Trends in Residential Energy Consumption in Saudi Arabia with Particular Reference to the Eastern Province
Residential buildings are vital in the energy scenario of Saudi Arabia as they account for 52% of the total electricity consumption. The Eastern Province, due to its harsh weather conditions, is one of the most challenging areas in Saudi Arabia in terms of residential energy consumption. The province is vital also because of its large land area, accounting for almost one third of the entire country. This article investigates some of the important factors related to the residential energy consumption i.e. weather conditions, types of dwellings, building envelops, air-conditioning (A/C) systems and domestic appliances especially cooking ovens. The work is based upon an analysis of the actual monthly electricity consumption for 115 dwellings in Dhahran for the year 2012. The investigated buildings include 62 apartments, 28 villas, and 25 traditional houses. The annual average electricity consumption for the surveyed dwellings was found to be 176.5 kWh/m², a value higher than international energy-efficiency benchmarks. It is found that the use of mini-split A/C systems, thermal insulation and double-glazed windows can help reduce the electricity consumption by over 30%.