Would you Spend Extra USD 500 to Make your House Warmer?

Construction works of the Koshi pilot area / UNDP Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan has always been rich in its energy resources. The untapped potential allowed making the price for water, gas and electricity close to free. The income received from the export of the energy resources also allowed creating a system of distribution of energy to every household throughout the country, making sure that each single resident of Turkmenistan has access to gas and electricity.

As for today, the monitoring and assessment of efficiency of the existing heat distribution is under the local departments of the communal services. The data on heat consumption by residential districts is gathered by the specialists of the boiler houses. However, it lacks the data on the apartment-specific consumption, which is due to the fact of absence of the individual household heat meters. As a result, the decision making in case of heat leakage is done based on the individual resident’s complaint rather than thorough a regular analysis and monitoring of the energy distribution and consumption.

In line with the national policy and the National Strategy on Climate Change, in 2012, UNDP/GEF project on improving energy efficiency in the residential building sector of Turkmenistan started advocating and promoting energy management in residential buildings sector of Turkmenistan.

Energy management system (EMS) is regular and continuous monitoring, analysis and decision making on energy distribution and consumption. It allows putting in place a mechanisms that ensure energy efficiency based on the informed-decision making backed up by monitoring and assessment of the ongoing situation.

“By now, Turkmenistan has put in place a system of energy management in its industries. The government of Turkmenistan invested heavily into modernization of its industrial sector of the economy, such as oil and gas, textiles, railways. The next step in improving energy efficiency performance in the country is after residential buildings sector,” says Irina Atamuradova, UNDP/GEF Project Manager.

UNDP/GEF project together with its national partners State Concern “Turkmengas” and Ministry of Communal Services develop and promote EMS in some new residential buildings to find the best model fitting Turkmenistan’s needs.

The energy management pilot project sites is the complex of five multi-unit buildings in the new residential area Koshi, where UNDP/GEF project has designed and established a unique for Turkmenistan system consisting of smart metering equipment and data acquisition and transmission device.

“The EMS that we have installed in Koshi is the demonstration project for a particular multi-unit residential complex. Now we collect data from the meters installed and compare them to the data collected by communal services experts based on supply of water and energy and electricity for heating, chilling for the whole complex. This type of research allows comparison of the data and identifying the most efficient system. Further, the project plans to expand the system by installing thermostats for automatic regulating heating consumption,” explains Arslan Zomov, UNDP/GEF Project Expert.

The installed system measures the following resource consumption for each building separately: thermal energy, electricity, cold water; and the following resource consumption for the equipment, installed in the boiler house: electricity consumed by the boiler, chillers and cold water pump.

Information from the meters is being read and stored, transmitted to the supplier by the data acquisition and transmission device installed in one of five buildings. Energy and water metering devices combined in a group are located in the technical basement in each building next to input communication channels. Energy and water meters in the boiler house combined in a group are placed in the boiler house.

While the system of data collection in the pilot area is still centralized based on receiving overall information on the heat supply and consumption for a building, project experts estimate that investing into heat meters for individual houses would significantly improve accuracy of data collected. Accordingly, the estimated price of an apartment-level heat meter on the global market is USD 300-500, a milti-unit building level heat meter is about USD 5,000.

To introduce the concept of energy management in residential buildings sector to the national experts, UNDP/GEF project created a technical manual and held training for about 100 specialists of the Ministry and agencies of the communal services in five regions of Turkmenistan.

Understanding the importance of the energy management system the State Concern “Turkmengas” and the Ministry of Communal Services helped in organizing the trainings for their staff. Specialists from heat and gas supply services were presented and trained practically in the step-by-step development and implementation of energy management in residential buildings. They also discussed different aspects related to staff specifics of local supply and distribution systems of energy resources, identification of potential energy consumers and possible energy management structure in local cities and the whole country.

“Any EMS is based on the cycle approach: estimation – planning – doing – estimation etc., which requires a special attention to energy efficiency and its improvement. Right now, UNDP and the government of Turkmenistan are working closely on developing a system that would help efficiently use energy in the piloted residential sector, but our plan is to scale up the results to the national level,” adds Irina Atamuradova, UNDP/GEF Project Manager.

Survey results, carried out at the end of each training, showed good knowledge and skills gained by listeners for the use on practice. The trained specialists are able to conduct similar training events by themselves for their staff to develop and implement energy management in their sub-ordinate organizations. 

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