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January 2014:

Authority for Electricity Regulation, Oman to present results of

Residential Energy Use in Oman, Scoping Study’ at 2014 WFES

The Authority for Electricity Regulation, Oman, PassivSystems and the Energy Institute of University College London will conduct a one-hour session to present the results of a scoping study of residential energy use in Oman, at WFES in the Project & Finance Village on 22 January at 12:15.

The project report can be downloaded via the link below:

Residential Energy Use in Oman, Scoping Study 

Background

Residential consumers account for around half of total electricity supply in Oman. Between 2005 and 2012 electricity supply to residential consumers increased by 96% while electricity intensity (average MWh per account) increased by 32%. The rate of construction of new residential premises accelerated over this period with a noticeable increase in the number of larger premises. While these trends reflect the general increase in national prosperity, there is a cost: electricity subsidy increased from 116.4 m RO in 2006 to 274.5 m RO in 2012, of which residential consumers were the major beneficiary.

Improving the efficiency of electricity use in residential premises has the potential to reduce the growing cost of electricity subsidies, reduce the electricity sector’s consumption of indigenous gas resources, and reduce the investment in infrastructure required to meet growing peak demand. In recognition of this opportunity the Authority for Electricity Regulation contracted PassivSystems (an innovative home energy management services company) and the Energy Institute, University College London (a world-leading centre of energy research) to carry out a scoping study on domestic energy use in Oman.

An important aspect of the study was to pilot a data gathering exercise using multiple and innovative methods, including: a survey to gather data on building characteristics such as age, size, fabric, number of rooms, etc; a survey on occupancy (number, age profiles, employment status, attitudes to electricity use and energy costs etc), monitoring of in home energy use, all of which was correlated with ambient weather data. This integrated approach produces insights that go beyond any single method in isolation and has delivered some important findings as well as highlighting areas for future research.

The UCL Energy Institute developed an initial housing stock model as a framework to integrate data and test the effectiveness of a number of simple energy saving interventions in order to demonstrate the value of an evidence based approach to policy evaluation.

John Cunneen, Executive Director of the Authority for Electricity Regulation saidThis study has broken new ground, giving us a first glimpse of the drivers of energy use in Omani homes and how energy use is affected by the characteristics and interaction of property, occupancy and ambient temperature. We look forward to developing a statistically robust understanding of domestic energy use that will form the basis for cost effective energy efficiency policies to help reduce electricity consumption, and thereby reduce electricity subsidy, gas consumption, system investment requirements and, importantly, electricity bills without relying solely on higher electricity tariffs.

Tadj Oreszczyn, Professor of Energy and Environment and Director of the UCL Energy Institute, University College London said “Understanding the drivers of energy use at a household level is vital for the creation of robust models of domestic energy use. Where models are used as a policy development tool it becomes even more important that they accurately describe the situation on the ground. This scoping study has shown the value of a mixed methods approach to data gathering. Approaching a problem from a number of standpoints in this manner delivers a much richer understanding of the key factors.”

Colin Calder, CEO and Founder at PassivSystems saidThe scoping study in Oman has delivered a number of initial insights into the important factors that drive energy use in Omani homes. It has also delivered important practical knowledge on carrying out primary research and the deployment of our in home monitoring systems in the Middle East. We look forward to carrying on our work in this area, helping to deliver tangible reductions in energy use through understanding the drivers of energy demand.”

Notes on Participating Entities

The Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman was established by Royal Decree 78/2004 as amended to regulate the electricity and related water sector in Oman. The Authority is responsible for calculating electricity subsidy and has in recent years been calling for action to reverse the increasing trend of average electricity consumption per account (intensity). To find out more about the Authority please visit:

 http://www.aer-oman.org

The UCL Energy Institute has world-class expertise in energy utilisation. It has solid, class-leading research foundations, and acts as a well-respected independent advisor on energy policy to governments worldwide. It enables UCL to draw on all its disciplines to address the energy challenge. It has relevance to and impacts on each of the UCL Grand Challenges: Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing. To find out more about the UCL Energy Institute please visit

http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/energy  

PassivSystems Ltd is a pioneer in innovative system-based solutions that provide a smarter approach to grid balancing by anticipating home energy usage. Founded in 2008 and based in the UK and Denmark, its technology combines patent-pending learning algorithms based on building efficiency, occupancy patterns and weather data with one-touch control, providing optimised comfort while delivering significant savings - an average of 23% in a recent trial. To find out more about PassivSystems please visit

www.passivsystems.com