Sun | Apr 21, 2019

Gov’t workers win $24 million in energy efficient prizes

Published:Friday | March 22, 2019 | 12:15 AM
Winners in division four of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica/Government of Jamaica Energy Champion Competition, Maggotty High School, represented by (from right) principal Sean Graham; Christina Williams and Oshane Gayle, teachers; Dahlia Salmon, secretary, and students Trudionne Powell, Sashalee Henry and Shaniel Dennis, are presented with a plaque by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams (centre).

Seven public-sector entities won a share of more than J$24 million in energy efficient prizes in the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ)/Government of Jamaica (GOJ) Energy Champion Competition.

The contest, which involved an individual and an organisational challenge, aims to increase awareness of energy efficiency as well as capacity building for the implementation of measures among government employees.

An initiative of the PCJ’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP), the contest exposed entrants to energy training through workshops which prepared them to tackle the practical aspects of the competition. The participants were required to form an energy management committee, carry out energy audits, as well as formulate and implement an energy conservation plan. In addition, the participants were also required to compare their energy consumption over a three-month span, between October and December 2018, to the corresponding period in the previous year.

In each of the four tiers of the organisational contest, three entities and one school were crowned energy champions after the successful execution of their energy conservation plans. Runners-up in the 2017 competition, eGov Jamaica Limited surged to the top spot in Division One, which included entrants with energy consumption of 100,000kWh to 700,000kWh. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security emerged winners in Division Two, which challenged contestants with energy consumption between 10,000kWh and 100,000kWh, while the Ministry of Education – Region 5, claimed the win, in Division Three, which consisted of contestants with energy consumption of up to 10,000kWh. Maggotty High made history as the first ever school to win having been declared the victors in Division Four, the designated category for educational institutions. Each category winner earned a $5-million solar photovoltaic system which will be installed at their locations.

The Ministry of Transport and Mining, National Library of Jamaica and Priory Primary School who were runners-up in divisions Two, Three and Four, respectively, were rewarded with energy-efficient equipment valued at J$1.5-million.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams who delivered the keynote address at the awards ceremony, said “It is imperative that the message of energy conservation and efficiency be spread and embraced across our nation. This will assist with enabling everyone, whether they are young, old, self-employed or work within the public or private sector, to actively contribute to the reduction of energy consumption in their homes, schools and workplaces.

“The ultimate impact of this will be savings on both individual and collective levels which will allow each of us, and all of us, to allocate resources which are now spent on energy to other personal, organisation and national priorities,” she further stated.

PCJ Group General Manager Brian Richardson congratulated the winners of the energy competitions. “You were presented with the very real challenge of conserving energy and you did not back down. With thought and action, you admirably took on the contests and beat all the other competitors, showing us how to use energy wisely and cut back on its associated costs,” he said.

Launched in 2011 to promote cost-saving measures in the public sector through the design and implementation of concrete energy-efficiency and energy-conservation interventions and equipment, the EECP has been actively working to positon the government as a model and leader in energy conservation. To this end, the EECP has exposed more than 300 employees from more than 48 entities to energy efficiency training, with the aim of encouraging efficient and sustainable energy use through conservation measures and behavioural change.