Technology costs as a barrier to energy and water efficiency in the commercial sector of the United Arab Emirates
Studies have shown that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has some of the highest electricity and water consumption rates in the world. To understand the barriers to the adoption of energy and water efficiency, Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wildlife Fund conducted 363 face-to-face interviews with representatives of companies tasked with energy and water management. The purpose was to understand the most important barriers hindering the UAE’s private sector from achieving wide-scale energy and water efficiency and to begin to identify solutions to mitigate these barriers. This paper focuses on technology costs as a barrier to energy and water efficiency in the commercial sector. Preliminary analysis indicates that, for the commercial sector, a contributing factor to the perception that efficient technologies are costly is the lack of accurate information on the full range and life cycle costs and benefits of efficient products. The most immediate solutions would be to address the financing and informational aspects of the technology cost barrier, as well as potentially provide incentives, such as rebates. In addition, attention must be given to barriers underlying many of the technology cost issues, such as subsidized tariffs and relatively few standards that would encourage adoption.