Stock Discovery gardens
Empower (Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation) provides district cooling to the Discovery Gardens area. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: If you are moving into an apartment or residential area powered by district cooling, it is essential to understand the charges that make up your monthly cooling bill. Here’s a breakdown of the service charges by two major district cooling companies in Dubai - Empower (Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation) and Emicool (Emirates District Cooling).

What is ‘Refrigeration Ton’ or RT?
District cooling companies levy charges based on the unit of ‘Refrigeration Ton’ or RT. This is a unit of cooling energy and the consumption is measured by Refrigeration Ton (RT) hours used, during a given period.

For Empower customers

At the time of registration

If you are a new tenant, here are the charges you will need to pay at the time of registration:

- Security deposit – A one-time payment of Dh2,000 for a flat and Dh3,000 for a villa.

The security deposit is refundable, and you will receive a cash refund once you move out. Click here to read our guide on how to settle your final bill and get back your security deposit.

- There are also connection, administration, and reconnection fees. According to Empower, these charges apply to either the owner or tenant and will be detailed during the registration process. Registration charges vary based on the project, building, or location.

District cooling charges:

Consumption charge – Recorded by the meter installed in the property at a rate of 0.568 fils per Refrigeration Ton (RT) per hour.

Demand charge – This is a recurring annual charge, levied for providing District Cooling Service to the Apartment/Unit, at the rate of Dh750 per Refrigeration Ton (RT) per annum. The charge, however, is billed monthly in advance, based on the number of days in the month.

According to an example provided by Empower, if the ‘RT Load’ of your unit’s air-conditioning is 6 RT, then the demand charge would be 6xDh750 (which is the per RT rate), making your annual demand charge an amount of Dh4,500 per year. So, the demand charge you would pay in the month of January, for example, would be 4500/365x31 = 387.50

Meter maintenance fee – This charge is levied on a quarterly or monthly basis, subject to the location, to cover the expenses of reading, testing, and maintaining the meter installed in the unit (Dh50 quarterly or Dh30 monthly).

Disconnection fee – In the event of service disconnection due to non-payment of bills, a disconnection fee of Dh1,000 will be charged. Reconnection will be performed only after clearing the total outstanding amount, including disconnection charges.

For Emicool customers

Consumption charge – Emicool customers pay 0.56 fils per Refrigeration Ton (RT) per hour.

Activation fees – To activate the connection, a Dh200 fee is required during the registration process.

Security deposit – For Emicool customers, there is no standard deposit fee. The amount depends on the type of unit or project.

Late payment fees – If the customer fails to pay within 21 days of the due date, Emicool reserves the right to charge a penalty of Dh100. The late payment fee is applied only if the total overdue amount exceeds Dh250.

Reconnection fees – The customer may apply for reconnection only after settling all outstanding dues, including the reconnection fee of Dh100.