Efficient energy models can help a property save up to 5% in cost and energy consumption.
Land Sterling is the region’s leading property and real estate consultancy. Backed by data-driven reports, Land Sterling provides advisory services to clients, investors and developers to enable them to make informed property decisions.
With a cumulative experience of more than 100 years, Land Sterling’s team of professionals has been providing unparalleled expertise and game-changing thought leadership in the property, building and real estate industry.
Identifying areas of opportunities in energy improvement
Currently, the UAE’s built environment consumes from 70 to 80% of the country’s total electricity generation, and existing buildings play a crucial role in inefficiency. According to the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), around 25% of the buildings in the UAE are running inefficiently and have massive potential for energy saving.
It is expected that a total investment of US$163 billion is needed in the new built renewable projects to achieve the goal of 44% renewable energy capacity by 2050. However, as long as the demand-side management (DSM) is inefficient, energy generated will remain inefficiently utilized.
Energy audits identify opportunities in energy saving to help reduce the cost of operation in a building or facility. It also helps improve the sustainability of buildings and developments in the long run.
Energy auditing companies with proven energy savings solutions, expertise in commercial and industrial energy auditing and demand-side management can shine in the region. Energy improvements and effective implementation make a property significantly more attractive for investors and buyers by directly reducing operating costs.
The current state of energy audits in Dubai
The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 sets ambitious targets to improve energy efficiency up to 30% by 2030. To achieve this goal, DSM is one of the critical areas of focus and is overseen by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE).
The DSM strategy identifies that retrofitting existing buildings is a crucial step to meeting energy efficiency targets. Energy audits are fundamental in successfully achieving energy-saving goals. DSCE shows a solid commitment to improving energy auditing processes in the region by defining Energy Savings and Opportunities Schemes (ESCO) and providing accreditation through the Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau for the Electricity and Water Sectors (RSB). More than 10 RSB accredited energy auditing companies and over 25 ESCO companies are in Dubai.
While a clear commitment from the DSCE for energy auditing and energy savings in the region is present, there are still missing links in the whole ecosystem. Uncertainty in proving energy saving after audits and audits aimed at selling products marketed by auditing companies slow down progress in reaching energy improvement targets. Another industry challenge is the undefined grey area in ESCO model investment, which companies are unsure of.
Expo 2020: a leader in energy efficiency
The highly anticipated Expo2020 showcases three interconnected drivers of progress in the region: opportunity, mobility and sustainability. In particular, an emphasis on the environmental aspect of sustainability demonstrates how resources are efficiently and effectively used while keeping in mind society and the economy.
Many pavilions achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold and platinum ratings. In addition, roads have been built using reclaimed crushed concrete, salvaged from old or demolished buildings as part of site-wide sustainability commitments, adding more value to the life cycle of concrete.
From an energy perspective, Expo2020 aimed to achieve efficient energy use and sustainable energy production by utilizing passive design solutions, appropriate ‘active’ industry-standard solutions, innovative technological solutions and renewable energy systems.
Energy audit plays a fundamental role in understanding how energy is used in a facility. Expo2020 has created energy management models with the assistance of ASHRAE 90.1, an internationally recognized standard for building efficiency and adviser for setting up guidelines in energy audits.
Key energy installations in Expo2020 include 12,000 sqm of photovoltaic (PV) surfaces across the Sustainability Pavilion’s roof, solar trees and rooftop solar PV panels on permanent buildings. These initiatives provide approximately 22% of the energy required to operate the facilities.
As a result, the energy demand in the built environment of the event has been significantly reduced by 20% compared with international standards and the site-wide annual energy consumption is reduced by 30%.
Benefits of proper energy audits in residential property developments
Commercial energy audits are an essential step in keeping operations of buildings at top performance. Energy audits can identify critical areas of improvement and provide valuable suggestions to save energy onsite. These suggestions can range from devising simple energy savings campaigns, which can be developed in-house by the facilities management team, to complex retrofits for chillers, boilers, etc.
The savings a facility can bring forward with simple behavioral changes of the occupants and operators can reach up to 5% in savings, depending on the facility. Undoubtedly, cost, environmental, carbon reduction, and life cycle cost savings can be brought into a community with the successful implementation of the findings of an audit.
However, in reality, there is an industry practice of disregarding the results of an audit. The reasons vary, including limitations imposed by existing service contracts, lack of financial and management commitment and lack of follow up by the auditing company, amongst many other reasons.
Land Sterling champions energy auditing
Land Sterling is a sustainability and energy efficiency-focused company that identifies energy auditing as a key area of attention. Dubai’s leading building and project management consultancy, Land Sterling, is an RSB-certified energy auditing company with a qualified and experienced team of AEE-certified energy auditors, energy managers and CMVP professionals.
Land Sterling has brought in at least 5% operations cost saving in over 200 ASHRAE-level audits in Dubai’s residential and commercial buildings.
Land Sterling is also deeply invested in understanding energy use and developing an ecosystem of energy savings solutions for the built environment. Using artificial intelligent tools (AI), Land Sterling aims to learn observable and significant behavioral patterns of building occupants to optimize HVAC and lighting systems to improve energy savings.