Abu Dhabi: Smart meters and slashing energy costs in UAE homes and offices will be among the topics for discussion at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi later this month.

The seventh edition of the annual summit, hosted by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar, will be held on January 20-22 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest rates of power consumption per person. WFES experts — from the UAE and other countries — will debate how homes and businesses can be made more energy-efficient.

Currently, only one UAE utility, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, has completed the phase one roll-out of smart meters for electricity and water.

Smart meters provide real-time consumption rates that can be digitally sent to billing systems without the need for an official to physically visit the site to take readings.

“[Smart metering] will become more important as energy sources diversify,” said Wasim Taqqali, utilities industry manager at Accenture Middle East.

“The deployment of solar energy in the Gulf is gathering pace but the reliability and quality of power generated by renewable sources can vary… Smart metering may therefore become extremely important in ensuring the smooth adoption of clean energies in the Middle East, helping to maintain security of supply and the satisfaction of the end-user.”

Last year’s summit had more than 26,000 attendees and 650 exhibiting companies from 40 countries. WFES expects to receive 30,000 attendees this year.

WFES 2014 will be held alongside the second International Water Summit and the inaugural EcoWASTE exhibition, also hosted by Masdar.

This year’s WFES theme is ‘Powering the Future of Energy Innovation and Investment’.

WFES 2014 is the centrepiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the “largest ever” gathering on sustainability in the Middle East. The event includes a conference for political, business and intellectual debate and a large-scale exhibition for networking between manufacturers, suppliers and customers, in both the public and private sector.

WFES 2014 also features a Project and Finance Village, a Sustainable Living Area, a Young Future Energy Leaders programme, round table discussions, and various corporate events and social engagements.

More information is available on worldfutureenergysummit.com