A survey commissioned by Taqeef has revealed wasteful AC usage habits of UAE residents.
Research shows that 62% of respondents go to work in the summer and leave the air conditioning on in their home during the day, with units being left on in empty apartments for an average of 11.7 hours per 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%), go out socialising (56%) or go shopping (63%).
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% leave it on for up to six hours a day, and 13% for between 12 to 24 hours.
While the research indicated a lack of energy efficiency in AC usage among respondents, it also revealed that Generation X are, in fact, the most responsible group.
Survey participants aged 45 to 54 claim that they never or rarely leave their AC on during the summer when they go away for the weekend (70%), when they travel (67%), when they go out socialising (62%), when they go to work (61%) and when they go shopping (56%).
Comparatively 69% of 16-24 year olds said they leave their AC on when they go to work in the summer, while 60% do so when they travel, and 69% when they go shopping.
“These findings are significant, highlighting an alarming trend of energy wastage caused by AC misuse,” said Tariq Al Ghussein, Taqeef Chairman and CEO.
“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.”
Taqeef has announced August as ‘AC Awareness Month’, and is 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.
Al Ghussein said: “We’re hoping that a no-jacket-no-tie rule in August will make our teams more comfortable during one of the hottest months of the year.
“The goal is to try to always keep the thermostat at 24 degrees and to use smart controllers anywhere we can, so we save a significant amount of energy.
“We encourage other organisations to get on board too and help their teams to be more conscious of their AC usage, joining us in contributing to a greener, cleaner future.”