Saudis use nine times more electricity than fellow Arabs

Updated 19 February 2014
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Saudis use nine times more electricity than fellow Arabs

Saudi individuals use on average nine times more electricity than their fellow Arab counterparts in Egypt, Algeria, Sudan and Morocco, according to a report published on Tuesday.
These countries have 185.6 million people, seven times more than Saudi Arabia. Egypt has a population of 79.39 million, Algeria 37.76 million, Sudan 36.43 million and Morocco 32.06 million. Saudi Arabia has a population of 28.4 million.
The report by the economic reporting unit of Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper stated that an individual in Saudi Arabia consumed on average 8,161 kilowatt an hour in 2011, compared to 951 kilowatt an hour by individuals in the four largest Arab countries.
A previous report by Al-Eqtisadiah stated that Saudi consumption of electricity rose by 3 percent in 2011 and 9 percent in 2012. The housing sector consumed 50 percent of the Kingdom's total electricity production.
The energy sector is subsidized by the state, with the Kingdom using an estimated 4 million barrels of oil a day to power the country.
In the Kingdom, air conditioners consume 51 percent of all electricity production. This is also because local air conditioners have a low energy efficiency ratio (EER). The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity, in British thermal units (BTU) per hour, to the power input in watts. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
The applied standards for air conditioning units in Saudi Arabia stands at 7.5, in Kuwait at 10.8, Korea at 10.1 and Japan at 15.
The Saudi Center for Energy Efficiency was established in cooperation with a number of government entities to review standards and specifications, and study the consumption of electrical equipment in the Kingdom.
The EER of air conditioners has been raised from 7.5 to 8.5, and will be increased every year until it reaches international levels.
The energy efficiency card is a guide to consumers. It allows them to compare electrical appliances based on consumption. The card has stars showing the EER. It starts with three, which is the minimum, up to six stars. Split air conditioning units are from four to six stars.
The card has information about the year of production, the brand, type, expected annual consumption, a number to show it was tested by the Saudi Arabian Standards and Specifications Organization (SASCO), energy efficiency, cooling or heating capability, and size and weight for fridges and washing machines.
Consumers are expected to benefit from buying energy efficient products because it reduces electricity bills, cuts down on maintenance costs, and ensures spare parts are available.
The country will also reduce the amount of fuel needed for electricity and cut down on carbon gas emissions. There would be more petroleum to export, which would boost the economy, the report stated.


Women welcomed to Saudi roads

This historic decision will positively impact not only the lives of individuals but also on the future of businesses within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Updated 25 June 2018
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Women welcomed to Saudi roads

  • This historic decision will positively impact not only the lives of individuals but also on the future of businesses within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Businesses such as spas, cafés, hotels and restaurants were offering something in return for Saudi women showing their licenses

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia eased into its first commuter day with women on the roads without a hitch on Sunday.

It was a historic day of celebration as police gave female drivers flowers, hotels offered rooms and meals to the first women to arrive driving their cars, cafes served them free coffee, while the Ministry of Transport greeted them with a billboard that read “Dear sister, we wish you safety always.”
Many women were seen driving to their offices on Sunday morning, while a few were driving on the outskirts of Riyadh to acclimatize themselves with the environment before they hit the roads.
“As of 12am, the implementation of the Supreme Court order to enable women to drive and the implementation of traffic regulations to both men and women is officially in effect,” said Col. Sami Al-Shwairkh, the official spokesman for General Security in the Kingdom.
“The security and traffic status on all roads and areas around the Kingdom have been reported as normal. There have not been any records from our monitoring of any unusual occurrences on the road throughout the Kingdom.”
Meanwhile, businesses such as spas, cafés, hotels and restaurants were offering something in return for Saudi women showing their licenses.
The ladies-only spa at Jeddah’s Park Hyatt Hotel, Evania Spa, was giving free access to the first three women who show up to it with a 30-minute massage as part of the day’s celebrations.
Restaurants such as Punjab Grill, Rosso and Rai in Jeddah were offering free lunch or dinner to every female that arrived in her own vehicle and showing her driver’s license.
Hotels such as the Narcissus in Riyadh and Sheraton Damman were also celebrating women driving by offering a free night’s stay and dinners at their top restaurants for the first women to arrive in their own cars.
Women enthusiastically and wholeheartedly cheered on their fellow female drivers, beginning after midnight, packing Jeddah’s Corniche in the middle of the night and then into the day.
Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena was among the very first women to drive in the Kingdom as soon as the clock struck midnight. “I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” she said.
Almaeena told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”
She urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately, they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.”
And this isn’t because Almaeena doesn’t know what she’s doing. “I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”
On how society is adapting to this major change, Almaeena said: “Tomorrow is the first day, mentally and psychologically, it already had that shift. As I mentioned, it’s a paradigm shift. In perception and how they view women, their capabilities — as equal partners.
“Mentally, it’s already there, and physically we will see, as we start, more and more encouragement for both men and women. Even some of the women who weren’t feeling comfortable about driving, it’s going to be encouraging for them, in a live demonstration and evidence that women can do it.”
Dr. Soha Tashkandi, chairperson of clinical pathology in Riyadh’s King Fahad Medical City, also got into her car just after midnight but was back out in the day. “When the clock struck 12am on Sunday, June 24, I drove in my country for the first time,” she said. “It was a memorable night, not only because I took to the wheel in Saudi, but because my 18-year-old daughter was alongside me. She also had the chance to drive.”
She and her daughter were some of the first ladies to register for a license, and her husband supported them all the way.
Tashkandi, with her husband Dr Ismael Baksh in the back seat, took an Arab News reporter for a spin yesterday. When Baksh was asked how he feels sitting in the back seat, he replied: “Finally, I can relax”.
Tashkandi praised the Saudi Driving School (SDS) as a positive experience that was full of ease. Nothing could stop them from getting their licenses, she said. “The SDS team were highly professional and helpful accommodating my training schedule according to my long working hours. Part of the training was during the holy month of Ramadan, but this did not stop me or my daughter from taking the full 30-hour training.”
As she made a right turn, Tashkandi said: “Whether at home or working as an individual, Saudi women have always been supported by their male peers. Today, we all celebrate together.
“This historic decision will positively impact not only the lives of individuals but also on the future of businesses within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”