While eco-friendly actions and choices are becoming increasingly successful in making inroads into the everyday aspects of our lives, it will be most relevant to think of what each sector is capable of doing, in terms of its contribution towards achieving energy efficiency.

Approximately 3,800 residential units were handed over in Dubai during the first quarter of 2018 and realtors being the go-to resource for all matters related to these transactions, there are several ways in which they can support the attainment of energy efficiency goals.

There is no doubt that more and more modern buildings are being constructed by incorporating green features than before. Real estate professionals must learn and incorporate structural and architectural changes right from the designing stage of houses, as homebuyers are becoming more aware and have begun to value energy efficiency since it also plays a significant role in cutting down consumption, leading to savings on energy bills. Real estate professionals can effectively cater to this rapidly growing market demand by identifying and selling the value of energy efficient homes to aspiring homeowners.

For real estate professionals, energy efficient construction can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty; higher referral rates; higher commission rates due to increased home value; and long-term deals by knowing solutions to overcome barriers. Meanwhile, for end users, energy efficient structures in new and existing homes result in lower energy costs; increased comfort year-round; enhanced air quality; higher home resale value potential; and mortgage savings.

It is the responsibility of the realtors to educate homebuyers to let them know how the added value of energy efficient fixtures and structures help them cut down costs, in addition to other benefits. Thus, realtors can help their clients save money on a monthly basis.

To help homebuyers understand the importance of energy efficient houses, real estate professionals must themselves be aware of the characteristics of an energy efficient home. This is what makes the knowledge of energy efficient homes a valuable asset for any real estate professional. With the increasing number of energy efficiency rating systems and the emergence of innovative technologies flooding the market, staying abreast of all these developments can be a challenge.

Energy efficient attributes realtors must check for, before putting up a house for sale include LED lighting, energy star qualified kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, air conditioner and water heaters.

Realtors should educate their buyers on energy efficient irrigation methods if the property has a garden or other landscaped area. Air sealing is another method that realtors must check for, as it reduces air flow between the inside and outside of a building. While insulation reduces heat transfer, air sealing decreases the transfer of conditioned air and outside air, reducing drafts and energy costs.

Real estate professionals must take advantage of the training programmes conducted by energy service companies to keep themselves updated on all developments in the field of energy efficient homes. They should also consider having energy audits done before selling a house. An energy audit is an assessment of how much energy a home consumes, which can help in the development of a strategy to make the home more energy efficient.

Energy service companies such as Etihad ESCO provide energy audits for realtors and building owners and recommend modifications that can contribute to increased energy efficiency of a house. Each realtor is then provided with an energy efficiency report that includes saving tips tailored according to the consumption patterns of each house.

Energy efficiency in supply and consumption sectors is of extreme significance in the shift towards achieving 100 per cent renewable energy. Awareness creation aimed at initiating behavior changes and attitudes will be extremely helpful in making communities understand different aspects of the looming environmental threats. As Dubai remains committed to the goal of becoming one of the most energy efficient cities in the world, Etihad ESCO continues to support government’s efforts by providing energy audits to public and private sectors that can save at least 20 per cent on utility bills.

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