Update: Operational Energy And Water Efficiency Rating Scheme

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Dubai’s electricity and water regulator, the RSB, under the auspices of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and in conjunction with Etihad Energy Services, is developing an operational energy and water efficiency rating scheme for existing buildings in the emirate.

At a meeting with Graeme Sims, Executive Director of the RSB, I learned the following:

The rating scheme is being created to assess the operational performance of existing buildings. The design of the rating system has been completed and the project is now at the benchmarking phase, deriving a statistically sound distribution of current building performance.

The results of the assessment will likely be described in ‘stars’ and will be applicable initially to office, residential, and hotels buildings. Schools, hospitals and other building types may follow.

The rating system will be voluntary in the first instance but, depending on its success, the government may make this assessment mandatory. A soft launch of the rating system will be applied to a selection of pilot buildings.

Sims said two assessment methods will be available: A base building assessment (where tenant metering is available and the building is centrally cooled) and a whole building assessment (where tenant metering is absent or there is no central cooling). The assessment is likely to be carried out annually as a spur to continuous improvement, with the initial assessment fee covering three years of assessments. Sims was able to confirm that indoor air quality will also be assessed, unit suite area will be used instead of GFA, and that landlords will be able to use the rating system in marketing materials.

The assessments will be carried out by selected, trained and certified assessors with Etihad ESCO administering the scheme. Building owners will meet the costs of the assessment.

An anticipated official launch date is yet to be announced by the RSB.

The RSB supports the implementation of Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (DIES) and Demand Side Management Strategy (DSM). By 2030 the aim is to raise energy efficiency by 30% and energy supply is to be transformed with renewables, coal and nuclear all added to the electricity generation mix, currently dominated by gas.

The JLL P&DS Energy & Sustainability Services (ESS) team will be able to advise all of their clients on a one to one basis, both landlords and tenants, on the effect this rating system will have on their assets. Please contact me for further information.

Chris Aird

Author: Chris Aird

Chris Aird, Eng MCIBSE, LEED AP ID+C, is an Associate for JLL’s Project & Development Services department for MENA

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