In the last year, energy costs in Dubai have risen by 40% to 21fils/ kWh and will continue to increase as the Government looks to streamline its energy subsidy policy and reduce electricity consumption. The majority of building stock is now 10-15 years old and operated with inefficient equipment and no building management systems. Some of these buildings are wasting millions of dirhams in electricity costs every year due to the lack of cash reserves (sinking funds) to invest in retrofits and know-how to make their buildings more efficient without compromising building environment.
At the recent Dubai Retrofit Conference in March 2015 it was clear that getting people to engage in retrofit and energy performance contracts in the UAE continues to be a major challenge. Technical solutions and technology used in retrofit projects have largely been proven in mature markets such as the UK and USA with substantial results but it hasn’t quite taken off in the UAE market just yet.
Stuart Harrison- Support Services
Customer awareness and funding seem to be the two biggest challenges that the market must overcome. There are cases where Energy Performance Contracts are not well understood and there is a reluctance to engage in retrofit projects due to skepticism of what can actually be achieved. This reluctance extends to funding and in a developing market; banks and third party funders are vary of engaging in projects which leave potential clients without the necessary funding.
Emrill Energy has been quick to understand the market challenges and develop a complete solution to address these by offering a funding model along with the energy efficiency and energy engineering solutions. Emrill is one of the first government certified companies to carry out energy services and our approach is fairly simple. We provide a detailed energy audit that outlines the savings that can be achieved which normally amount to approximately 25-35%. We detail the retrofit work that needs to be carried out for that particular building or complex.
Our clients then have two choices, we can fund the full retrofit and use some of the energy savings to pay off the retrofit costs or on the other hand, they can fund the retrofit themselves and retain a large share of the savings. Generally, 90% of our clients opt for us to fund the retrofit as it alleviates the financial pressure. The market is flooded with systems that reduce energy consumption but at Emrill Energy Services we have driven a strategy that looks at the green technology that presents a significant payback in less than three years. The price point for any Energy Conservation Measure against the energy saving is crucial to sell a retrofit design within this region. The next few years will be exciting for energy efficiency projects in the UAE as we will witness the market beginning to mature, gradually open up and demand increase in the drive to achieve the 2030 Energy Strategy objectives.