Inefficient appliances need to be out of the market: Experts


Saudi Gazette

— The hike in energy prices could contribute to energy savings in the country and push towards a more conscious consumer behavior in energy consumption, according to experts gathered at the EU-Saudi Arabia Energy Efficiency Meeting on the sidelines of the HVACR Expo that ends on Tuesday here.

Energy efficiency offers sustainable growth environmentally and economically as the GCC’s high consumption and rise in prices have a detrimental effect on the economic development, according to Lucie Berger, head of trade of the European Union’s delegation to the GCC who called on stakeholders to cooperate on initiatives to improve energy efficiency in Saudi Arabia as well as exchange best practices and technology.

In its first edition, the meeting organized by EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network sought to explore opportunities between Saudi Arabia and the European Union on HVAC standards, certification and labeling.

In the GCC, households are responsible for nearly 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Individuals need to learn how to save energy more, says Berger. “This is the time to talk about energy efficiency because every riyal saved is helping households to deal with the rising energy prices but at the same time it’s an opportunity to save domestic energy for exports,” she said in an interview with Saudi Gazette.

“I think by removing subsidies in Saudi Arabia, it will help the local population to rationalize their energy consumption more in the future. But at the same time, there needs to be the means to do that such as being able to buy appliances that are energy efficient and being informed about the energy consumption of the appliances.”

European experts discussed certification measures that contribute to energy efficiency. In the EU, energy efficiency measures have decreased energy consumption by half in buildings since the 1980’s, saving an average amount of 465 Euros per household annually.

“Saudi Arabia is not a very efficient country because the energy has been so cheap here so the potential for saving is probably much higher than in Europe,” noted Berger.

European delegates met with local bodies, including Saudi Standards Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) standardization body seeking to unify energy efficiency standards in the Kingdom.

In the GCC, ventilation, air conditioning and heating represent the biggest portion of energy consumption, which makes energy efficiency a critical factor to focus on, said Dr. Sufyan Al-Irhayim, director of conformity at the GCC Standardization Organization that produces standards for products according to efficiency.

“Even a small increase in the efficiency has a big impact,” he told Saudi Gazette. “We need to make a balance between increasing efficiency of products and reducing the waste that’s taking place in the use of energy.”

More expensive electricity bills should encourage both manufacturers and consumers to find ways to improve efficiency, he further said. “Any inefficient products have to be out of the market. Those in the market have to be rated according to efficiency of use in energy.”

Unifying standards across the GCC states remains a challenge, he commented.

As consumers face a surge in energy prices, there’s a compromise to be made when looking to switch appliances.

“High energy saving means the consumer will have to spend a bit more on appliances but will be compensated on the energy side in the long-term,” said Olaf Heyns, general manager at Carrier that has a 25 percent market share in ACs in the residential segment.

The HVACR market in the Kingdom is expected to double at a CAGR of around 13% from 2017-2022 on the back of developing energy tariffs, increased public awareness and an increased sense of responsibility, according to DMG Events’ portfolio director Nathan Waugh, who noted the exhibition is 20 percent larger than previous editions.