Dubai: Around two-thirds of UAE residents leave the air-conditioning on at home while they go for work, a new survey suggests.
The survey, commissioned by air-conditioning solutions provider Taqeef, also revealed ACs are left on in empty apartments for an average of 11.7 hours a week.
The poll also found that over half of respondents admitted to leaving the AC on in their home during the summer when they travel (53 per cent), go out socialising (56 per cent) or go shopping (63 per cent).
Conducted by Censuswide, the survey asked 1,000 respondents across the UAE about their AC usage habits. Less than a quarter of those surveyed turn their AC off when they go out, while 20 per cent leave it on for up to six hours a day, and 13 per cent for between 12 to 24 hours.
69% in the 16-24 age group leave ACs on when they go for work
While the research indicated a lack of energy efficiency in AC usage among respondents, it also revealed that Generation X are the most responsible group. Survey participants aged 45-54 claim that they never or rarely leave their AC on during the summer when they go away for the weekend (70 per cent), when they travel (67 per cent), when they go out socialising (62 per cent), when they go to work (61 per cent) and when they go shopping (56 per cent).
On the other hand, it seems there is still a need to educate the younger generation — those between the ages of 16 and 24 — on sustainable usage habits. Results show that 69 per cent of respondents in that age group leave their AC on when they go to work in the summer, while 60 per cent do so when they travel and 69 per cent when they go shopping.
60% in the 16-24 age group leave ACs on while they travel
“These findings are significant, highlighting an alarming trend of energy wastage caused by AC misuse. While this is obviously an environmental concern, it also emphasises the need for further education and awareness — particularly following the urgency placed on combating climate change at the recent Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting. There is a real opportunity for us to make smarter energy choices in the region, both at home and in work, to improve our environmental impact,” said Tariq Al Ghussein, Taqeef Chairman and CEO.
Taqeef has announced August, one of the hottest months of the year, as ‘AC Awareness Month’. The company will be introducing a ‘Cool and Casual’ initiative, allowing employees to ditch their jackets and ties in favour of more lightweight office attire and to avoid the need for reducing the AC thermostat to less than 24 degrees.