Setting up Utilities in UAE

Setting up Utilities in UAE

If you’re a newcomer to the Emirates, you’re likely in the process of setting up your new residence. This comprehensive guide to utilities in UAE aims to simplify this process for you.

Your initial step should be establishing utility accounts for water, electricity, and gas services in your new home. This guide provides insights into the available utility companies, the process of opening an account, instructions for bill payments, and procedures for addressing any concerns or complaints. It covers the following essential information:

Setting up utilities in UAE

Utilities in UAE

Utilities in UAE are predominantly managed and supplied by public regional authorities, such as the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). These agencies also oversee the regulation of these sectors.

The UAE boasts reliable energy supplies and is increasingly exploring eco-friendly energy production solutions. Additionally, the government is committed to ensuring the sustainability of its water resources for the future. While the water supply may not match that of regions like Scandinavia and much of Europe, it surpasses the standards seen in numerous Asian countries, including India and Indonesia.

Given that the majority of expatriates in the UAE reside in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, this guide will concentrate on the process of setting up utilities in these two cities

Electricity and water in the UAE

The UAE boasts the world’s fastest-growing electricity sector, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP, with 25% in 2013, and this trend continues. Between 2008 and 2012, the demand for energy in the UAE surged by 37%. Electricity for domestic use is primarily provided by regional public utilities. In the UAE, the power plugs are of the G type, featuring three rectangular pins arranged in a triangular pattern. The standard electrical supply is 220V with a frequency of 50Hz.

Domestic electricity serves a wide range of appliances, including electronic devices like laptops and smartphones, bathroom fixtures such as hairdryers, AV equipment like TVs and audio systems, small kitchen appliances such as mixers, toasters, microwaves, and coffee-makers, as well as major household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. Additionally, lighting fixtures and cooling systems are significant consumers of electricity.

In the UAE, water is sourced exclusively from desalinated seawater and groundwater, and its distribution is mainly managed by regional public utilities, often the same entities responsible for electricity supply. While tap water in the UAE is technically safe for consumption, it can pick up contaminants during the distribution process, rendering it undrinkable in some instances. To ensure water quality, consider testing your local supply or installing a water filter.”

Electricity and water suppliers in the UAE

Electricity in the UAE is managed by regional public authorities, partially subsidized by the government. State-owned entities hold exclusive rights to purchase and distribute electricity within their designated areas of operation. Nevertheless, private sector companies are also involved in electricity generation. In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) exclusively provides domestic electricity and water supplies. Likewise, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) serves as the sole distributor of domestic electricity and water supplies in Dubai.

Setting Up and Disconnecting Electricity and Water Services in the UAE

In Abu Dhabi, most rental agreements are registered with TAWTHEEQ, the city’s central tenancy register. This registration automatically provides access to water and electricity accounts with ADDC (Abu Dhabi Distribution Company). If registration doesn’t happen automatically, you can register through the ADDC website. To manage your supply, you’ll need to activate an online account. When moving out of a rental property in Abu Dhabi, you can easily close your utility account through ADDC. Options include visiting their branches, contacting their customer center, or requesting disconnection online. You’ll need to provide your move-out date to settle the final bill and receive a clearance certificate, along with your security deposit.

In Dubai, you can set up your electricity and water account through the DEWA (Dubai Electricity & Water Authority) website by filling out an online form. Activation fees (up to AED330) and a security deposit (AED2,000 for apartments, AED4,000 for villas) are required. Your services will be active within 15 hours. Deactivating your utilities in Dubai can also be done online, with associated charges (up to AED350) and payment of the final bill. Alternatively, you can notify a customer service center offline by providing your customer account number, mobile number, and Emirates ID. In both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, you’ll typically need to present your Emirates ID or passport and tenancy agreement when setting up utilities.

Switching Electricity and Water Suppliers in the UAE

Each emirate in the UAE has a single designated electricity and water supplier. As a result, there is no need to consider changing suppliers, as there is only one provider available in each emirate. Like setting up utilities in UAE, you may also like to read about Internet in UAE.

Setting up utilities in UAE

Electricity and Water Expenses and Tariffs in the UAE

The UAE government is actively promoting sustainability and eco-friendly practices within the country. Consequently, electricity in the UAE is subject to various tariff bands, with one dedicated to green usage and others for higher, less environmentally-friendly consumption. Similarly, water supply in the UAE is governed by different tariffs aimed at reducing wastage. It’s worth noting that expats generally face higher rates for both electricity and water in the UAE, while Emiratis can benefit from discounted local rates.

The Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) encourages reduced electricity and water consumption by offering lower unit prices within the green tariff band. The green tariff for electricity is 26.8 fils per kWh, whereas the red tariff stands at 30.5 fils per kWh. The green electricity allowance is set at 20 kWh per day for apartments and 200 kWh per day for villas.

Likewise, the green tariff for water is AED 7.8 per cubic liter, while the red tariff charges AED 10.41 per cubic liter. The green water allowance is 0.7 cubic liters per day for apartments and 5 cubic liters per day for villas.

Dubai follows a similar approach, but the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) employs four tiers of consumption for electricity. These are charged at rates of 23, 28, 32, and 28 fils per kWh, depending on usage. Additionally, a fuel surcharge of 6.5 fils per kWh applies to electricity consumption. For water, there are three consumption bands with tariffs of 3.5, 4.0, and 4.6 fils per imperial gallon, respectively. These also include a fuel surcharge of 0.6 fils per imperial gallon

Reporting Electrical or Water Faults and Conducting Repairs in the UAE

If you encounter any issues with your electricity or water supply in the UAE, your initial step should be to identify whether the problem is specific to your property or affecting the entire neighborhood. If the issue is confined to your property, you should contact your landlord to arrange for repairs. They will then engage an electrician or plumber as needed. On the other hand, if it is a widespread problem in your neighborhood, you can contact the respective utility company directly. You can reach ADDC at 800 232 and DEWA at 991.

Filing a Complaint Against Your Electricity and Water Provider in the UAE

If you encounter issues with your electricity or water provider in the UAE, you must directly contact the regulatory body to lodge a complaint. It’s important to note that these regulatory bodies are often affiliated with the utility companies themselves.

In Dubai, you can submit your complaint through the local government’s eComplain system. For Abu Dhabi residents, complaints should be registered with the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC). This can be done at their service centers, via email, their official website, or through the Abu Dhabi Government contact center. Typically, complaints are addressed within 14 days.

Gas in the UAE

Domestic gas in the UAE is primarily used for gas stoves in kitchens. Depending on the service provider, gas supply can be delivered through a central piped system or in canisters. The industry is well-regulated, with regular inspections being a common practice.”

Domestic Gas Providers in the UAE

Domestic gas services in the UAE are primarily offered by two private companies, SERGAS and Emirates Gas. However, in the Emirate of Sharjah, gas supplies are provided by the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, a public organization.

Gas Connection and Disconnection in the UAE

In Abu Dhabi, SERGAS typically provides central piped gas supplies. To start your gas service, you can register online through their website using your passport or Emirates ID and your tenancy agreement. Pay the required registration fees and deposit, and you will have your gas supply operational within 24 hours. To terminate your service, contact their customer service line or visit one of their offices. Settle your final bill, retrieve your deposit, and obtain your clearance certificate.

For Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Emirates Gas is the primary provider of LPG containers for residential use. They operate through a network of authorized distributors. To establish your gas supply, reach out to the distributor in your area, who will assess your requirements and provide a quote. Once your account is active, you can request additional gas cylinders as needed and make payments directly to the distributor. When relocating, contact the distributor to disconnect the cylinder. Since you own the equipment and accessories, you can sell them back to the distributor and receive compensation

Switching Gas Suppliers in the UAE

Once you have established your gas supply in the UAE, it is unlikely that you will switch to a different supplier, as each emirate is primarily served by a single gas provider

Gas Pricing and Tariffs in the UAE

The price of gas in the UAE varies significantly based on your supplier and usage. Each household is evaluated individually, so it’s best to consult with your SERGAS representative or Emirates Gas distributor for a precise quote.

Reporting Gas Issues and Arranging Gas Repairs

If you encounter any issues with your gas supply or require repairs, you should contact your gas supplier directly. Emirates Gas can be reached via phone or email, and you can find their contact details on their official website. If you are a SERGAS customer, you can use their online feedback form to report any concerns or request assistance.

Filing a Complaint Against a Gas Company

To lodge a complaint against your gas company, you should contact the company directly or reach out to your emirate’s government following the previously mentioned steps.

Enhancing Energy Efficiency and Exploring Green Energy Alternatives

The UAE government is actively promoting energy efficiency and the adoption of green energy alternatives within the country. A significant goal is to reduce the reliance on gas for power generation, aiming to decrease it from 98% in 2012 to below 76% by 2021. To achieve this, the government is investing in renewable energy sources, such as nuclear power plants initiated in 2013 and operational solar energy facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Wind energy is also part of the agenda, with the establishment of a wind turbine on Sir Bani Yas Island and plans for a full wind farm.

Efforts to reduce domestic energy consumption include offering lower tariffs for water and electricity usage and conducting national campaigns to educate residents on ways to decrease their water and electricity consumption. Additionally, the Water Security Strategy 2036 outlines initiatives for sustainable desalination solutions, dams, and rainwater harvesting projects to secure the country’s water resources

Waste Collection and Disposal

In recent studies, it has been found that the average UAE resident generates approximately 2.5 kilograms of waste per day. Waste management within each Emirate is typically overseen by local authorities, who often contract private waste management firms to handle the collection and disposal of waste. Some of these private companies include Averda, Dulso, and Trashco, which are tasked with waste collection in various regions of the UAE. They also establish recycling centers in urban areas, primarily for materials like plastic, glass, and paper. Furthermore, these companies often conduct educational initiatives aimed at promoting recycling awareness among UAE residents

Managing Utility Bill Payments in the UAE

Once you’ve set up your utilities in the UAE, you’ll typically receive your monthly bills. Many companies, such as ADDC and DEWA, offer autopay services, allowing you to set up direct debits for bill payments. Alternatively, you can make payments by phone, through mobile apps or online portals, or at post offices.

Each bill will include your name, account number, and type of service. It will also display the issue date, billing period, and due date. The bill will provide a detailed breakdown of your electricity and water usage for the month, along with corresponding charges. Any additional fees will be clearly indicated. The total amount due and the due date will be prominently displayed at the bottom of the bill.

It’s important to pay your bill promptly upon receipt. Typically, you’ll receive up to three reminders, sent via email and text messages, if your payment is overdue. If the bill remains unpaid for 14 days past the final due date, your service may be disconnected. To have your service restored, you’ll need to settle the outstanding balance and may also be required to pay a reactivation fee.