Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Project launched to slash public-sector energy costs

Published:Friday | December 2, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Andrew Wheatley

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology has launched a sustainable energy project that is expected to influence a cutback on fossil fuels used to produce energy in the public sector. This is being done with the aim of minimising energy costs for the sector and contributing to long-term economic growth for the country.

Global Environment Facility, The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) have collaborated to make the project a reality.

The PCJ hosted the launch of the programme on Wednesday at its Trafalgar Road, St Andrew offices.

The programme is expected to run for three years.

Public expenditure on electricity is expected to go down. The country's imports on fossil fuels should also decrease by way of adopting sustainable energy systems and practices.

 

ENERGY SERVICE COMPANY

 

Components of the project include capacity strengthening by supporting national energy training programmes; developing energy-related legislation; and creating a real economic source by establishing an energy service company which will be piloted by the PCJ.

Energy-efficient retrofits and solar power systems will be implemented first in six health facilities across the island.

The institutions are the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon; Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth; Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland; Bellevue Hospital in Kingston; Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre in St Andrew; and the National Chest Hospital in St Andrew.

The programme is also expected to provide aid to two rural area schools that already have renewable energy systems.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Andrew Wheatley said the launch of the programme was a great moment for Jamaica.

"This will certainly help us to achieve our sustainable development goals. Jamaica is the Caribbean leader in the energy arena and this is a direct result of your support and investments. This project seeks to deploy renewable energy and improve energy efficiency in the public sector. This intervention will bolster our ongoing efforts to reduce public-sector energy consumption by driving efficiency. The public-sector is the main customer of the Jamaica Public Service," the minister said.

According to Wheatley, in 2015, the public sector accounted for approximately 16 per cent of total electricity sales by the JPS.