Energy metering to be made compulsory

Dubai Municipality is set to make energy metering compulsory for all new buildings under the Dubai Green Building Regulations, Emirates Business has learnt.

The move is aimed at reducing energy consumption and to offer residents a tangible incentive to cut their usage.

A municipality source familiar with the new guidelines said energy metering was at the top of its priority list and talks were on with different stakeholders and experts to compile a comprehensive document that left no loopholes.

"Energy metering is one of the important things which we think is going to help. We hope to implement it in the Green Building Regulation and it will reduce consumption. We are talking to many parties, gathering information and talking to Dewa for the best way to implement it," an insider told this paper.

The new regulations are presently being evaluated and a final decision on its implementation is expected within months.

Dubai Municipality's Assistant Director-General of Engineering and Planning Sector, Essa Al Maidoor, had earlier (December 22) told this newspaper that an announcement on the finalised green building legislations would be made by February 2010.

The new metering regulations will include a legal obligation to allocate costs on consumption basis, define costs and register meters.

The move should also ease the burden on other real estate bodies such as Rera, which are presently inundated with cases related to cooling charges.

The current draft of the regulations for air conditioning metering states; for all new buildings other than villas, which are supplied by a central air conditioning source (such as a chiller plant or district cooling), and where cooling energy is delivered individually to several consumers, meters must be fitted to measure and record chilled water supply to air conditioning units and to provide accurate records for consumptions.

Experts the newspaper spoke to said the authority was on the right track and has been proactive in taking suggestions and studying international regulations for metering energy consumption.

Other suggestions included an extension to the clause making it compulsory for costs to be allocated according to consumption. There were also calls for the regulations to be directed at existing buildings since the objective is to reduce consumption.

Once passed, these regulations will remove the prevailing flat rate paid per square foot system that penalises residents regardless of consumption.


Green Regulations to benefit residents

The current draft of Dubai Green Building Regulations that Dubai Municipality is working on seems to draw heavily from existing European regulations, much to the delight of local experts.

The regulations once implemented will directly benefit residents who have till date been charged on a flat rate paid per square foot they occupy regardless of actual consumption.

However, several existing clauses need further ironing out.

A clause for air conditioning metering states for all new buildings other than villas, meters must be fitted to measure and record chilled water supply to air conditioning units and to provide accurate records for consumption. Villas have been excluded since most villas run on electrical split units that are billed directly through Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Hans Altman, Regional Manager of radio metering company Techem welcomed the news and said it would make Dubai real estate attractive again.

"Since a considerable amount of energy is saved through consumption based billing, this is a great development. Every unit, whether it is an apartment or villa, should be metered for consumption. This has to be factored in the new regulations," he said.

The new regulations stipulate that energy meters designed to measure the supply of chilled water must be installed for each dwelling unit, office or tenant. The measuring device must measure the water flow and supply and return temperatures to determine the temperature differential and calculate the amount of cooling energy consumed.

It has also demanded compulsory metering for buildings using a building management system or central control and monitoring system "to allow real-time profiling and management of energy consumption".

The meters used will have to be designed for the measurement of chilled water rather than for hot water.

 

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