Emirates Energy Star - Reducing the Carbon footprint of UAE

Benefits of participation in the Emirates Energy Star Program

Joining the Emirates Energy Star program brings benefits to participants both in reducing energy use, and therefore bills, but also in gaining recognition for supporting a green initiative.

Of all operating costs, energy use is the most controllable one through the use of energy-efficient equipment and practices. These can achieve savings on fuel bills of 20 percent or more without inconveniencing staff or customers. This degree of cost cutting can improve the bottom line, increase profits, and put facilities in a more price-competitive position. Energy costs are volatile, but the underlying trend is upwards. Improved energy management will reduce vulnerability to fluctuations in price and savings go straight to the bottom line.

In addition to saving money on utility bills, joining the Emirates Energy Star program can:

  • improve customer and staff comfort and satisfaction levels
  • reduce maintenance costs and system failures
  • increase equipment life and building value

And, because building retrofits and other energy efficiency measures help to reduce GHG emissions that contribute to climate change, joining the Emirates Energy Star programme will:

  • provide a marketing tool as a sustainable business
  • enhance corporate citizenship and meet corporate social responsibility targets
  • support global climate change initiatives by the UN and UAE
  • help the UAE meet its targets set in the Kyoto protocol
  • reduce the building's, company's and country's carbon footprint

Benefits of active management of energy systems

Most buildings have significant scope for their energy management to be improved. Building management systems have come a long way, but it is still common to find air-conditioned buildings uncomfortably cold. In many commercial buildings, lighting is a major consumer of energy and lights are often left on throughout the building, whether they are needed or not. Similarly, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are often running to cool empty rooms. Although HVAC systems nowadays are controlled centrally, the HVAC system is usually managed separately from the lighting, even though lighting is an important source of heat. Often the maintenance schedule is designed to keep engineer visits as infrequent as possible, despite the fact that pro-active maintenance would reduce energy use. Linking buildings to the Emirates Energy Star GCCC makes it possible to reduce energy consumption by up to 30%, with only limited initial investment. This is achieved by managing the building eco-system as a whole, in real time, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, thereby controlling temperature and light levels more precisely and ensuring that facilities equipment is not running unnecessarily.

Using current technology, the usual method of managing energy use is to deploy thermostats. This does help to control consumption, but active management of energy systems can deliver much bigger savings than just deploying thermostats. Linking all the separate control systems in the building, and monitoring them in real time, makes it possible to optimize the use of HVAC systems and eliminate faults. Moreover, centralized management and reporting allows facilities managers to set priorities for upgrades and improvements. Studies of smart buildings suggest potential HVAC energy savings from managing the building eco-system as a whole are up to 30% in public buildings, while savings on lighting and hot water can add another 10% or more.

Occupancy sensors can adjust light levels and air conditioning when someone enters a room and thermostat set points can be varied according to time of day and season of the year. Outdoor lighting can be timed differently at different times of the year. Designing light levels carefully, using daylighting where possible, and turning lights off when not needed, can save up to 50% of lighting energy consumption.

Both lights and HVAC systems are more efficient when the units are kept clean. Predictive maintenance, using information from the Galaxy platform, can reduce energy bills and optimize use of staff time by scheduling cleaning or replacement of equipment in batches. By monitoring the building in real-time 24x7, comparing actual energy use with the forecast base load, and identifying the cause of any variations from the expected consumption, energy use can be optimized. Target energy use levels can be set and HVAC and lighting systems remotely controlled to keep within the target. By turning down or off low-priority areas when consumption exceeds the target level, energy use can be kept within budget.

Benefits of the star rating system

The star rating can be used in marketing material or displayed in the lobby to demonstrate the company's green credentials. The program uses a transparent standard for rating buildings reductions in energy use, awarding up to five stars based on measured savings achieved.

The rating system depends on being able to quantify and verify the energy savings expected in a transparent manner. Emirates Energy Star will use scientifically sound modeling techniques, based on international standard methodologies, to achieve this.

Without regular monitoring and follow-up it is difficult to evaluate the savings from an energy reduction project. Emirates Energy Star will use GCCC to monitor the energy consumption of the building in real time, establishing a benchmark for current usage and another for the target of achievable reductions. It will continually verify that the building is meeting the target required for its star rating.

The program can easily co-exist with existing standards and rating systems such as LEED and the Estidama rating system introduced in Abu Dhabi.

  •     RKM Trading (Energy Savings – 34%; CO2 Elimination – 2161.2)      
  •     Bank Melli Iran (Energy Savings - 33%; CO2 Elimination – 1,652; Sites - 1)      
  •     RAK Chamber of Commerce & Industry Building (Energy Savings - 33%; CO2 Elimination – 1,925.5; Sites – 1)      
  •     Ajman Chamber (Energy Savings - 31%; CO2 Elimination – 500.6; Sites – 1)      
  •     Dubai Municipality (Energy Savings - 29%; CO2 Elimination – 1,253.9; Sites – 1)      
  •     Dr. Ahmed A. Al Banna (Energy Savings - 28%; CO2 Elimination – 637.5; Sites - 1)      
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