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Friday, May 14, 2021

Minister: Qatar to ban energy-hungry AC units and light bulbs this year

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

To help cut electricity usage in Qatar homes, the government is working to phase out the sale of conventional domestic air conditioning (AC) units, with only energy-efficient ones being offered in stores by September this year, a senior Ministry of Environment (MOE) official has announced.

In the interim, existing energy-hungry “split” (wall-mounted) and window units will be monitored and replaced with newer, high-performance systems that consume up to 30 percent less power, he said.

The move comes as Qatar also works to ban the import of tungsten (incandescent) light bulbs, in favor of energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Speaking on the sidelines of a recent workshop, Dr. Mohammed bin Saif Al Kuwari, assistant undersecretary for laboratory and specifications at the MOE, said that Qatar would stop importing the widely used old-style bulbs by April, the Peninsula reports.

Officials in Qatar have been talking about phasing out old ACs and lightbulbs for years, but the high cost of energy-efficient models has made implementation difficult.

Still, according to the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-16, domestic AC units account for two-thirds (67 percent) of total residential power consumption. With just two years to go to fulfill the strategy, finding greener ways of cooling homes has become a priority for authorities.

“They will be replaced by other types of A/Cs which use advanced technology, save energy and give better cooling. They are also environment friendly because they use gas which does not pollute the environment,” Al Kuwari said, while admitting that the new systems would be around 5 percent more expensive than existing models.

Meanwhile, the country also hopes to honor a GCC-wide agreement to improve the safety standards of a range of everyday household electrical appliances, including hair dryers, food mixers, refrigerators and washing machines, by July 2016.

Previous calls

State energy company Kahramaa (Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation) first announced that Qatar would join numerous other countries in banning the sale and import of incandescent light bulbs in December 2012.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

At the time, the plan was to first tackle 100W and 75W bulbs, followed by 60W bulbs and then finally 40W bulbs.

However, no movement was made for nearly a year. Then, in September 2013, the MOE announced that it had introduced new regulations governing the import of electrical appliances, which were supposed to take effect from Jan. 1, 2014.

In a statement issued at the time, Kahramaa said that it would only permit the import of AC units that were “in accordance with Qatari standard approved QS SASO 2663/2013 and the Energy Efficiency Rate (EER) of these air conditioners shall not be less than 8.5 Btu/hour.”

Similarly, it said that 75W and 100W tungsten light bulbs would be banned, but progress on enacting these regulations appeared to have stalled.

New regulations

Al Kuwari announced the latest rules when speaking yesterday at a workshop discussing new GCC-wide regulations on low-voltage electrical appliances. According to the Peninsula, he said:

“Air conditioners will be monitored and the conventional A/Cs which consume high amount of electricity will be replaced by A/Cs that can save up to 30 percent of energy.”

He added that a public awareness campaign would soon by launched by the ministry to encourage more people to be aware of their energy use at home.

Kahramaa already attempts to draw attention to wastage through its Tarsheed campaign, which is tasked with reducing domestic use of energy and water.

The agency’s five-year plan, which launched in April last year, aims to cut electricity usage per person by 9 percent – from 43 KWh/day currently to 39KWh/day by 2018.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Separately, Qatar is part of a GCC initiative to regulate a number of domestic electrical appliances. The GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) ruled in November last year to introduce minimum technical requirements for low-voltage appliances.

Goods such as fans, food mixers, electric heaters, fridges and washing machines will all have to carry a permanent G-mark sticker that shows they meet the necessary standards.

The regulations are expected to be enforced starting in June, and will be mandatory by July 2016. A full list of all appliances governed by the new rules can be found here.

Under the regulations, each country is required to set up its own enforcement body, which can authorize recalls for appliances which don’t comply. Under Article 36, sanctions against companies found to repeatedly break the rules include criminal proceedings.

Thoughts?

35 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Good move hope to see it enforced.. Also an automobile tax based on car’s carbon emission would be great.. and regulate bins and trash bags.. Make them expansive and ensure to dispose trash must be in regulated bins and bags.. This way people try to reduce waste ..

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

tax based on carbon emission? Here? Where there are no hybrid cars? It’s utopia! Instead there should be doing the checking of gas-pipes emissions especially on old cars. Some should not circulate! This is how you could tackle the pollution problem.

Not having hybrid or gas fuel cars how can you introduce this tax?

Still this move is very positive. I wish also to see reduced waste in public places like Malls Cinemas etc

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Good news for once. Now the big supermarkets need to step up and be proactive- Lulu, Carrefour, Spinneys, Safari- stop selling tungsten lamps. Of course there will be thousands still available for sale, but until Mainstream outlets make this move, an edict from above wont make the difference. These are pretty small and painless steps to take, which is the road to success. Nice move, Qatar

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

The overwhelming majority of domestic A/C units in Qatar use the outdated inefficient R22 refrigerant which in compliance with the Montreal Protocol can no longer be legally manufactured in “developed” countries. However the Protocol allows R22 to continue in use In “developing countries”, of which Qatar is one, until 2030. Even now R22 units are still being installed in new dwellings simply because they are cheap outdated technology. Fine words from the government, but the latest R410A refrigerant units have been available worldwide for some years now and very few have been installed in developing countries. There will be no quick fix for Qatar.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Quick fixes rarely solve long term problems. We have to start somewhere. In the UK,
it was slow and steady, and millions still use inefficient heating systems, energy
inefficient appliance and live in poorly insulated properties. Hoever huge
changes have taken place and people in general are largely on board with saving
energy, also because it’s so expensive too.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

How can I tell if an AC is r22 or r410a

JustMe
JustMe
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Ask the service people what refrigerant they use

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  JustMe

Doubt they’ll know but I’ll try.. So it’s about the refrigerant and not the unit itself ?

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Of course they know it, they gonna refill it if needed and the gas cylinder is clearly labeled. Definitely R22.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yes it’s all to do with the refrigerant. R12 is banned worldwide but some units are still being used although no R12 refrigerant is available to replenish them.. R22 is also ozone depleting and so to be phased out. Next was R407C which is still being installed but has long been superseded by R410A. Each development is more efficient and environmentally friendly than the last.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Every internal and external unit has a metal plate or label on it that details it’s power output, power consumption, and the type of refrigerant used.

ANIT R N
ANIT R N
6 years ago

Will Kahramaa replace the window AC with energy efficient ones and shoulder the cost…. Now itself the high rents,,,, high cost of living is giving the 90% of the qatar population big headache…

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  ANIT R N

No, they will phase it out. They are not going to come to your house and pull out your inefficient AC’s. They will just not approve it for sale later on. The prices will go down accordingly for the efficient ones. I think this is a great step.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

No more mulling? :)))

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

This touches on my pet peeve, that is the degree of cooling in Malls and offices. To have to put on a sweater in a mall when it’s 45 outside is insane. All AC’s should have a minimum temperature of 23. I attend a meeting every Sunday morning in a government ministry. The AC is left on over the weekend because at 8am on a Sunday it’s freezing in that massive boardroom. The solution to the problem is way beyond domestic AC’s and appliances.

bleh!!
bleh!!
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

I agree with you….also if you look at the settings of the ACs on the thermostat the temperature is set at 16-18 degrees. As per standards optimal and most comfortable temperature for us humans is 23+/-1.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Quick fix: Get low income workers and have them spin cloths. When their arms get tired make sure their lungs are rested and their teeth brushed, or you could add mint water or even oud so that when they blow, you get a fragrance.
Good initiative, hope it goes through…and as others have said: There are other settings on AC units, not just lowest temp full blast all the time.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Understand it was an attempt at humor, but deleting because it’s offensive.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Understand it was an attempt at humor, but deleting because it’s offensive.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Before you use the “offense card” how about you moderate some actual content that I find offensive and so should you considering I’ve flagged all his posts and it’s just sitting there for about a day.

https://dohanews.co/1000-qatar-march-show-support-murdered-us-students/ User: Hany Fayed

It was actual humor…but it requires sense and “a” sense of…

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

well that guys comment should be removed and it reflects what kind of person he is. but hay shabina cant be everywhere at once. moderating the doha news comment section is probaby a full time job

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago

It is definitely not the best part of my day 🙂

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Thanks for pointing him out – have just blacklisted him.

Bulbs
Bulbs
6 years ago

Energy efficient light bulbs are expensive. If the government wants to force us to use them, then they should guarantee a smooth supply of electricity. The electricity now surges and causes my bulbs to burn out very often.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Bulbs

We bought a bunch of energy efficient ones a year ago after our regular bulbs kept burning out. They were a bit more expensive (like QR10 more each), but not even one has burned out yet!

Bulbs
Bulbs
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

hmmm… maybe they’re fluorescent and those can take energy surges.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

The energy efficient ones are expensive and the life of bulbs here depends on the energy surges you get when turning the lights on. I have at times 4 bulbs in the chandelier blow out all at once because of the surges. I replaced a week before.

Rahma
Rahma
6 years ago

How welcome. The sooner the ban the better.

SLICK
SLICK
6 years ago

Qatar could also help to cut down on the electrical grid by imposing a solar panel regulation. If you build a house bigger than 250 sq meters the builder would be required to install no less than 6 solar panels to help cut down on electrical use from the power grid. The country could implement this by 2020 and cut down on power going forward. I am surprised to NOT SEE solar panels on homes here, even though they are expensive to have installed and underneath those solar panels you could have little gardens, shaded by the panels, which would also help cool the tops of homes. A no brainer.

greylag
greylag
6 years ago

Well, that will definitely be the rents going up again. Don’t think the landlords will do this out of the kindness of their heart! Bulbs also to be hoarded. We have a stack of them.

aerofoiler
aerofoiler
6 years ago

Who’s paying for the extra cost on those LED/CFL’s. My employer or the Govt? Everyone knows that the price difference is at least 300-400 percent. Instead of tackling problems like people leaving on a 100 bulbs on their boundary walls they’re causing more financial burdens for not so rich expats and locals.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  aerofoiler

Unless you’re under 2k a month i think you can afford 3 light bulbs. I’m about sick and tired of everyone treating this place like a milking cow. Then you wonder why it’s teat is dry and it’s kicking you in the nuts.

aerofoiler
aerofoiler
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Well I have 25 light bulbs only in the first floor of my villa, leave the rest. But I am conscious enough to use only those that are required including teaching my children the same etiquette. Its good to know that you can manage in 3. I cannot. I’d be happier to use energy saving devices but let me get them at a small difference in price not a huge profit making difference. Also, would be beneficial if the govt. could regulate the prices for a controlled period to make sure everyone uses them and understands the actual reasons, eg, electricity savings etc.

On another note its not we who are milking, we are the cows being milked. About the teats: no comments.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  aerofoiler

I did reply to this but i guess it was too long and it’s now stuck in purgatory for review.

Ali
Ali
6 years ago

It’s a good step towards sustainability and reducing carbon footprint, but this would be 5% of the problem. The biggest issues to focus on are:
1) The gases that are being depleted in the environment from the Oil and Gas companies.
2) Cars still using Petrol instead of Hybrid solution that was available years ago
3) All those trucks that pollute the city every day even though they are not allowed to be on the roads during certain hours.
4) The malls and buildings that consume enormous power and energy.
5) No ecosystem for growing plants and the plants that used to grow in the middle of the roads they are being taken down to expand the roads to 4 lanes.
6) The infrastructure that doesn’t enable a healthy life style as much, still its better now that they have built a few tracks for people to ride bicycle on.
7) Most shops don’t even use LED or Energy saving bulbs.
8) Huge lights being used at the stadiums that are not efficient.

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