Dubai: Villa owners who made their homes most sustainable and safe under the ‘Ideal Home’ initiative by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) won cash prizes and other rewards at a special ceremony in Dubai on Wednesday.
Eight winners were ranked the highest on 10 criteria, such as water and power saving, fire safety and first-aid preparedness, by DEWA which launched the initiative’s first edition in 2017, and its partners.
Dewa and nine other Dubai government entities, such as Dubai Civil Defence and Dubai Police, had set the criteria for Ideal Home, which this year attracted over 1,800 registrations. Out of them, 70 were shortlisted and evaluated on site, eventually leading to the eight winners.
On Wednesday, Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO, Dewa, presented the prizes to the eight winners. The first winner, Amal Eissa Al Mehairi, received Dh50,000; second winner Ali Bilal Mubarak Al Jessmi Dh30,000; and third winner Afraa Saeed Al Mehairi Dh20,000.
Winners in fourth to eighth place will have rooftop solar panels installed at their homes. Al Tayer also honoured the initiative’s partners.
“The Ideal Home initiative has achieved its objectives in promoting the importance of adopting sustainable practices for society. It has seen a strong turnout from customers since its launch. This year, 1,830 customers participated in the online training that Dewa organised. This shows that our customers are keen to adopt a sustainable lifestyle,” Al Tayer said.
The initiative contributed to total savings of 1.32 gigawatt-hours of electricity, around 12 million gallons of water and around 675 tonnes of carbon emissions, with financial savings that exceed Dh1 million, he added in his welcome speech.
“I am pleased that the Ideal Home service has been added to the shared government services that will be enhanced by the City Makers for more development. This supports our joint efforts to achieve the happiness of individuals and society through an integrated system and solid foundations for comprehensive and sustainable development.”
One of the winners, Emirati homeowner Abdulla Abdul Aziz Ebrahim, who ranked fourth, said among the steps he took under the initiative was the installation of a fire alert system, first-aid cabinet, CCTV and dedicated safe area for barbeque.
“I ensured there was a set space for these important measures and reduced our water and electricity consumption. Also, I always ensure that all legal formalities for our house help are in order,” said Ebrahim, who participated in the initiative for the first time.
The complimentary training course for Dewa customers interested in joining the initiative also raised awareness about the steps they need to take at home, said Sultan Al Zaabi, Senior Manager, Demand Management and Tariff, Dewa.
The shortlisted ones received a certificate of completion from Dewa and awareness kits as well. Al Zaabi added that surveys done before and after enrolment showed homeowners’ awareness on sustainable living and safe homes grew 10 per cent to 78 per cent.
Homeowners were expected, by Dewa, to reduce 15 per cent of electricity and water consumption, use energy-efficient light bulbs, eco-friendly home appliances and adjust the air-conditioning thermostat to 24C, among other criteria.