The pressure on Owners’ Association Managers and Interim Boards of the Dubai’s Owners’ Associations to save on energy bills has created a sort of group think in the entire industry. Owners’ complain of high service charge, the OA manager explains that more than 50% is going to energy bills, the solution; install meters and transfer some cost of energy to tenants, which will directly reduce service charge, and once tenants will start paying for what they use the overall energy consumption will also decrease.
Not sure how much energy or actual dirhams are saved but a potential meter fixing will cost a couple of hundred thousand dirhams, and will bring with it an ongoing process of billing. Is meter fixing the solution to high energy consumption?
The ability to measure consumption does not guarantee any saving leave alone its ability to payback the investment done on it. However, having meters and the ability disconnect does equip the management with a tool to improve service charge collections. Meters are particularly useful in developments where occupancy levels are low and owners may argue why they have to pay a consumption charge when the unit is unoccupied. The same also applies to units with big terraces.
There are 5 typical Chilled Water System arrangements that exist in various developments across Dubai;
The OA can save energy bills by:
For arrangements 4 and 5 following additional ways may work
Can Owners Increase Rental Return by Charging Cooling Cost to the Tenants?
Consider yourself a tenant and answer if you would pay the same rent for two apartments, wherein one you have to pay for Chiller and in one you don’t. In the short run the difference may not be very obvious however the market forces will surely play their role to adjust the prices. To save energy and money HVAC systems must be efficient.
Can installation of BTU meters reduce Energy bills?
Chilled Water (BTU) meters do provide a fair and transparent process of cost allocation, however BTU meter installation is simply a means to an end and not an end in itself. Mere presence of meter does not save energy. Much more needs to be done at the equipment and awareness fronts.
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