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Dubai students save Dh46 million in utility bills

Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer (MD & CEO of DEWA) present Al Baraa Kindergarten with an award at the Conservation Award ceremony.

Dubai: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) on Wednesday honoured students and schools for making energy and water savings worth Dh46 million during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dewa, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), celebrated the achievements of students from more than 450 schools during the 12th Dewa Conservation Award that promotes the rational use of resources in the city.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education; Dr Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; and Dr Abdullah Al Karam, chairman of the Board of Directors and director-general of KHDA, were present during the awarding ceremony, along with other senior government officials.

Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said the initiative that is now in its 12th year encourages all segments of society to adopt a conscious and responsible lifestyle for electricity and water consumption to protect the environment and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

“Our youth are establishing a culture of rationalising and promoting sustainable development,” Al Tayer said.

“During this award for 2017-2018, the participating educational establishments achieved unprecedented results in rationalising consumption, manifested in the provision of 92 gigawatt hours of electricity and more than 133 million gallons of water. This has helped reduce over 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to financial savings estimated to be about Dh46 million,” he added.

For the past years, the collective efforts of 353,014 students, faculty, and staff from hundreds of schools in the city have resulted in cumulative savings of 249 gigawatt hours and 1.5 billion gallons of water, equivalent to Dh168 million, thus helping save 132,702 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Among this year’s winners are Nabiha Nikhat and Mariam Feroz Ali, and their team from The Central School.

“We introduced many conservation projects including AC water reclamation to water plants, setting our AC to 24 degree Celsius during school hours and installing solar panels to help produce clean energy for the school,” Nikhat, 16, a Grade 12 student, told Gulf News.

Ali, another 12th grader, said they also placed bottles in their water tanks to minimise water use when flushing. They maximised the use of daylight during summer and only switched on the AC after 9am during winter as a school policy.

“All of these efforts resulted in 20 per cent savings in our school utility bill. Our school’s average utility bill for a month is Dh23,000. That’s a saving of Dh4,600,” Ali said.

The students of Emirates International School, Meadows also implemented measures to make their “energy and water consumption go down drastically”.

Celina Aziz, 10, said students were taught to do light and water checks to make sure lights and taps are turned off when not in use. The same goes for computers and projectors. If students can’t switch them off themselves, they leave a note for the user to be more mindful next time.

Tala Al Khodari, 9, in year 4, said they changed their Eco Code from “Take a Walk in the Greener Side” to “Switch Your Green Thinking On” to help students and faculty be more environmentally conscious.

Categories and winners

1) Distinguished Educational Institution in Conservation

Nurseries and Kindergarten: Al Fadeelah Kindergarten and Al Arqam School

Elementary: Ahmad Bin Sulayem Primary School and GEMS Modern Academy

Middle School: Omar Bin Khattab Model School for Boys and Emirates International School, Meadows

High School: Al Sharawi High School and Indian International School, Dubai Silicon Oasis

2) Distinguished Conservation Leader

Al Sharawi High School: Abdul Baset Mohammad Al Abdullah

Indian International School: Geetha Murali

3) Distinguished Conservation Team

Nurseries and Kindergarten: Al Baraa Nursery and The Millennium School

Elementary: Al Hudaiba Primary School and Dubai National School

Middle School: Al Lesaily School Girls (Cycles 2 and 3) and The Central School

Centre for people of determination: Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities

4) Distinguished Conservation Project

Dubai International Academy and Amity University

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