bills and you also help the country. It has proved to be a simple yet effective measure in terms of creating awareness.

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