Jamaican Government to set Energy Efficiency Lead

THE JAMAICAN government is looking to reduce the islands public sector electricity costs of more than US$1 billion by implementing a US$90 million energy efficiency programme.

The programme is geared to produce a 15 percent reduction in Jamaica’s energy consumption across all state agencies in the short to medium term.

Speaking at the launch of the all-island seminar series on energy conservation held at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium last week, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding stated that the public sector must set the lead and an example in energy efficiency.

"This is not just a public-sector problem. This is a challenge that the whole country must become engaged in, but that effort must start with Government," he said.

The Jamaican Ministry of Energy and Mining have provided data revealing that last year the total annual public sector electricity consumption amounted to 392.2 GWh, with eight agencies responsible for 89 percent of the total. The National Water Commission (NWC) alone accounted for almost $47 million or 42 percent of that amount, consuming 191 GWh of electricity in the process.

Street lighting accounts for 21 percent, while health and education are responsible for seven percent each. Civil aviation and security and justice follow at four percent each; defense and irrigation made up at two percent of the energy use, and the remaining 11 percent is attributed to a combined number of other governmental agencies.
Audits carried out at the NWC showed that the agencies energy bill accounted for 26 percent of their total expenditure.

The PCJ carried out similar checks covering 22 hospitals and found that the potential savings range from 15 to 40 percent, depending on the facility.

The estimated savings from the energy efficiency programme is expected to be over $37 million annually over two years and four months.

All Jamaican ministries and public sector organisations will be required to publish energy statistics under the energy efficiency programme, with the interesting comment from the government that even energy-intensive firms having to reveal their energy use data.

Monday 14th February 2011

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