Building sector consumes over 80 percent of Saudi-generated electricity

Published May 14th, 2015 - 12:30 GMT

The building sector consumes more than 80 percent of the Kingdom’s generated electricity, local media said quoting data released by the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI).

According to the CDSI data, air-conditioning sets alone swallow nearly 70 percent of the building sector’s total energy consumption at an annual growth rate of 12 percent.

Seventy percent of the Kingdom’s buildings are not thermally insulated, Asharq Al-Awsat daily said quoting the CDSI report.

Meanwhile, experts at the Saudi Center for Energy Efficiency (SCEE) have stressed the need to curb power consumption at government buildings at a rate not less than 25 percent, a matter that will slash costs of power consumption by SR1.2 billion ($320 million) per annum.

Head of Middle East Center for Economic Studies Abdulrahman Ba-Ashin said per capita energy consumption in the Kingdom is twice the world average, at an annual growth rate of more than 5 percent.

He attributed the rising power consumption to a variety of reasons, including increased demand on power due to urban, industrial and developmental progress in the Kingdom, in addition to the absence of power rationalization culture in the community.

He called for the enhancement of power rationalization culture which, he said, will only be attainable through the combined efforts between certain bodies such as the Ministry of Water and Electricity, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Electricity Regulatory Agency, the Ministry of Commerce, Customs Department and other agencies concerned with the import of electric equipment.

In this context, Abdulrahman Al-Ata, an economic analyst, stressed the need for providing low-cost energy options such as solar and renewable energy sources as well as the spread of the energy efficiency concept, and its positive impact on consumers and the national economy as well.

He called for the introduction of strict regulations on traders and businessmen who are importing high energy consuming electrical equipment.

Al-Ata also stressed the importance of cooperation with the Saudi Center for Energy Efficiency (SCEE), adding that there was coordination between the SEC and the Ministry of Housing on the application of thermal insulation program in buildings in a manner that will save 40 percent of electricity consumption.

By Sharif M. Taha

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