If you plan to move to the UAE, you’ll need to learn about the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA). This government entity is the sole provider of utility services for individual and business customers in the UAE. Whether you are planning to rent or buy, you will need to connect to DEWA. The same applies if you plan to move premises — be it inside the UAE or outside the country — you will need to get in touch with the Authority again. Check out the services DEWA provides and how to use them via the DEWA mobile app.
- What Is DEWA?
- What Does DEWA Do?
- DEWA App Overview
- What Are the Advantages of Using the App for DEWA Services?
- How Do You Set Up a DEWA Account?
- What Is Ejari?
- What Do I Do If DEWA Services Are Not Activated?
- How Much Is the DEWA Activation Fee?
- What Do I Do with My DEWA Account If I Plan to Move?
- Do I Need to Pay the Outstanding Bills of the Former Tenant?
- How Do I Deactivate DEWA Services?
- DEWA Deactivation Fees
- Refund of the Security Deposit
- When Will the Services Be Deactivated?
- How Can I Save Money on My Utility Bills?
What Is DEWA?
The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority system was launched in 1992. Before that date, the supply of water and electricity to consumers was managed by two separate authorities. DEWA has achieved great success since its launch, and a considerable number of regional and international awards and prizes attest to that.
DEWA strives to use sustainable energy sources and is introducing artificial intelligence into the operation of its systems. By 2030, the company plans to create the largest network of solar power plants on the planet, one of DEWA’s most ambitious projects. This will generate a huge amount of energy while significantly reducing emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere — up to 6.5 million tonnes per year.
What Does DEWA Do?
The main function of the Authority is to provide utility services for the population, state-owned organisations and commercial businesses. DEWA provides buildings with electricity and water supply, as well as other utilities, generates bills for services and oversees payment. Additionally, the organisation issues certificates for leaving the country stating the full payment of all outstanding utility bills and also refunds your DEWA security deposit. Another major function of DEWA is building electric vehicle charging stations.
New buildings in the UAE
DEWA App Overview
You can connect to the system on the official DEWA website or through a convenient app for mobile devices. You can download the app for DEWA services on Google Play or the App Store and install it on any smartphones with iOS and Android systems. The link to it is also posted on the home page of the Authority’s official website.
The mobile application has all the functions of the official DEWA website:
- Activation and deactivation of water, electricity and sewerage services;
- Bill payment;
- Consumption management;
- High consumption alert;
- 24/7 Customer Care Centre chat;
- Comparison of bills for different billing periods;
- Request for security deposit refund;
- Request to issue or deactivate Green Charger Cards for electric vehicles.
The app hardly takes up any space on the device — only about 350 MB. There are usually no problems with the installation itself, just download the app and follow the system prompts.
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What Are the Advantages of Using the App for DEWA Services?
First of all, the app allows you to use DEWA services whenever and wherever you want. Once you install it, you can connect or disconnect utilities at any time, as well as pay bills. Secondly, it is a convenient tool to control your consumption. The smart system will send you a notification when the meters register an overconsumption of electricity or water. Users can also analyse how much energy they consumed during a selected period and compare the bills.
How Do You Set Up a DEWA Account?
You can set up your DEWA account by submitting the DEWA new connection application form through the mobile app, on the official website or at a DEWA Customer Happiness Centre. However, if you plan to rent, you do not need to submit any documents to the Authority because the local legislation ensures that all new lease and tenancy agreements are registered with the Ejari system. The tenant's data is sent to DEWA and an account is automatically created for the new customer. So, all you need to do is type in the premises number of the property. You will usually find it on a sign above the entrance to the apartment or on the entrance door.
This process of activating services for tenants is called One Step Move-in. After creating an account, you will receive an email or text message with step-by-step instructions to pay the DEWA security deposit and activation fees. As soon as the customer transfers money to their DEWA account, electricity, water supply, and sewerage will be connected to the rented premises within 15-24 hours.
What Is Ejari?
Registration of your tenancy contract with Ejari is obligatory for all landlords and tenants in the UAE. In most cases, the process is handled by real estate agents. However, as a tenant, you can also create an account in the Ejari system yourself by submitting the registration form on the website of the Department of Land and Property or at any of its branches.
The service fee is 170 dirhams. This money goes to RERA, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. Take into account that the fee can be changed at any time. You will also need to pay additional 40-45 dirhams for account maintenance. After you register your contract in the system, the certificate issued by Ejari will serve as a replacement for the traditional tenancy/lease agreement.
What Do I Do If DEWA Services Are Not Activated?
Sometimes customers do not receive a welcome notification from DEWA after registering with Ejari. In that case, you should either go to the nearest DEWA Customer Happiness Centre, or create an account in the system on your own. In both cases, you need to complete the DEWA new connection application form and submit it along with some documents. The application form is available in PDF on the official DEWA website.
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Be sure to include the following information in the application
- valid Ejari number (for tenants)
- title deed (for owners)
- emirates ID
- passport data of the parties
- trade licence (for business customers)
The list of the documents to submit usually includes
- copies of the tenant's and landlord's passports (valid visa required)
- copy of the tenancy agreement
- DEWA new connection form
- copy of the title deed
If a representative is acting in the interests of one of the parties, they will require a power of attorney signed by a notary. After filling out the application form and submitting the documents, you can proceed to pay the fees and the DEWA security deposit.
How Much Is the DEWA Activation Fee?
The DEWA activation fee is 100 dirhams for small properties (apartments), and 300 dirhams for large properties (villas). You will also need to pay registration, knowledge and innovation fees — a total of 30 dirhams. Additionally, DEWA requires a security deposit of 2000 dirhams for an apartment and 4000 dirhams for a villa. This security deposit can be returned when moving out if it is more than your actual consumption.
DEWA provides customers with various ways to pay fees. You can pay your bill any of the following ways:
- DEWA Smart App and DEWA official website
- branches of Dubai banks (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Ajman Bank, Mashreq Bank, and others)
- Etisalat and Emirates NBD payment machines
- EasyPay and Noqodi electronic services
- Emirates Post Customer Happiness Centres
- DEWA SMS MPay — requires activation
- ENOC/EPPOC electric vehicle service stations — payment accepted only in cash
Most users prefer the EasyPay service. It allows you to pay DEWA fees and bills while quickly paying for your electric car services, and it is not necessary to create an account. To make a payment, you just need to specify the account number in the designated field in the DEWA Smart App or on the website. You can transfer money from debit and credit cards, as well as through a special Dubai Now application.
What Do I Do with My DEWA Account If I Plan to Move?
In this case, you just need to complete a Move-to request. You can fill out the form in the mobile app, on the official website or at any DEWA Customer Happiness Centre. You need to specify the following information
- Ejari number for move-out and move-in premises
- move-in premises number
- DEWA contract account number
- move out and move in dates
After checking the information, your data will be updated to the new premises, and the security deposit will remain on your DEWA account.
Do I Need to Pay the Outstanding Bills of the Former Tenant?
It may happen that the former tenant moved out of the rented housing without paying the utility bill. If you find yourself in a situation like this, do not worry. It is the sole responsibility of the property owner to settle any outstanding utility bills left by the previous tenant before entering into a new lease agreement.
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How Do I Deactivate DEWA Services?
Water and electricity supply can be deactivated via the app, the website or at a DEWA Customer Happiness Centre. To do this, use your method of choice to send a Move-out request, specifying the date and time of departure from the country. It is on the last day of your stay that the final meter readings will be recorded, and utilities will be deactivated in the premises. Within 24 hours, you will receive the final bill for move-out premises to your email and personal account. It is best to settle the bill on the same day.
DEWA Deactivation Fees
If you are going to leave the country, you will most likely need to request a clearance certificate. Issue of this certificate is free of charge. Keep in mind that it is valid for one month from the issuance date.
Although DEWA does not charge any certificate issuance fee, you will need to pay electricity, water and sewerage deactivation fees. You will pay 100 dirhams for small properties and 300 dirhams for large properties, as well as an additional fee of 20 dirhams. All these fees can be deducted from your security deposit. It is important to mention that Thukher and Sanad cardholders are entitled to a 50% discount on deactivation charges.
Refund of the Security Deposit
It is best to use Western Union when requesting your security deposit refund. It works with most UAE banks, so you can get money from anywhere in the country and abroad. To request a refund, submit your DEWA security deposit form in the app or on the DEWA website and choose Western Union as the payment method. Then wait until the deposit transfer is confirmed and visit the nearest bank branch to collect the money.
When Will the Services Be Deactivated?
Utility services are usually deactivated within 24 hours on the day of the customer's move-out. If you do not settle your bills on time, water and electricity supply will be disconnected 14 days after the due date stated on your bill. Within these 14 days, DEWA will send you three reminders to make the payment. The services will be reconnected four hours after settling the bill unless you are moving out of the premises.
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How Can I Save Money on My Utility Bills?
You can manage consumption in the DEWA App. If you want to significantly reduce your electricity and water bills, here are some suggestions.
- Always turn off the lights before leaving the room.
- Use energy-saving and LED light bulbs.
- Try to clean air conditioner filters more often, it saves energy.
- Promptly replace appliances that are more than 10 years old.
- Run the dishwasher and the washing machine only when fully loaded.
- Use curtains to block out the sunlight that heats up the room. Overall, avoid overheating the rooms.
- Use fans for air circulation.
- Use a smart thermostat to control the temperature indoors.
- Make use of natural light when possible.
In a Nutshell
DEWA is the largest utility company in Dubai. To connect to or disconnect from electricity and water supply, you need to register in its system. It does not matter whether you are moving in as an owner or a tenant, in both cases you will need to submit an application for DEWA services, online or offline. The easiest way to do this is via the Authority's mobile application or the official website.
You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play. The app offers all the functions of the official website: activation and deactivation of services, consumption management, bill payment and more. If you plan to rent, you do not need to register in the system. An account will be created for you automatically after registering with Ejari. All you will have to do is pay the fees and the security deposit, and you can enjoy all DEWA services within 15 hours of payment.
Cover photo: Domenico Loia (Unsplash)