DOHA: Qatar, a country with high per capita usage of precious utilities, is launching energy and water conservation efforts at grassroots level by making it part of school curriculum.
To begin with, some 22 primary schools are being involved in energy efficiency initiatives and more schools are to be roped in as part of the initiative.
An energy audit of the 22 schools is on to assess their usage of utilities and to identify opportunities for conservation.
The idea is to engage not only students but also teachers and parents and other members of the society.
As the country’s electricity production is tipped to reach a record 12,000 megawatt to meet increasing demand by 2022, when the coveted FIFA World Cup is to be held here, Qatar is accelerating efforts at conservation, too.
The Phase I campaign of electricity and water conservation being waged in the 22 schools is known as T22 (T from the Arabic word ‘Tarsheed’, which means conservation, and 22 refers to the number of schools).
It is interesting to note that the numeral 22 also reminds one of 2022, the year in which FIFA World Cup will be held.
Utility distributor Kahramaa launched the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency, called Tarsheed, a few years ago.
And, in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy yesterday, it launched “T22”, initially to reach 22 primary (up to the sixth standard) Independent Schools.
The drive (to achieve energy efficiency and water conservation) will eventually be expanded to all schools in Qatar by 2022. This was announced at a press briefing yesterday.
The new initiative aims at engaging Qatar’s youth on energy conservation using the power of football.
Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari, President of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), told reporters: “We sought a way to bring the successful Tarsheed programme to schools, and found an excellent partner in the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
“We believe the T22 Programme blends the right mixture of education and fun, the building blocks for long-term conservation behaviour change.
“Children will find the materials engaging, and learn that energy efficiency is critical to their future, and the future of our country. Schools will receive valuable upgrades to their meters, lighting and faucets to track and conserve energy.”
The drive (T22), will roll out a tailored version of the Tarsheed programme initially in 22 independent schools in communities throughout Qatar this academic year.
Additional schools will join the programme in subsequent years, with the intention of reaching all primary schools by 2022.
Educational material and challenges will educate children about electricity and water conservation, contributing to Qatar’s efforts to achieve environmental sustainability as part of Qatar National Vision 2030. Additionally, schools receive an energy audit and upgrades to water and electrical fixtures to decrease consumption via faucet aerators and energy-saving bulbs.
“Legacy, innovation and sustainability have always been at the forefront of our thinking since we bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” said Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. “We’re pleased to play a role in this important programme by bringing the spirit of football and sport to T22. Sports have a key role to play in building a more sustainable community, which makes it a perfect fit for this effort.”
The campaign is targeted at primary school level students (aged six to 12 years), staff and teachers, and parents and families.
They are reached through conservation and energy efficiency curriculum and sports activities that teach and reinforce conservation behavior at school, which will carry over into the home. Students will have access to materials that teach about conservation and how their behaviours impact water and electricity use. On a regular basis, students will engage in fun activities, including the visit of football stars from the Qatar Stars League.
An energy audit of all 22 schools is under way, and will continue for the next month. This will provide a baseline for each of the participating schools, identifying conservation and efficiency opportunities via retrofit of lights with dimmable LED lamps and lux controllers, presence detector controllers for meeting rooms, toilets with delay timing and water efficient aerators on faucets.
Taken together, these retrofits and the educational content will lead to energy savings in each of the schools for the long term.
T22 will culminate in an awards event recognizing the schools that have best achieved the performance targets set for the programme based on Kahramaa readings of the meters installed in the schools to check energy consumption, it was announced.