UAE introduces indoor lighting standard: good for environment and good for economy
The standard will see the introduction of safe, high quality and energy efficient lighting products to the UAE market, as well as the phasing out of low quality, inefficient lighting products. These measures will reduce energy consumption that will cut carbon emissions and result in financial savings for residents and the government.
Welcoming the effective collaboration between the government, private sector and NGOs which led to the development of the lighting standard as part of the Ecological Footprint Initiative, H.E. Dr Rashid Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water and the Chairman of the initiative’s steering committee said: “Local research as well as international best practice tells us that energy efficiency standards are proven to be a cost effective way to reduce energy usage and our carbon footprint. The new UAE lighting standard will reduce the country’s energy consumption by 340-500MW per year which is equivalent to not using an average gas power station for six months. By developing this standard, the Ecological Footprint Initiative is successfully achieving its mission, and is helping to bring economic and environmental benefits to the UAE.”
Speaking in support of the lighting standard, H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi stated: “This important achievement came as a result of the strong collaboration of all partners of the Ecological Footprint Initiative. The standard will help to significantly reduce energy consumption by ensuring only high quality lighting products are available in the marketplace. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular will realise substantial environmental and economic benefits, which is a great step forward in achieving our overall vision.”
The development of the standard was led by ESMA, the federal body of standardization in the UAE. Engineer Mohammad Saleh Badri, Director General of ESMA explained that the reason for developing the lighting standard was because switching to energy efficient lighting shows the highest potential in energy savings after cooling.
Mr. Badri stated: “After our work on the cooling standard, it was logical to focus on lighting. This standard, which will come into force six months after today’s announcement, will ensure that the market only carries high quality indoor lighting products that meet requirements including electrical safety, energy efficiency, functionality and limits content of hazardous chemicals.
“Through strategic collaboration this standard has been developed using extensive research, benchmarking international best practice and locally sourced data and analysis. This was coupled with extensive consultation with key stakeholders from different public and private entities, including the Middle East Lighting Association.”
In addition to the environmental benefits, this standard will also result in significant financial savings estimated at AED668 million annually. Of these total savings, approximately AED452 million will be saved by households each year, especially in emirates with higher tariff rates. It is estimated that an average villa in Dubai will save approximately 2,315 AED per year by changing its lights to energy efficient products.
Ida Tillisch, Director-General of EWS-WWF which collaborated closely with ESMA by providing technical support and facilitating stakeholder engagement, said: “The lighting standard brings environmental benefits by preventing 940,000 tonnes of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere each year. This is equivalent to removing 165,000 cars off the road annually. The standard will help reduce the UAE’s per capita ecological footprint; bringing the country closer to a more sustainable future. This has been made possible through the Ecological Footprint Initiative, and demonstrates the impact and importance of working collaboratively to bring about action for the benefit of the environment as well as the economy.”
ESMA will now lead on a six month implementation; coordinating with corporate stakeholders, manufacturers, retailers and other authorities related to the standard.