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Green lighting initiative launches in UAE

‘I LED the way’ campaign urges residents to switch to energy efficient lighting

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A new green initiative in the UAE aims to promote the use of LED lights and energy efficiency in an attempt to minimise negative environmental impacts.

The nationwide “I LED the way” campaign was launched by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

The 12-month eco-programme will use awareness campaigns, community engagement and green initiatives to achieve its objectives, according to a statement by its organisers.

The initiative will kick off on May 22 with the Efficient Lighting Campaign, which will seek to promote energy efficiency in lighting. Culminating on June 5, which is also World Environment Day, the campaign will use education and retail-orientated programmes to motivate residents to reduce their lighting footprint.

According to ESMA, the campaign will also go a long way in supporting the recently implemented national Regulation for Lighting Products, passed by the authority in late 2013, in which the governing body placed a ban on inefficient lighting technologies from entering the UAE market.

During the Efficient Lighting Campaign, all high efficiency LED lighting products, as certified by ESMA, will be discounted by 25% for a week at select Dubai retailers. Residents will also be offered environmentally friendly disposal solutions for their old light bulbs, which can contain harmful levels of toxic mercury.

Niall Watson, founder of the initiative, said: “Our aim is create green societies by motivating the individuals within them to become green champions. On a micro-level, the programme aims to support the UAE in becoming a more environmentally sustainable nation and achieve a significant reduction in national energy (electricity and water) consumption target by the year 2021. Moreover, by minimising or even reversing the negative environmental impacts brought about by rapid economic growth in the UAE, such as increases in carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, we can begin to tackle the global problems of climate change and the depletion of our planet’s natural resources.”

According to studies revealed by the campaign authorities, 57% of the UAE’s ecological footprint is generated from household energy consumption, 6% of which is attributable to lighting. Incandescent lamps account for the majority of lighting energy usage, totalling 78%. By switching to energy efficient lighting (EEL), the UAE could make a 65% saving in electricity. Additionally, adopting EELs could also yield a 28% cooling bonus due to reduced air conditioning demand, as it avoids the heat generated by incandescent lamps. A switch over will result in an estimated saving of AED 459 million in utility bills across the UAE, and the government is set to save an estimated AED 216m in energy subsidies required each year.

The “I LED the way” initiative aims to better understand the key barriers to adopting greener lifestyle choices, and will work closely with the private sector to overcome these challenges, ESMA said. The initiative is supported by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF), Emirates Green Building Council, lighting manufacturers Philips and OSRAM, and retailers IKEA, Carrefour, ACE Hardware, Spinneys, Union Co-Op, Lulu Hypermarket and Geant.

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