Just normal power cuts

I can’t imagine the hell people are going through in Sharjah.

A friend of ours has antiquated AC that his landlord won’t repair for him and he has a tough time in summer, but having no AC at all?

I am surprised at the comment from the power company ““They are just ordinary power cuts,” a spokesman said without providing further information.”

I wonder if anything positive will come out of this – insulation and a sensible approach to power use?

Across the UAE and the Gulf, energy is wasted in, what seems to me, a ridiculous fashion.

One example – now that it’s summer, my usual Thursday evening circuit training class has moved from Safa Park to the ‘Fitness Beat’ studio in a new building opposite the Sun office. Even though this building can’t have been open for more than a year or two, the entire place leaks cold air – not a single door actually shuts in a vaguely sealed manner, an inch between doors being the norm. The doors aren’t insulated, they are just thin glass. Every AC thermostat you see is set to 15C, so the AC is constantly running at full blast, blowing cold air, consuming vast amounts of energy, in a vain attempt to cool down the rest of Dubai.

It’s 45C outside, but the doors don’t shut? How can something like this get built in the first place and how can it make economic sense?

Our development’s the same. A top of the range development, opened in September 2007, yet not a single solar powered water heater to be seen. Lights on everywhere, no timers on lights in common areas, no motion sensor light switches, doors to common areas that don’t close properly, front doors that aren’t insulated.

To top it all, we pay a fixed charge for the ‘chiller’. This means that someone in an apartment that has the sun on it all day can leave their balcony windows open, run the AC at full blast and pay the same as boring people like me who make a vague effort to conserve AC related energy.

Forget about being green and saving the environment and focus on the usual deciding factor, the money involved- it surprises me that the local authorities allow this situation to continue, as it’s not in their own economic interests. I am sure that the cost of building a new power station is rather large. Would some economic incentives to encourage some more sensible building standards and thus reduce power consumption not make more sense?

I’m quite happy with the small amounts I pay for my power here and, like any consumer, don’t really like the idea of paying punitive rates just so that we are all encouraged to save energy. Is that the only option though? I would think that some simple standards being set for buildings would be a good first step. It doesn’t have to be radical – simply mandating that doors close properly would be a good start.

The Grumpy Goat has a good piece on the general topic as well.

2 Responses to “Just normal power cuts”

  1. Spear The Almighty Says:

    You make an excellent point. My office is a good example. The window doesn’t close properly and hot air keeps seeping in. However, to get the damn thing fixed seems impossible. They fix it, 2weeks later, same problem.

  2. Jon Masters Says:

    Awesome stuff. Thanks for writing it! 🙂

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