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Hundreds of Dubai buildings to retrofit lights under energy performance contracts

If Dubai really wants to become a sustainable city, it needs to start retrofitting some of these buildings with more efficient technology | Photo:

Dubai is turning to energy performance contracts in a bid to slash its carbon emissions, as a raft of organisations sign deals with the new government-owned energy services company.

Etihad Esco, set up by the Dubai government two years ago, has agreed to audit energy use and install more efficient technologies including LED lighting at hundreds of buildings.

Its new clients include the GDRFA (the government department that handles visas and border controls), the Dubai World Trade Centre, the Dubai Airport Free Zone, the government-owned property management business Wasl, and the port operator DP World, which runs the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

The organisation previously announced agreements with its parent body, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), to install energy-saving technology, including thousands of LED lights.

Etihad Esco is on a mission to retrofit 30,000 buildings in Dubai with more efficient technology, as part of the emirate’s plan to get its energy consumption down by 30 per cent by 2030. It is trying to kickstart a market for independent energy services companies in Dubai, encouraging them to get accredited with the Dubai Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau, and to participate in the tenders that it advertises.

The organisation is now auditing energy use at the 450 buildings that Wasl owns in the residential, hotel and commercial sectors, 254 buildings in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, 31 GDRFA buildings, and all the buildings of the Dubai World Trade Centre and Dubai Airport Free Zone.

Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO of Wasl Asset Management Group, said the deal with Etihad Esco ‘will generate high returns on investment in the long run. It will benefit residents, the local environment and enhance the lifespan of the group’s facilities and buildings.’