How can I save electricity?



Air Conditioning

Did you know that, for 1 ton air conditioning units, for every hour the AC unit compressor is not running, you can save up to AED16 /month per AC unit? Likewise, for 5 ton air conditioning units, you can save up to AED82 /month per AC unit!
Air Conditioning

Air conditioning contributes to almost 70% of Abu Dhabi’s electricity consumption. This is not a surprising statistic, given the Emirate’s desert climate. Temperatures and humidity are both very high in the summer months.



AC overviewAir conditioning contributes to almost 70% of Abu Dhabi’s electricity consumption. This is not a surprising statistic, given the emirate’s desert climate. Temperatures and humidity are both very high in the summer months. 

Most residential AC units (split units or window-mounted units) range in capacity from about 1 ton to 5 tons of refrigeration, and approximately 3.5 kW to 17.6 kW.   

Depending on a number of factors, including the surrounding environment, installation, the size of room to be cooled, the size of ac unit, thermostat settings, and efficiency, among others, air conditioning units consume a lot of energy. AC units maintain the temperature set by the user and it is critical to understand how they work as well as the costs associated with these appliances. 

To help us understand how a typical air conditioning unit consumes power, we’ll use the example of a 1 ton AC unit rated to 3.5kW approximately. This means that when the compressor is on, the AC unit consumes 3.5kW of power every hour. 

How much does it cost to run an air conditioning unit?
When temperature settings on the thermostat are too low and the unit cannot achieve the set temperature, it keeps the compressor on to try and achieve it. Assuming the compressor is on for 24 hours, we can find out what the cost of operating the AC unit will be for the month.

The kWh per month will be:
 (3.5 kW x 24 hrs/day x 30.5 days/month) = 2562 kWh/month

Unit cost of electricity is shown in the following table:

New tariff price table simple

For the calculations below, we use the example of an expat villa without accounting for any other electricity use. It is intended to give you a general idea. Your results may vary.

Cost per month:

  • If the AC unit were running 24 hours a day, the cost per month would be = 2,562 kWh/month x AED 0.21/kWh = AED 538.02/month for one unit
  • If the AC unit is running for 1hr per day the cost per month would be = AED 22.42/month for one unit

The cost per month increases if the AC unit you are running is bigger. Consider for example, the cost of running an AC unit rated for 18kW for 1 hour per day:

  • If the AC unit is rated for 18 kW and is running 1hr per day, the cost per month = AED 115.29/month for one unit

AC saveThere are some measures that you can take to easily help reduce your electricity consumption through your AC. Adopting these measures will generally result in a reduction of approximately 30%. We have highlighted a number of things that you can do to help reduce your AC electricity consumption: 

  • The first thing you can do is to install a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. This will give you the following benefits: 
    • Ability to control your AC temperature settings, giving you greater control on managing the temperature of your home. 
    • Ability to schedule and set desired temperatures at certain times of the day. 
    • Ability to store your desired settings and repeat them automatically on a daily basis or. A programmable thermostat even allows you to have different temperature settings for different days of the week. 

Fact 1:
Did you know that temperature is a key factor in the amount of energy your AC consumes? The lower the temperature setting on your AC thermostat, the more energy it uses. 

Fact 2: 
A small change can go a long way. Did you know that increasing your AC thermostat temperature settings by just 1 degree Celsius can save you up to 6% of your electricity consumption. 

  • The second thing you can do is to purchase energy-efficient AC units. These are readily available in the market. Look for AC units with SEER Rating (Seasonable Energy Efficacy Rating) of at least 13. 

Fact 3: 
Did you know that energy-efficient AC units can shave up to 40% off the cost of running your AC?

  • The third measure you can take is to ensure that regular maintenance is performed on your AC units; this can be as simple as cleaning or replacing filters on a regular basis. 

Fact 4: 
Making sure you conduct regular maintenance on your AC system could help you save up to 30% of your AC electricity consumption. 

  • The fourth measure you can take is to ensure your home has proper insulation. This will prevent cold air from escaping, thus keeping your home cooler for a longer period of time. Consider closing curtains or blinds over windows during the hottest part of the day and ensure your windows are properly insulated. 
  • The fifth measure you can take is to use your AC unit only when and where it is needed. Turn AC units off in unoccupied rooms and when you are not at home.