Dubai: Residents will be able to monitor and limit power and water bills in near-real time on smart devices by 2015.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) aims to offer the smart service in a limited roll-out next year, said Dewa CEO Saeed Al Tayer.
His comments came during a press conference on Sunday announcing the migration of all Dewa services into smart services within a year of the launch of the Smart Dubai initiative.
Under the plan, smart meters will beam consumption readings to customers’ smartphones or tablets and allow them to set caps.
Al Tayer said Dewa has already tried a “simulation at a small level”, adding officials have visited a number of US and European cities where such systems are live.
“We have visited Colorado and San Francisco… regarding what are the technology, separate equipment and systems to allow the readings and limit consumption,” he said.
Another Dewa official at the event said the option will allow the customer to “control and set a target every month. By month end, he’ll get a bill equal to that target. We aim to reach this by 2015”.
Dewa also plans to end the waiting time for utility service activation when customers move homes, caused in part by the change in account details at the new residence.
Al Tayer said customers will have a unified private account that will stay active even if they move home, allowing “instant” and undisrupted power connection.
“The service will automatically be activated. You won’t have to follow many procedures; we’ll do it instantly for you. You’ll consume electricity without delay,” he added.
The utility provider is also working on charging stations for electric cars and the option for customers to connect to a solar power grid.
Al Tayer said Dewa is working with partners and regulatory bodies to turn these three initiatives into reality.
He added that the adoption of smart services has made customer transactions easier and left a green footprint as well.
“Dewa customers conducted 3.3 million transactions in 2013 through its website and smart app. This helped eliminate the emission of 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that could have resulted from customers travelling to and from Dewa offices. This equates to planting 56,331 trees in an area equivalent to 106 football fields.”
Almost two-thirds of Dewa customers now use electronic means for their transactions. Dewa provides over 150 services and features through its free smart app alone.
Al Tayer said: “In support of the Smart Dubai initiative, launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world in three years through 100 initiatives and 1,000 smart services to enhance the quality of life in Dubai, Dewa has launched three new smart initiatives that will make Dubai a world-class model and enhance sustainable development in the emirate.”