By ; Nahla Muqalad
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is increasing its efforts to achieve the Smart Dubai initiative, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. This affirms DEWA’s vision to become a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation, in accordance with the directives of His Highness that the government’s job is to achieve happiness for its people. DEWA has implemented strategies for all its operations to support this vision. This has resulted in the launch of several initiatives and services at the highest standards of reliability, and availability. DEWA focuses on customer happiness by saving their time and efforts. It also prioritises its services for customers and stakeholders. DEWA anticipates the needs for its success and excellence partners from individuals and organisations, and it managed to exceed their expectations and made them happy.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said that DEWA adopts ambitious strategies that has elevated the nation’s water and energy sectors to become global leaders. This is in accordance with the footsteps and directives HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who said, “The UAE to be number one globally and this goal requires sincere determination and hard work. His Highness is confident that UAE Nationals are capable of achieving this goal̓.”
Al Tayer said that DEWA is moving forward to achieve the vision of His Highness, represented in the Eight Principles of Governance of Dubai. DEWA is guided by these principles to deliver the best government practices to achieve the first position in everything it does.
the top government organisations in Dubai in customer happiness
DEWA was ranked first in the 2019 Government of Dubai Customer Happiness and Mystery Shopper Index with a score of 90.1%. This is according to the results of the 2019 Government of Dubai Customer Happiness and Mystery Shopper Index surveys launched by the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai. The index includes three pillars: customer opinion study, mystery shopper study and community opinion study.
First place worldwide for Getting Electricity
The UAE, represented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has maintained its first global ranking for the third consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. The report measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies.
Over the past few years, DEWA has surpassed major European and American utilities. It reduced losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.2% compared to 6-7% in the US and Europe; and water network losses were reduced to 6.6% compared to 15% in North America, which is one of the best results in the world. These results underline DEWA’s global leadership in different areas.
Smart adoption reached 94% until the fourth quarter of 2019
DEWA is one of the first government organisations to provide all its services through various smart channels in line with DEWA’s efforts to achieve the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to transform the Government of Dubai into a fully digital government and the first paperless government by the end of 2021. DEWA has taken major steps toward this goal and achieved the best results among government departments that participated in the first stage of the Dubai Paperless Strategy. DEWA has reduced its paper usage by 60%. By November 2019, 94% of DEWA’s customers were using its smart services. DEWA provides all its services around the clock through several smart channels and platforms.
Simple steps to activate, deactivate, and transfer electricity and water accounts
This service enables residential, commercial, industrial and governmental customers to activate electricity and water accounts, as well as transfer and deactivate them. They can apply through the One Window/One Step application on DEWA’s website or smart app. The service also includes refunding security deposits through different ways including Western Union, and issuing a Clearance Certificate upon clearing all the outstanding bills related to the premise, among other services.
DEWA launched the Al Namoos (Emirati dialect for those who win in races) service in December 2014, to achieve the directives of the wise leadership make it easier to do business in Dubai and make stakeholders happy. It has recently been enhanced to provide electricity connections in just one step within 5 days, with no Connection charges for commercial and industrial projects up to 150 kW.
DEWA launched Shams Dubai initiative to support the Smart Dubai initiative to turn Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. Shams Dubai encourages building owners to install photovoltaic solar panels to produce clean energy and connect them to DEWA’s grid. Shams Dubai has been very successful since its launch in 2014, with 5,629 buildings connected to the grid with a total capacity of 176.5MW. Dubai intends to install solar photovoltaic panels at all buildings in the Emirate by 2030.
The Smart Response Service for electricity and water notifications has several features such as self-diagnosis of interruptions. This reduces the steps to deal with complaints from 10 to only 1 step for customers if they can self-diagnose the issue. It finds the best solutions to deal with, follow up and resolve technical notifications in a simpler and easier way, using DEWA's smart app and website. This enhances customer experience and service efficiency.
The Smart Response Initiative for technical notifications has resulted in smart meters saving up to 300 million gallons of water and more than AED 17 million. The smart meters notify customers with an unusual high consumption of water, which could be due to internal leaks to help identify and fix the problem. This is part of DEWA’s efforts to provide reliable supplies of electricity and water to all Dubai’s residents.
The customer happiness with the service has achieved a score of 91%. This is a result of improving customers’ experiences by saving them time and effort. The service reduces the time needed to fix interruptions by 43%. It also enables customers to self-diagnose the service interruption, and learn about the necessary precautions to ensure continuity and quality of water supply. Some 56% of customers were able to resolve these issues on their own, thanks to the Smart Response Service. If the interruption is inside the premises, DEWA can provide details for maintenance companies on its DEWA Store who can quickly fix the problem.
High Water Usage Alert
The High-Water Usage Alert service, part of the Smart Response Service, helps customers discover possible leaks in their water connections, after the meter. The system sends within 48 hours notifications to the customer if there is an unusual increase in use, to check the internal connections and repair any leaks with the help of a specialised technician. This contributes to reducing incurred costs by limiting water wastage.
My Sustainable Living Programme
‘My Sustainable Living Programme’ encourages customers to use electricity and water responsibly and reduce their carbon footprint. The Programme, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, enables residential customers to compare their monthly electricity and water usage with the average usage of similar efficient homes and make informed decisions based on current data, with other highly efficient homes. This inspires a healthy competition among customers to reduce their consumption.
The ‘My Sustainable Living’ programme has four main features. These include a comparison dashboard of similar homes in the region, and other similar efficient homes, a graph of estimated consumption trends, a monthly consumption report, and conservation tips. DEWA interacts with its users through its website, smart app, and email and text messages. The number of subscribers in this programme has reached more than 350,000 residential customers, since its launch in October 2018.
DEWA’s conservation programmes and initiatives over the past 10 years have achieved significant savings in electricity and water use within various stakeholder groups. Cumulative savings between 2009 and 2018 reached 2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity and 7.4 billion gallons of water, equivalent to AED 1.2 billion. These savings were achieved in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, educational institutions, governmental and semi-governmental organisations. These savings contributed to reducing one million tonnes of carbon emissions.
DEWA launched the Green Charger initiative in 2015 to encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, which protects the environment. In 2018, DEWA installed 200 green charger stations in different locations across Dubai. DEWA is committed to encourage society to use sustainable modes of transport. DEWA decided to extend the deadline of the free Green Charger initiative until 31 December 2021 for private electric vehicle owners. This is a result of the significant increase in the number of electric and hybrid cars in Dubai and the positive response to the incentives we announced.
DEWA launched Rammas, DEWA’s virtual employee that uses Artificial Intelligence to respond in English and Arabic. It is available round the clock on DEWA’s smart app, website, Facebook page, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, robots, and WhatsApp Business platform. DEWA is the first government organisation in the UAE to have a verified WhatsApp Business account. Rammas can continuously learn and understand customers’ needs based on their enquiries. Rammas analyses them, based on available data and information, to best respond to and streamline transactions.
Rammas responds to customers instantly, while continuing to learn and understand their needs based on their enquiries. Rammas then analyses these enquiries based on available data and information, and takes action to accurately answer and streamline transactions with ease.
Rammas is able to learn and process customers’ needs, analyse and evaluate as per given data, and respond accurately to facilitate transactions. Since its inception in Q1 of 2017, Rammas has responded to over two million customer queries.
Innovative services to People of Determination and senior citizens
DEWA’s programmes and initiatives for People of Determination achieve the UAE Vision 2021 to preserve a cohesive society that is proud of its identity and sense of belonging, and support the National Policy to empower People of Determination, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to create an inclusive society that ensures empowerment and a decent life for people of determination and their families. It also supports the ‘My Community... a City for Everyone’ initiative, launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a city that is accessible for People of Determination by 2020.
DEWA has launched many programmes and initiatives that contribute to integrating People of Determination in society and the workplace. It employed 26 People of Determination in seven divisions, and their happiness score was 99% in 2019.
People of Determination friendly Customer Happiness Centres
DEWA redesigned 100% of its facilities and buildings to meet the Dubai Universal Design Code. This ensures a seamless and integrating environment for People of Determination. DEWA’s buildings have been equipped to be ready for all emergencies by placing audio and visual alarms, alarms in toilets, and evacuation wheelchairs on all floors.
DEWA also provides free valet parking, hotline to help them in parking areas, wheelchair service, dedicated parking spaces, directional tactile paving for the visually-impaired, staff trained in sign language, dedicated comprehensive service desks, and DEWA’s booklets in Braille. A video about DEWA’s key services in sign language is also played on screens at the Customer Happiness Centres. These are some of the facilities that DEWA provide to streamline transactions by People of Determination.
Smart channels for People of Determination
DEWA is committed to providing seamless access to information for Customers of Determination through its website and smart app according to Smart Dubai Government standards. DEWA launched several innovative and smart initiatives to support and empower People of Determination and streamline their access to information, such as making its Customer Care Centre, website and smart app more accessible for them.
DEWA’s website ranked first in 2016 and 2017 at 92% according to Smart Dubai Government. The website accessibility measures include colour changes to suit colour-blind customers; the ability to increase font size to facilitate reading for people with visual impairment; text-to-speech; image description, which enables customers with special needs to click on the image to get its details; and shortcut feature that reduces the size of readable materials and facilitates navigation between the pages. DEWA’s smart app supports most platforms and features the latest technologies available on handsets and smartphones.
Ash’ir and Hayak Services
DEWA launched Ash’ir for live chat in sign language, which enables people with hearing difficulties to directly communicate with call centre staff via video chat using sign language around the clock. DEWA, with the participation of the UAE Deaf Association and the Community Development Authority, developed the service and trained a group of its staff to communicate in sign language. Some 22 DEWA staff received diplomas in sign language. DEWA has 2,600 employees trained on dealing with People of Determination.
DEWA is the first government organisation in the UAE to launch this pioneering sign-language service on its smart app. DEWA also provides the Hayak written and visual communication service through its website.
DEWA sponsors the Sanad card for People of Determination in Dubai. The Sanad card offers benefits and services to People of Determination, such as valet parking, wheelchair services and the Maraheb service, and priority for service at all Customer Happiness Centres. The Sanad Card provides a discount to Emirati People of Determination for service registrations, bill payments, and subscriber information charges, and meter inspections and subscriber information charges. DEWA has also provided a drive-in service.
Zakher Card for seniors
DEWA supports the Zahker card, which provides special services for senior UAE nationals. The Zakher card provides seniors with an easier lifestyle, in recognition to their role in the construction of the community, and in accordance with the teachings of Islam, customs, and tradition of the local community. DEWA also sponsors the Sanad card for senior citizens, and provides the same benefits and services that Sanad provides for People of Determination.
International recognitions, awards, and partnerships for DEWA’s efforts
DEWA’s efforts contributed to it receiving over 190 prestigious local and international awards over the past four years. These include the Leading Government Entity at the 20th Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) Awards, according to the fourth-generation government excellence system, and six awards at the 21st DGEP, including the Best Entity in Customers’ Happiness award. DEWA also won the highest award in the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model, and the first organisation outside Europe to apply for and receive this prestigious award on its first attempt. DEWA achieved between 750-800 points, leading it to rank in the Platinum category, which includes leading organisations that promote sustainable excellence. DEWA received the International Standard for Service Excellence (TISSE) certification with a score of 98.3%, which is the highest worldwide.
DEWA also won the People of Determination Friendly Government Entity award at the 21st DGEP in 2018, and the MVO8000 in CSR, becoming the first government organisation in Dubai to receive this global standard. This is in recognition to its pioneering achievements in social work. DEWA was awarded the ISO 56002: 2019 in Innovation Management, becoming the first organisation in the world to receive this certificate. DEWA also received ISO 30401: 2018 certification in Knowledge Management Systems; becoming the first utility in the world to receive this certification.