Contract awarded for energy audit of buildings

Conrad Prabhu –
Oman’s government has commissioned a leading Middle Eastern based energy solutions specialist to pilot a first-ever detailed energy audit of buildings in the Sultanate — an initiative that will help in, among other things, the design of energy efficient buildings in the future.
UAE-based Energy Management Services (EMS) announced this week that it has been contracted to conduct a Detailed Energy Audit of three sample buildings selected by the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman (AER) for the study.
“The objective of this project is to perform a Detailed Energy Audit of three selected buildings located in Muscat — Oman, in order to identify the current level of energy performance, advice on potential cost-efficient measures to improve it, and assess the energy and cost savings associated with implementing proposed action plan,” EMS said. It added that the project is being funded by the Sultanate’s Ministry of Finance.
The initiative — part of a commitment by the sector regulator, as well as the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) — is key to the development of a broader national strategy to incentivise the construction of energy efficient buildings — also known as ‘green’ buildings. Air-conditioning accounts for two-thirds of total electricity consumed by residential homes or commercial buildings — a level that experts warn is far from sustainable.
The energy audit initiative stems from a landmark study commissioned by the PAEW a couple of years ago. The study, which was undertaken in collaboration wih the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA), led to the formulation of an ‘Energy Efficiency and Conservation Master Plan in the Power Sector of the Sultanate of Oman’. Supported by experts drawn from Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the study chalked out a 20-year blueprint for improving energy efficiency on the demand side through to the year 2035.
The master-plan study, which was completed in 2013, mooted the importance of the following: Energy Management System; Minimum Energy Standards & Labelling System; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Building Regulations; Smart Metering; and Energy Efficiency & Conservation Dissemination. Implementation of these recommendations will be overseen by the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman.
Earlier this year, the regulator announced that it intends to pursue a number of energy efficiency related work streams during the course of 2017. The establishment of an energy efficiency data framework last year would enable the Authority to further specific actions, it said in its Forward Work Programme for 2017.