Saudi Arabia: Fuel Economy Standards for Imported Vehicles; Insulation Standards for New Buildings; and Minimum Energy Standards for Air-Conditioners
The current Saudi Arabia national policy is focused on energy efficiency and a reduction in domestic oil consumption. The three pillars of the energy efficiency policy are fuel economy standards for imported vehicles by 2020, insulation standards for new buildings, and tightened minimum energy performance standards for air conditioners (IEA, 2014)
Fuel Economy Standards for Imported Vehicles
The beginning phase of introducing the fuel efficiency standards for new and used LDV gradually took effect in January 2016 and will be fully in effect on December 31, 2020. Overall, it is too early to evaluate its success. Tentatively, the plan and its targets will be reviewed by December 2018.
The Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC) has advocated for applying this policy and got the approval and commitment of more than 80 companies that represent 99% of vehicle sales in the Kingdom to implement Saudi fuel economy standards for LDV. Currently, this policy is being applied only to a used vehicle. It could be increased in capacity in the future to expand its scope of enforcement to apply to new cars.
Insulation standards for new buildings
The Kingdom has introduced industrial standards for buildings to be implemented voluntarily by stores and commercial buildings.
The insulation standards face some obstacles because the Saudi Building Code of 2007 is quite complicated, long and outdated. Currently, the Saudi Code is written in accordance with international standards on insulation of walls, roofs and floors that mostly suit EU and US weather conditions. The Saudi Code needs to be amended to accommodate the high heat index in the Kingdom.
The Insulation standards for new buildings policy was established by the Saudi Energy Efficiency Centre (SEEC) at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), which is part of the Riyadh government’s efforts to work on demand-side energy efficiency programs.
Tightened minimum energy performance standards for air conditioners (IEA, 2014
In September 2013 the Saudi government began to implement new appliance standards for air-conditioning units, both imported and locally produced. At the beginning of January 2014 these standards began to be implemented on appliance showrooms.
The new appliance standards for air-conditioning units, both imported and locally produced have been successful. As of 2014, 50,000 air conditioners that did not meet the country’s energy saving requirements had been removed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The tightened minimum energy performance standards for air conditioners are based on International Energy Agency policy that emphasizes sustainable energy practices to limit the energy consumption by introducing new technologies in ventilation and HVAC units.