REM Times spoke to industry professionals across the sector to understand how the new district cooling regulations will impact the built environment.
Last week witnessed a huge announcement with respect to Dubai’s new regulations covering tariffs on district cooling. This new regulation was welcomed by the real estate management sector in the Emirate. It not only reduces excessive billing but also has transparent processes in dealing with property owners facing heavy arrears.
Following the new law that will come into effect later this year will see the Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau (RSB) for the Electricity and Water Sector in Dubai supervise and monitor the activities of the district cooling companies to ensure compliance with the issued regulations.
The RSB has ensured that last year's reductions to fuel-surcharge are passed on to customers by the billing agents. It also aims to ensure only one deposit will be allowed per unit – either from landlord or tenant, and prohibit prolonged estimated billing, and fast replacement of faulty meters.
REM Times spoke to industry professionals across the sector to understand how the new regulations will impact the built environment.
Alan Rowlands, General Manager, Waseela Community Management
“The news of regulatory changes in District Cooling will be welcomed by consumers in Dubai that have received excessive charges in the past due to tariff increases, Delta T penalties, and faulty meters. District Cooling was always promoted as being the most efficient delivery system of cooling to buildings in the UAE and sadly it has not always lived up to this expectation. It would also be a welcome change to see regulators ensure that all units in the buildings are fitted with their own consumption meters and billed separately from the entire building. This may well be the single most important factor in ensuring reduced consumption and assisting in sustainability particularly as we move towards the net-zero carbon targets in the modern era.”
Mike Moore, VP of FM, Bawani International D&FM
“Personally, I welcome this initiative and think it’s long overdue. This industry has been under-regulated since its inception and the new approach should see a significant improvement in the end-user - costs and service levels. With the new giga projects here in KSA, district cooling will become more and more common, hopefully fully regulated from day one.”
Arshad Ahmed, Head of Buildings & Facilities Consultancy, Land Sterling
"The new set of regulations is a very welcome move. Cooling being the major consumer of Energy in Dubai, it is all the more necessary to build more transparency and consumer-friendly regulations. This new set of regulations, as we understand, will aim at reducing excessive billing and establishing stakeholder accountability to make the district cooling sector more efficient and customer-centric. This initiative will also make the District Cooling sector more customer-friendly and build value for money."
HP Aengaar, CEO at Provis
“The UAE has always adopted policies and economic strategies to ensure the competitiveness of all sectors including the real estate sector. The new district cooling regulations will ensure fair and transparent handling of chilled water expenses and consumption and make all real estate stakeholders more accountable and encouraged to adopt more energy efficiency practices, paving the way to the Net Zero emission targets. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on service levels for all end-users.”
Glen Aranha, Director - Communities, LOAMS, DAMAC Properties
“The district cooling regulation is the need of the hour and provides the required framework under which chilled water billing can take place in a structured manner. The regulation will guide all concerned stakeholders toward a fair & transparent mechanism under which charges are established and process simplified. The resolution will further strengthen the confidence of investors & property users in the real estate sector in Dubai.”