Dubai electricity costs soar 66% in one year
Commercial and residential property owners and tenants in Dubai who failed to take energy saving measures a year ago will have seen their electricity bills soar by up to 66% in the past 12 months, according to a new survey, details of which are released today (28 February 2009).
The survey was carried out for leading property and facilities management event FMExpo, by Farnek Avireal, the UAE company which advises building owners on how to dramatically cut utility bills.
FM Expo takes place from 24-26 May 2009 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre and is the premier event for the Middle East property and facilities management industry, estimated to be worth $704 billion over the next 25 years.
On 1 March 2008 Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) introduced a new tariff structure known as the slab system. It was aimed at encouraging energy consumers to use less by paying more.
Average individual electricity usage at the time was said by DEWA to be 20,000 kilowatt hours per annum and 130 gallons of water daily, placing Dubai among cities with the highest consumption per person in the world.
However, consumers, whether commercial, educational or residential who did not introduce measures to reduce consumption after the introduction of the slab tariff will have seen electricity bills in some cases soar in the past full year by over a million dirhams.
The survey, based on actual buildings, shows a Dubai office tower of around 35,000 square metres on Sheikh Zayed Road, which had a previous annual electricity bill of AED2.5 million ($680,000), with an increase over the past year of 65% to AED4.12 million ($1.2 million).
Similarly, a hotel of around 20,000 square metres in the New Dubai area which had previous annual energy costs of AED1.5 million ($410,000), has seen a rise of 66% to AED2.48 million ($680,000).
In addition, a typical villa in Jumeirah with a previous annual energy bill of AED24,000 ($6500) has seen a rise of 37.5% to AED33,120 ($9000).
Farnek Avireal say the cost of its Energy Saving Module – which reduces electricity consumption from air conditioning and refrigeration systems by up to 25% – can be paid back in savings within 12 to 18 months. “In most cases, building owners would now be reaping the rewards of those savings if they had introduced our systems at the time of the introduction of the slab tariff,” said Markus Oberlin, General Manager of Farnek Avireal Middle East, an exhibitor at FM Expo.
“The facility management industry is at the forefront of improving investment returns for building owners or tenants,” said Louisa Theobald, Group Exhibitions Director of Streamline Marketing Group, organisers of FM Expo.
“In today’s tight markets, substantial savings like these can make or break companies,” she added. “Smart companies are growing to realise that they can obtain substantial improvements in energy efficiency for relatively low cost over short payback periods.” The development cost of most facilities whether offices, hotels, hospitals or educational establishment represents only about 20% of the total spent across the lifetime of a building with facilities management and maintenance making up the remaining 80%.