UAE developer Aldar Properties said on Monday that it is investing 25 million UAE dirhams ($6.8 million) in energy retrofit projects that will help reduce utility consumption for property owners and tenants.

The projects, which will be implemented in 13 residential communities, are expected to offset 19,000 total carbon dioxide (tCO2) and reduce utility consumption by a total of 12 million UAE dirhams per year, the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

Part of the company's efforts to make its communities more energy efficient and environment friendly, the investment is said to be the first of its kind by an Abu Dhabi developer. It seeks to enhance efficiency across a range of Aldar hotels, schools, commercial, leisure, retail and residential buildings, the statement said.

"This project is special as its innovative structure enables significant capital investment into community assets while reducing energy consumption, carbon footprint and community service charges at the same time," said Greg Fewer, Aldar's chief financial and sustainability officer.

Aldar said the plan was developed in conjunction with the owners' association of the communities, which are managed by the company's real estate property management arm Provis. Siemens will carry out the retrofit project, while Grfn has been appointed as the energy project management company.

The developer announced its wider energy management initiative in January. The plan is to cut consumption by 20% and support the company's efforts to align its sustainability practices with the UAE's long-term carbon reduction targets.

"The retrofit project is a key milestone in the company-wide decarbonization journey towards net zero - it will decrease carbon emissions by 80,000 tonnes, electricity consumption by 110 GWh, water consumption by 886,000 m3, chilled water consumption by 23,000 TRH and gas consumption by 726,000 m3 on a yearly basis," the statement noted.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)