Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) completes 100 per cent transformation of smart services.
This is in line with the vision of his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to improve government services to the highest international standards; build a government that does not sleep, operates round the clock and is quick and efficient in processing transactions and procedures. Customers of Dewa can now have complete services at the push of a button.
With sustainable infrastructures and governance in place, Dewa has achieved a 100 per cent smart transformation of its services in less than a year after the launch of the Smart Initiative for Dubai to become the smartest city in the world.
According to Dewa's statistics, the adoption of its smart services by customers helped avoid the emission of 13,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2014 alone, the equivalent of planting 66,055 trees in 124.6 football fields. This figure is based on potential emissions that would have emerged from people travelling to and from Dewa's offices via personal cars or other public transport options such as bus, metro, or taxis.
Dewa implements Dubai's smart initiative
The achievements of Dewa in the field of smart transformation supports the directives of Sheikh Mohammed to improve government services to the highest international standards, and achieve the objectives of the Smart City Initiative. Since 2009, Dewa has adopted a clear strategy for smart transformation. Since then, it has launched a series of smart initiatives that confirm its preparedness to contribute in the transformation of Dubai into the smartest city in the world.
Dewa launched three smart initiatives to support the Smart Dubai initiative to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world and enhance the quality of life in Dubai and achieve the sustainable development of the emirate. The three smart initiatives are Shams Dubai, to connect solar energy in houses and buildings, Smart Applications and Meters, and the Green Charger to build the infrastructure and charging stations for electric vehicles.
Shams Dubai encourages tenants and building owners to install photovoltaic solar panels to generate electricity. Dewa will connect the system to its network. Electricity will be used onsite and the surplus is exported to Dewa's grid. This encourages the use of renewable energy, increases its share in electricity production and diversifies the energy mix. It also enables customers to install photovoltaic panels to generate electricity from solar power in buildings, and connect them to Dewa's grid.
The resolution issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, to regulate the generation of solar energy in buildings and their connection to the electrical grid is yet another step in the sustainability journey in Dubai. It encourages all classes of community as well as corporate sector to produce electricity from solar energy. This enhances the position of Dubai and the UAE as an international hub in renewable and clean energy which is the backbone of the green economy as looked at by all people around the globe,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa.
Smart applications and smart meters
Dewa is currently installing 200,000 smart meters and will be replacing all mechanical and electromechanical meters in the coming five years. Dewa adopts a strategy and roadmap for the Smart Networks project valued at Dh7 billion. The project aims to enhance the infrastructure that supports the demand side management programme and the initiative of connecting all renewable energy sources.
Smart meters will speed up service connection, improve response times, provide instant reconnection of electricity, and rationalise consumption to enhance the happiness and well-being of citizens and residents and to support resource sustainability.
The benefits of smart meters include providing automatic and detailed readings for consumers to monitor actual consumption for a specific period of time to better understand and manage their bills. Smart meters help identify energy efficiency solutions. They send readings automatically using advanced communication media such as fibre optic cables and storing the entire history of all consumption indicators and customer-related operations. Additionally, smart meters will support renewable sources of energy in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors by comparing supplies from consumption and generation sides.
Green Charger Initiative
The Green Charger initiative aims to establish the infrastructure to build 100 electric vehicle charging stations this year. Dewa has already completed its first phase and built 16 Green Charger stations and will install a further 84 stations by the end-2015.
Dewa is currently establishing the necessary infrastructure in collaboration with several stakeholders including car manufacturers, airports, Dubai Municipality, shopping malls, petrol stations, RTA, hotels, car parking operators, and other facilities
Dewa is building three types of electric vehicle charging stations that are compatible with the latest international technologies used in electric vehicles. The setting up of the three types will be based on recommendations by the project's consultants. These charging stations are fast-charging stations that usually take 20-40 minutes. They will be installed in petrol stations and on highways. Medium-charging stations take 2-4 hours, and will be installed in locations such as shopping malls, parks, and offices. Home charging stations normally take 6-8 hours.
"Dubai has all the elements to reach top positions globally and has become a leading global hub for sustainability, competitiveness, and green economy. The Green Charger initiative grid will substantially contribute to introducing electric vehicles in Dubai, boosting the use of energy resources and reducing the Emirate's carbon footprint. Dewa keeps on taking steady, confident steps towards achieving the comprehensive sustainability as envisioned by the wise leadership of Dubai and the UAE. We are confident that this project will get overwhelming response from Dubai residents and the support of organisations and companies from private and public sector,” added Al Tayer.
"Dewa's inauguration of the first electric vehicle charging station in Dubai is a major step towards achieving the vision of Sheikh Mohammed and the directives of Sheikh Hamdan to make Dubai the smartest city in the world. This initiative supports the Smart City objectives of our strategy and will significantly improve the public's perception about this vehicle technology and encourage its uptake in Dubai,” said Dr. Aisha Butti Bin Bishr, Assistant Director-General at the Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed.
Another initiative to build Dubai's position as a hub for creativity and innovation to make it the happiest city on earth is the Sirb initiative. This uses drone technology to support Dubai's infrastructure and aids smart technologies in serving Dubai's residents. Dewa is making significant improvement to government services by adopting innovative ways for government to effectively communicate with its customers. The UAE is one of the first countries in the world to use drones to provide government services.
This initiative will greatly improve Dewa's operational efficiency by accelerating operations, increasing safety during regular network testing and maintenance, and accurately detecting failures. It will also help in monitoring generation, in field surveys for new projects, and in new connections for buildings and facilities in Dubai.
This will enhance the trust of Dewa's customers and improve organisational competitiveness in terms of financial savings. The drones provide early detection by using thermal imaging for overhead power lines. This limits risks and reduces costs, enables a quick response and is very accurate, making it easier to make informed decisions.
The drones use state-of-the-art upgradable technologies, such as high-definition cameras equipped with night-vision and laser technologies, GPS sensors. They can also measure pressure, height, magnetic fields with ultrasound scanners.
Dewa as an early adopter of smart services
Dewa achieved significant results in its efforts to adopt latest smart technologies. It's smart app, which was launched in 2010, has seen 40.5 per cent electronic adoption rate which continued to increase and stood at 62 per cent in 2014. This demonstrates Dewa's successful journey in raising awareness among its customers about the significance of using smart services.
Since its launch until last June, the app was downloaded and updated over 1,619,366 times. From 26,000 downloads in 2010, the app was downloaded 82,000 times in 2011, a growth of 208.7 per cent compared to the base year. More than 124,000 downloads were recorded in 2012, an increase of 51.44 per cent compared to the previous year. In 2013, the app was downloaded over 206,000 times. In 2014, the app was downloaded over 737,000 times, a growth of 256.93 per cent compared to the previous year, reflecting a consistent increase in using the app to access Dewa's services.
150 services on DEWA smart app
Dewa's smart app provides over 150 services and features for customers, consultants, suppliers, jobseekers, government organisations, and visitors. You can also read quotes of Sheikh Mohammed as well as take conservation advices and use the Ablighna service to report problems with other services.
Ash'ir (Arabic for ‘to signal') service supports speech- and hearing-impaired customers. It is a live video chat service using sign language that enables people with disabilities to communicate directly with Dewa's call centre staff round the clock.
Ash'ir supports Dewa's strategy to establish the foundations of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as community and development initiatives and projects that serve all segments of society, including people with disabilities. Ash'ir is the first government service in the UAE to cater for the speech- and hearing-impaired.
This service comes in line with Dewa's corporate social responsibility and keenness to reach all segments of society.
Dewa's smart applications can be downloaded on any smart device including home entertainment devices, smart watches, and navigation systems compatible with Android OS. It can also be downloaded on devices that convert regular TVs to smart TVs (Android HDMI Stick). Dewa's app can be used for reading QR Codes and for taking photos and attaching them with reports. The app supports Augmented Reality and Global Positioning System .
Dewa also launched its app for internal processes and onsite use via the Google Goggles app.
Government Feedback Services
As part of its cooperation and integration with other government departments, Dewa has launched specialised Government Feedback Services in its app for other government departments through which they can send in their feedback about any of Dewa's facilities. Through the app, RTA, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Civil Defence can send comments and feedback to Dewa pertaining to any of its facilities.
Dewa retires paper invoices
Dewa has stopped sending paper bills to its customers as of April 2015. It has been sending Green Bills to all customers. A total of 609,000 customers, or around 84 per cent of Dewa's total customers, registered for the Green Bill.
Dewa first launched the Green Bill, its electronic invoicing system, in July 2012 to support its efforts to protect the environment and enhance sustainability.
Dewa's Ashal Smart Customer Service Kiosks
Dewa has launched its Ashal initiative: a number of smart kiosks that help visitors to any of Dewa's customer service centres to learn about its smart app and smart services.
Ashal kiosks are available at Dewa's headquarters in Zabeel, and customer service centres in Al Wasl, Al Quoz, Al Hudaiba, Umm Ramool, and Burj Nahar. Visitors to Ashal smart kiosks get to know everything about Dewa's smart app, from downloading the app, to creating an account, paying bills, and registering in the Green Bill and the Dubai Smart Government's MyID service. Staff will give step-by-step instructions to visitors about how to use the app and its services and features, which enable customers to complete their transactions anytime, anywhere. This initiative has won the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart Government Award 2014 for the best public partnership category.
This initiative enables customers to pay their bills electronically, in partnership with 19 UAE banks. The name Estareeh reflects Dewa's purpose for this initiative. The objective is the comfort and happiness of its customers by improving services and providing them wherever customers are, so that they don't have to visit Dewa's offices. The initiative provides high standards of quality and achieves the happiness of citizens and residents of Dubai. It promotes the level of customers' comfort by providing a variety of payment options to the highest standards of privacy, security and reliability, in addition to promoting environment-friendly practices when paying bills, which supports our sustainability efforts and reflects Dewa's vision to become a sustainable innovative world class utility.
Partnership Portal supports Dubai's strategy to enhance and strengthen relationship with partners to achieve common strategic objectives. It also complements Dewa's efforts to support the Smart Dubai initiative, and its commitment to promote effective cooperation with all its partners.
The Partnership Portal is a new communication channel between Dewa and its partners. It expands Dewa's scope of services to support its partners and achieve integration with other government departments and organisations in Dubai to enhance its services to the highest levels.
It enhances direct communication and quick response with partners and stakeholders and makes information and opportunities accessible to them. This enables our strategic partners to maximise the benefits from Dewa's projects and initiatives, and integrates partners with each other to achieve the highest levels of organisational efficiency and increase happiness.
Widespread Smart Services
Dewa adopts the best plans necessary to support its objective of increasing its smart services in line with the smart transformation taking place in the UAE. Through this vision, Dewa was able to increase the use of its smart services.
Since its launch in Dewa, the smart services were used at least 14 million times. In 2010, smart services were used approximately 1.3 million times, while in in 2011 this exceeded 1.8 million, an increase of 37 per cent from 2010. In 2012 it was used 2.4 million times, an increase of 32 per cent from 2011, and in 2013 it was used 3.1 million visits, an increase of 29 per cent from 2012. In 2014 it was used 3.7 million times, an increase of 19 per cent from 2013, These figures confirm the success of Dewa in reaching out to its customers by their continuous interaction with its smart services.
Local & International Recognition
Dewa has achieved great advancement in recent years as it constantly upgrades its smart services to advanced levels to ensure delivery of services in line with best international practices.
Dewa has recorded many achievements recently. It has won the Best Smart Application Award, Best International Practices award, and Best Smart Government Services Award organised by the Pan Arab Excellence Awards Academy. It has also received the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 certification for 2015 in IT Service Management. Moreover, it has won the Best Government Smartphone apps at the Government Summit 2015. Dewa was granted also four awards at the 18th Dubai Government Excellence Programme Awards (DGEP) including Distinguished Technical Project for phase 1 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It also won Best Public Partnership Award as part of Hamdan bin Mohammed Award for Smart Government 2014 for Ashal initiative and Best Government Service over Mobile Phone Moreover, DEWA was recognised this year by Best Strategic
Website for Government Category
Dewa also won the Technology and Green Initiative categories at the 10th Pan-Arab International Ideas conference organised by Afkar Arab Group, part of Dubai Quality. Last year, DEWA won Innovation in Smart Government Award and UAE Afkar (ideas) 2014 and Creativity Award as part of IDEAS UK conference 2014.
Dewa's Happiness index exceeded 98 per cent during the first few days of its launch beginning of 2015 in line with Happiness Index launched by Sheikh Mohammed to gauge happiness of people on daily basis. Dewa achieved a score of 87 per cent for community satisfaction where efforts are continuously put to increase this score.
Run-up to Expo 2020
Dewa is achieving outstanding success in the delivery of smart services as part of its efforts to support the vision of Sheikh Mohammed. Dewa looks at Expo 2020 as a perfect opportunity to achieve significant progress though developing creative methods and innovative ways to enhance the governmental sector and achieve the luxury and happiness of people.
Dewa is participating in Expo Milan 2015, where it highlights Dubai's position as a global role model for energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability, creativity and innovation, and attracting investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is also presenting the strategies, initiatives and achievements of Dewa, as well reviewing other experiences and practices.