RIYADH: The Saudi Energy Efficiency Center on Monday urged citizens to ensure thermal insulation of buildings to save energy.
In a statement issued on Monday, the center encouraged the use of light exterior colors to reduce heat absorption.
Thermal insulation for buildings is compulsory in Saudi Arabia. The initiatives are aimed at cutting energy costs in the cities which house 80 percent of the country’s population.
Although the installation of thermal insulating systems can increase construction costs by up to 5 percent, the center pointed out that it meant less investment was needed in air-conditioning, and power tariffs ended up being lower.
Using thermal insulation in the construction of buildings helps to reduce heat transfer through walls, ceilings, windows and other materials.
The center noted that the use of thermal insulation materials could cut the electrical energy consumption of air conditioning and heating devices by between 30 and 40 percent. Also, the use of double and reflective glass reduced electricity consumption in air-conditioning units by up to 5 percent.
Maintaining a moderate temperature in buildings helped to lower operational and maintenance costs, extended the life of appliances and buildings, reduced structural cracking, improved fire safety and environmental protection, and reduced structural loads due to the lightweight of materials, the center added.
Rapid population growth is also driving energy use in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s current population is around 30 million with an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent. Economic and social development over the next decade will ensure further population increases.
Power efficiency is one of the central themes of Saudi Vision 2030. Thirty-eight percent of the Saudi production of oil and gas is locally consumed, mainly in the transport sector and electricity production.