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LONDON: As world leaders converge on the Middle East Green Initiative summit on October 25, the focus will be on new ideas and proposals to replace unnecessary and polluting methods in favor of eco-friendly methods. environment.
At the same time, profound changes are announced at the base, in terms of a sustainable living environment. Many “green” startups have sprung up in the Kingdom in recent years, offering products and services aimed at reducing carbon emissions while improving the quality of life of ordinary citizens.
One of these companies is EIA Energy, based in Riyadh. Founded in 2020 with support from Monsha’at, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, EIA Energy is a 12-employee company with revenue of SR 1.2 million and expected growth up to SR 7.5 million by the fourth quarter of 2022.
“EIA Energy was founded as an Energy Services Company (ESCO) and has grown into a provider of end-to-end energy management services and solutions to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in customer facilities, ”CEO Abdullah Al-Othman told Arab News.
As a certified ESCO, EIA Energy offers three types of services: firstly, energy consultancy and energy monitoring in order to reduce costs; second, obtaining “green certification” for owners and managers of facilities; and third, advice on green building techniques in terms of architecture, efficient water use, landscaping and environmentally friendly transportation solutions.
EIA Energy describes its energy efficiency strategy as the “SMART Approach” – an acronym for Surveying, Monitoring, Analyzing, Reducing, Review and Targeting.
There will be a growing demand for this type of advice in Saudi Arabia as builders and developers comply with new green regulations while also meeting modern families’ demand for a healthier and better lifestyle.
“This is the right time for ESCOs right now,” says Al-Othman, “because we are seeing the start of all the transformation going on, the cultural change. There are many government initiatives – Vision 2030, SGI, Green Riyadh – which are stimulating the whole market and creating a lot of opportunities. “
In the 1960s and 1970s, Riyadh and other cities in the Kingdom became the so-called “supergrids” of intersecting highways, filled with buildings and concrete pavements with only a small reserve of green space. Concrete absorbs and radiates heat during the summer months, while preventing the soil from absorbing rainwater during the winter, causing severe and sometimes fatal flooding.
“We say no to concrete,” says EIA Energy chief executive Hamza Khan. “We prefer gravel because there has to be a porous soil that allows rainwater to flow back into the earth and replenish groundwater sources.
Builders, developers and plant operators have no choice but to turn words into action. “We get a lot of inquiries from apartment and resort owners, supermarkets, outlets and restaurants,” says Khan. “They all want to cut costs and lower emissions – offer something more sustainable and stand out from the competition. ”
Much of EIA Energy’s effort is devoted to obtaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council. This certification promotes a better quality of life for building occupants in terms of energy and water efficiency and improvement of the living environment. It follows the principle of the triple result of the 3Ps: people, planet and profit. This certification can be applied to any built-up area: residential facilities, office buildings, educational institutions and hospitals.
EIA Energy relies on hardware and software provided by its UK partner Best Energy. “But it is clear that the technologies that we are bringing to Saudi Arabia should be manufactured or at least assembled here,” Al-Othman said. “And that would solve a major problem we are currently facing with the destruction of the global supply chain due to COVID-19 and other factors.” The company also has the ambition to develop its own proprietary solutions as it grows and expands.
“Saudi Arabia is going green and moving towards energy efficiency and reducing its carbon emissions,” Al-Othman said. “Green technology startups and ESCOs play a major role in this. We are benefiting from new government initiatives and we just want to keep improving and introducing more services, in line with Vision 2030, which says that SMEs should play a key role in the future Saudi economy.