18 February, 2008

DEWA raises prices to encourage conservation... among expats only :(

More prices rising here.

Your water bill will go up if you use more than 6000 gallons per month. All water beyond 6000 is priced at 3.5 fils per rather than 3. And if you use more than 12,000 gallons you'll be charged 4 fils per gallon.

Also, all electricity beyond 2000 kilowatt hours will be charged 33 fils per rather than 20 fils per for the first 2000 kwh.

As an example, I live in a villa in Jumeirah and I have a family of six. We used about 20,000 gallons of water last month. There is no way we could make it down to the 6000 gallon level. We also used about 3400 kilowatt hours last month. I doubt we'll be able to make it down to the 2000 level as well. And I might add that we try to keep lights off when possible and not leave appliances on when no in use.

And all this new "conservation" encouragement is for expats only. Emiratis are exempt.

So why are only expats encouraged to conserve? This sounds more like a simple price hike rather than a conservation effort. Of course, we can all chant the expected response in unison... "It's their country, they can do what they want". But the question is SHOULD they do this? Is it good for Emiratis to not be encouraged to conserve?

I for one think it's bad for them. What do you think?


Brian64 said...

oops... sorry for the double post... could someone remove the second one? Was having an internet "moment". :)

MD said...

Water conservation is the responsibility of everyone, irrespective of their nationality. By doing this, they are teaching their own people to be irresponsible. An expat abusing water will harm the environment in the same way as an Emirati abusing water.

Kyle said...

Quoted from the newspaper article:

The average individual consumption in Dubai rates it ahead of some developed countries like the US, Japan, UK, Germany and Singapore.

I don’t doubt this. Energy conservation is at its lowest in this country and in spite of all the talk-the-talk, nothing is being done from the walk-the-walk angle to educate the general public.

I remember having an EPA write-up on energy & water conservation in my d-base. If I find it, I’ll post a link in this label.

Meanwhile, you guys would have to make do with this rookie take from wiki here.

As for Emiratis being exempted from this indirect taxation. Well it’s their country after all and for all I care, they can all go back to living in pre-historic times if they don’t hand-in-hand walk-the-walk with residents now.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...


and this is new because? The UAE has consistently been spoiling and harming their own people with their pampering.

I don't mind the price hike. It is the only sensible solution. Besides, the expats _are_ the majority in the country.

Proud Emirati said...

The water has always been free for the locals ....

DXBluey said...

Sorry to say - but your energy and water usage is HUGE.

20,000 gallons per month!

We (2 people) used 1,600 gallons last month and 400KW

It should apply to all in the country inc. UAE nationals and hopefully will reduce some of the huge waste that goes on...

Proud Emirati said...

Brian64 , you can remove it urself

Kyle said...


Check this one out.

Ignore the light bulb joke - LOL :)

Nadim said...

I've been told its illegal to mount solar panels on residences?

Can anyone enligten us?

Grumpy Goat said...

I've removed the double post, Brian64. There was one existing comment from dxbluey that is included on this post, so nothing's been lost.

To nadim
If solar panels are illegal, does this mean that the shop on SZR (approximately opposite the Emirates Towers) is breaking the law selling the kit? (Is the shop still there...?) Probably not, in my opinion. Anyway, for half the year water tanks on roofs provide enough hot water to negate the need to use the immersion heater, which goes part way to offsetting the aircon bill.

Grumpy Goat said...

I've just worked out how much the new price structure would have cost if it had been applied to the Crumbling Villa in Mirdif:

No extra at all from November, but between 25% and 30% during the summer when the aircons are running. I estimate an overall increase in my DEWA bills of about 16% :-(

And yes, we do switch stuff off when it's not being used.

Unfortunately, there's not a scrap of insulation anywhere in the villa. Why should there be, when the cost of providing it would rest with the builder and/or owner? The cost of not having insulation is borne by the tenant - and ultimately the environment.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

The locals in the UAE are very much like the Indians in the reservations. They let them run wild, tax-free cigarettes and booze.. gambling.. and while everyone else struggles to make ends meet, it's the Indians who are the biggest losers.

Their loss.

BuJ said...

oh, obviously you need to register the bills under the name of one of your emirati buddies :)

BuJ said...

nadim, almost all parking meters in dubai use solar panels. i doubt it's illegal. plus how can you enforce it?

CG said...

OK, here is my opinion:

There are a whole lot of Emiratis that cannot afford such high bills, unlike the fat-walleted-expats, who choose to be here for the higher salaries/nice life.

There are also an awful lot of Emiratis who have their own wells (bores), when the tap water is free for them.

Any Emirati house which has an older relative living in will tell you that they are very careful with their water consumption, and are constantly reminded of the days when it was not 'on tap'.

There are still plenty of Emirati houses using wall-unit a/c's and they always turn them off when no-one is in the room, unlike the fat-walleted-expats who leave their central a/c on whilst away for a summer holiday.....

Right, nuff said. Brian64, your consumption is way too high IMHO, so pay up.

Scream and shout if you like, but Emiratis cannot up and leave, unlike others.

Kyle said...

The Utility Company here is known to generate bills on a ‘guestimate’ basis every other month.

It happened to us last year when we got our August bill, which was slightly higher than July. The July amount was justified, as we were in town for one full month, while in August, we were out of the country for more than 2 weeks. And yes, we had switched off everything (including the aircon) that could incur power while we were gone.

After much running around to get the matter sorted out, as well as proving that we were, in fact, not in town, we had the August bill amount split in half.

rosh said...

BuJ - shoooo keep it quite will ya :)

Brian64: 60K gallons seem a wee bit much. My folks live in a 5 bed villa (with a maid) in SHJ and they average close to 4K gallon monhth.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I think the use of solar energy for water heating is permissible; however the solar panels that produce power are the ones that are banned.

Brian64 said...

Ouch CG... kinda hard on me and my "fat-walleted-expat" friends aren't you? Honestly, I'm afraid your Emirati/Expat characterizations sound more like stereotypes. I don't consider myself "fat-walleted" at least when compared with locals (considering the cars they drive at least). And I seriously doubt any of my friends would leave the central A/C on during the summer when away... at least not me!

DXBluey did have me spooked about my usage levels. But my wife did some checking around with other families (not the fat-walleted types) in the neighborhood and in other places. Seems we're about the same. I can't honestly think of how to reduce except to live "hotter" in the summer and maybe to find "low-flow" shower nozzles. I also remembered that we are a seven person family (housemaid) and we frequently have a guest in the guestroom too.

DXBluey, can I ask...
1. are you in a villa or apt?
2. do you have conservation shower head(s)?
3. do you have a garden you have to water?
4. do you shower daily... just kidding :)

CG said...

Yes, I was a little bit stressed in my last comment, please accept my sincere apologies.

My point is still the same though, and I feel confident in saying that there are plenty of Nationals who cannot afford this. The same as they cannot afford to pay Salik. But you only see the ones with supa dupa cars.

In my community there is only one expat family. Guess what? Their house is the only one that forgets to turn their boundary wall lights off every morning. They sometimes stay on for days. They must have fat wallets.

Proud Emirati said...

Our electricity consumption was 5340 while it was 31161 for the water. Don't know if that is considered too much for a 11 bedrooms house.

Anonymous said...

I like what CG said... this time... I am totally ignorant on the average consumption per person or family, but it sounds logic what she said!! No offence Brian :)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Well Brian, you know what they say in LA: 'shower with a friend and save water…' : )

DXBluey said...

Hi Brian,

Large 2 bed apartment with no garden.

Obv. the garden accounts for a large amount - I have no idea of these things, but is there no access to the "grey" water the municipality uses for watering?

And yes - I do shower at least once per week... :)

We only take daily showers instead of baths - maybe this has a significant effect.

Also we don't go crazy with a/c or water heaters. We also both work long hours so little daytime week day usage of either elec or water.

I was just surprised at the per person consumption differences!

AbraCadabra said...

It's not so much the price increase.. if how they insult my intelligence by pretending it has anything to do with conservation.

A said...

20000 gal / 30 days = 666.66 gal / day
666.66 gal / 6 persons = 111.11 gal / person.

111.11 gal/person/day.


Brian64 said...


Well, I'm somewhat alarmed at my water usage rate as some of you have pointed out. I never thought posting my usage rate would be an embarrassing nugget of personal information :( Makes me wonder now if the piping in our compound is wrong and I'm paying for someone else or someTHING else. DXBluey and the SHJ villa seem to indicate I'm using 4x and 2x more than them respectly.

I guess I could monitor the meter and verify if the usage is evenly spread across the days of the month. Does anyone have any other ideas for determining where this water is going?

iceman said...

Whats next.. charge us for the air that we breath in this country. Lets not forget, locals get to breath for FREE.!

rosh said...

Brian64: I'd definitely check the basis of usage in your bill i.e. it's computation - that'd be a good start.

Iceman: Yes, given your superhero friends, Spiderman and Firestar are polluting the city, you'd be paying up for air as well.

BuJ said...

btw, rosh there is no apostrophe in "its" from your last comment :-)

it changes the meaning all together.

Brian.. i'd just make a note of the meter reading at day 1, then at day 30 and subtract one from the other and compare it to your bill.

Most power companies estimate consumption based on many factors. They do it here in the UK as well. Many times they have got it wrong (by overcharging me) so I just call the call centre (usually based in India rather than Birmingham) and it gets fixed.

rosh said...

I stand corrected Mr BuJ :)

samuraisam said...

Non-member commenting is going to be moderated through this weekend; this means that if you are not a member of this blog and you post a message it will not be published until I access blogger and publish comments (on sunday). No member comments should be affected

BuJ said...

Hail Hitler!

Emirati said...

"Sie können uns unterdrücken,
sie können uns meinetwegen töten,
kapitulieren werden wir nicht."

moryarti said...


Charlie said...

Water can only go up in price! I am in Michigan, so I am lucky to be surrounded by it, but it is still getting costly! I do all I can to conserve water! My newest home water conservation addition is a Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve. This thing is great! It saves a lot of water and my entire home has instant hot water! I save a lot of time not having to wait for water to heat up at my taps! I paid $179.95 off the internet for it, which seems quite reasonable! My water savings will recover it's cost in not too long. It only took my like 10 minutes to install! You can't beat that it's made in the U.S.A., has a 10-year warranty, and comes with a money back guarantee! I surely won't be returning it! I bought it from:


Anonymous said...

I have a question...I work in a business that must verify residence of a person. I've been given an Abu Dhabi bill by an Emirati which shows 7,700 gallons of water used and 19kw of power used for the month of May/June. I pointed out that 19kw of electricity usage for a villa would indicate that no one was living in the villa. The person told me that since she was a local her usage isn't tracked in the same manner as an ex pat. This seems odd to me - is this correct?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I have a question...I work in a business that must verify residence of a person. I've been given an Abu Dhabi bill by an Emirati which shows 7,700 gallons of water used and 19kw of power used for the month of May/June. I pointed out that 19kw of electricity usage for a villa would indicate that no one was living in the villa. The person told me that since she was a local her usage isn't tracked in the same manner as an ex pat. This seems odd to me - is this correct?

Water and electricity, medical, education, and even wages in some sectors are subsidized by the government. It doesnt mean that the bill isnt paid. It means that the government pays part of it.

In the US for example, you get "financial aid" for school. Here school is free. Same thing with water/electricity. As the power/water authorities are not companies, but government agencies, their services fall under a "Citizen's Rights" umbrella of services.

This is the greatest country on this planet when it comes to taking care of their citizens.

Anonymous said...

@ Brian64 DEWA came to us several years ago regarding high water usage, suspecting a leak. Landlord sent maintenance workers who discovered said leak and repaired it. Water consumption has remained within normal range since. This could be your scenario.

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here