Dubai, UAE, 25 April 2018: While it takes 18 to 24 months to build a tower, it takes around the same time to decide to retrofit the same building, said Ali Al Jassim, CEO, Etihad Energy Services (Etihad ESCO), while making an observation on the retrofit market.
Sharing a similar view, Charles Blaschke, Founder and Managing Director, Taka Solutions, said: “While it takes around four weeks to do a complete survey of the building and identify the areas of retrofit, it takes around 50 to 100 weeks for the client to take a decision on whether to green-light the project or not. All it requires is a signature from the client, and we – as an energy savings company – can begin investing in the project.”
Further elaborating on the challenges faced by the retrofit market, Blaschke said that changing the mindset of the project owner to consider the retrofit is a more significant challenge than funding a retrofit because energy service companies (ESCOs) offer 100% funding for projects. “When we started the financier-savings model, we did not want customer budgets to cause a hindrance for us while trying to achieve the retrofit target, therefore, we came up with the 100% financier savings model, where the customer would just sign the contract and enjoy the long-term benefits, while we are paid only a share of the savings,” he said.
Blaschke added another challenge was that customers usually have shortsighted goals, instead of longsighted goals, and are apprehensive about signing long-term contracts with ESCOs.