By Sarah Townsend
Financial incentives on offer to encourage Dubai citizens to cut energy use
Dubai residents are to be offered financial incentives to buy and sell energy-saving products for their homes, officials announced on Tuesday.
It is part of a larger drive to dramatically reduce energy use across the emirate – which has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world.
The Department of Economic Development (DED), with environmental agencies the Dubai Green Economy Partnership (Dubai GEP) and Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI) and backed by Emirates Islamic bank, has launched the ‘Green Deal’ to encourage citizens to cut energy consumption.
Under the deal, Emirates Islamic bank will provide financial incentives for customers to buy and sell energy products and services via a new government-run website.
All the ‘green’ products listed for sale are to be pre-verified by government-appointed experts and aim to cut domestic electricity, water and other energy usage.
The initiative is part of a major drive to become more environmentally friendly. The UAE has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world, according to the official 2015 State of Energy Report, published by the UAE government in January.
The report said the country produced almost 20 tonnes of CO2 emissions per person in 2010, a 63 percent increase from 2000.
However, the government has set ambitious targets to reduce energy use across the emirate by 30 percent and generate at least 25 percent of its power from renewable sources including solar, ‘clean’ coal and nuclear.
It also wants to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill to zero within 20 years and devise more sustainable methods of water generation.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Green Deal agencies described the initiative as “an online marketplace that allows users to view and purchase a series of pre-verified energy and water consumption products and services”.
They added: “Crowd-sourcing will allow for economies of scale to extend economic benefits to end users, while ensuring proper due diligence and a fast track approach to encourage adoption of new products and services.”
Ahmad Butti Al Muhairbi, chairman of Dubai GEP and secretary-general of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, said: “The Green Deal initiative is the best way to mitigate the rising energy and water consumption in UAE homes...and maintain the trajectory to sustainable living.”
In the UK, the government-run Green Deal offers homeowners similar financial incentives to install energy-saving measures at a discount.
Related initiatives enable customers to profit from selling surplus energy they no longer need to others.