Government to start saving energy
With the cost of electricity in the public sector surpassing the $10 billion mark last year, Government is moving to implement a US$90 million energy conservation efficiency (ECE) programme geared at realising a 15 per cent reduction in energy consumption throughout 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 Wednesday, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said that the public sector must set the example and lead the way 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.
Electricity cost for 2010 was estimated at $10.4 billion.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Energy and Mining, total annual public sector electricity consumption amounts to 392.2 GWh (gigawatt hours), with eight agencies responsible for 89 per cent of the total. The National Water Commission (NWC) accounted for $4.3 billion or 42 per cent of that amount, consuming 191 GWh of electricity in the process.
Street lighting accounts for 21 per cent, while health and education are responsible for seven per cent each. Civil aviation and security and justice follow at four per cent apiece; defense and irrigation both stand at two per cent, and the remaining 11 per cent is attributed to a combined number of unnamed agencies.
Audits carried out at the NWC showed that the entity's energy bill accounted for 26 per cent of total expenditure.
The PCJ carried out similar checks at over 22 hospitals and found that the savings potential ranges from 15 to 40 per cent at health institution, depending on the facility.
The estimated savings from this initiative is expected to be 3.2 billion yearly over two years and four months.
All ministries, public sector and energy-intensive firms, will be required to publish prescribed energy statistics under the ECE.
CAPTION: From left: James Robertson (left), minister of mining and energy; Prime Minister Bruce Golding (centre); and Damian Lyn, managing director of Alternative Power Sources, looking at some energy-saving bulbs at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) 2011 Energy Seminar Series, 'Jamaica's Energy Future', held at the PCJ Auditorium, Trafalgar Road, last Wednesday evening. -Winston Sill /Freelance Photographer