No-one likes wasting things, whether time, money or energy – especially when profits are under pressure and margins are tight. While DEWA or ADWEA bills may not be your biggest outgoing, it’s an area well worth looking at.

One UK survey found that the average SME could reduce its energy bill by 18–25% through energy efficiency measures, with an average payback of less than 1.5 years.

We’ve rounded up 20 simple steps you can take to try and achieve similar reductions. Many of these are also measures with zero capital outlay.

Air conditioning

– Set timers to the right date and time. If your system is set to turn on at the start of the working day, it shouldn’t come earlier than intended.
– If the controls allow it, have different settings for weekends. Also remember to change them for public holidays, and days in Ramadan with different working hours.
– Set the desired temperature to 24oC. Any less, and the system has to work harder – increasing your bill.
– Don’t let staff tamper with controls without good reason. You could task one employee as responsible for the controls.
– Ensure air conditioning is turned off in meeting rooms when people leave.
– Don’t allow people to leave doors open for convenience. You could consider spring-loaded fittings if this is a major issue.
– If you can’t keep warehouse doors closed, PVC strip curtains provide an opening while limiting energy losses.
– Set the AC in IT server rooms as recommended by the manufacturer.
– Regularly check and maintain units, and ensure filters are free from dust. Even small reductions in airflow increase running costs.


Meeting rooms, storage areas and corridors are often lit unnecessarily, as no-one sees them as their responsibility. Consider movement sensors if they need to be lit occasionally, but not permanently.

– Create simple reminders, so staff are clear lights should be turned off when not required.
– If you still can’t rely on staff turning lights off, install timer switches. This is easily done, and for minimal cost.
– Organise for light fittings to be regularly dusted and cleaned. This will improve performance without increasing energy use.
– Maximise natural light in the way the workspace is configured.
– If you haven’t already, switch to energy efficient bulbs. They may cost more initially, but reduce running costs by up to 90%. Also consider that many modern LEDs come in dimmable versions. Used in conjunction with a daylight sensor switch, these automatically use less energy when natural light increases.


Make sure computer monitors enter ‘sleep’ mode if not used for 10 minutes. All PCs and monitors should be turned off at the plug at the end of the day, as should communal equipment: printers, copiers, vending and coffee machines… Again, appointing a responsible employee helps.

– Adjust the brightness of monitors – having them too bright not only uses more energy, it can cause eyestrain.
– If you use motorised equipment, establish optimum settings, such as fan speed, and communicate them to staff.
– Keep them clean – a dirty motor gets much hotter than a clean one, and is more likely to fail.
– Take into account the whole life costs of motors: consider replacing smaller motors after several repairs, as each repair will reduce efficiency.


“The opinions expressed within this article are generic. Mashreq is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information on this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of Mashreq. Mashreq does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.”