Launch of the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Programme in Jamaica

Programme to save on energy and create fiscal space and positively impact Jamaica’s energy sector

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining (STEM) in Jamaica on May 2, 2012 officially launched the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Programme at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, Jamaica. The audience at the launch included representatives from various ministries of government, stakeholders in the energy sector, academia, private sector and the press.

Objectives of the Programme

The Government of Jamaica has received financing in the amount of a loan of  US$20 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and it intends to apply part of the proceeds for the  payments for goods, works, related services and consulting services to be procured under the project Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Programme.

The main objectives of this project are to:

(1)      enhance Jamaica’s Energy Efficiency (EE) and Energy Conservation (EC) potential through the design and implementation of cost  saving Energy Efficiency (EE) and Energy Conservation (EC) measures in the public sector.

(2)       strengthen the institutional capacities of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (formerly Ministry of Energy and Mining) for implementing EE and EC measures

(3)       invest in EE and EC measures in the public sector; and

(4)       increase awareness among key public and private sector stakeholders together with demand-side management support.

The programme was opened by Ms. Hillary Alexander, Permanent Secretary of STEM. This was followed by remarks from Mr. Ancile Brewster, IDB Country Representative. He spoke to the region continuing to have modest growth which consequently increases the demand for energy. Additionally with the volatility of oil prices since the 1970s- these reasons contribute to the current energy climate we are in. Mr. Brewster spoke to the IDB’s effort in the Caribbean and highlighted its latest initiative to support energy conservation via the recently closed IDEAS Innovation Contest. He noted that 59 applications had been received from Jamaica from individuals and companies.

Honourable Minister Phillip Paulwell of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining (STEM) then delivered his keynote address. He noted that the Government of Jamaica was “taking the first step in walking the walk” in addition to all the talk. He highlighted the urgent need for attention at the national level for issues such as energy efficiency and conservation and acknowledged that the country’s current energy situation is in “crisis” especially given the threat to the country’s earning and energy bill.  In detailing the programme Minister Paulwell indicated that it will include training in the public sector for certified energy management; an education/ awareness component; the replacement of nearly 100,000 lighting fixtures with LED lighting and over 5,000 air conditioning units island wide; while also seeking to create employment. The programme is to be a national campaign to reduce waste in energy- with the government leading by example. The Minister also pointed out that, STEM will be monitoring all electricity bills across all ministries, therefore increases in electricity usage/bills may result in a negative impact on the budget of such agencies. Under the programme, agencies are expected to set targets to reduce energy and stay within their current energy allocation or decrease it. “Energy wardens” as the Minister so dubbed them will be there to ensure standards are adhered to and they will also monitor the energy use. Minister Paulwell later closed his speech with a call for the entire support of the public sector in order for the positive results to be realized.

Mr. Richard Gordon, Project Manager, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme, gave an overview of the genesis of the programme. He mentioned findings of assessments done including: (i) There has been an increasing trend in energy consumption in the public sector; (ii) There is a need to act in earnest to get energy consumption down in the public sector given its cost to the budget; (iii) The government’s target of 15% reduction in energy consumption has not yet been realized; and (iv) the National Water Commission needs to improve its energy efficiency given the amount of energy it consumes.

Mr. Gordon gave several positive examples of agencies retrofitting including the Bureau of Standards that retrofitted its air conditioning units; and the natural lighting utilized in the Tax Office on Constant Spring road given its new energy efficient design which has reduce the level of office lighting needed. Mr. Gordon mentioned that there will be software (such as the TG-2000) installed to manage and adjust air conditioning in various locations such as the building of the Ministry of Finance. Other measures will include automatic door closers, occupancy sensors to ensure light comes on only when needed, double panel windows, reflective window coating and energy efficient louvers to name a few.

Opportunities for private sector- competitive bids to come on stream shortly

In making his case for private sector to get ready to take up the opportunities to come, Mr. Gordon spoke to the number of retrofits to take place island wide under the programme, these included:

  • Lighting                                                97,036 lamps
  • Air Conditioning                5,026 units
  • Cool Roof                            3,623,882 sq ft
  • Window Film                      75,217 sq ft
  • External Lighting               1,866 lamps

(The figures given may not be replaced on a one to one basis but represent the number of items to be retrofit.)

Audience at EEC Programme Launch















Therefore, to the private sector present strong encouragement was given to begin forging joint ventures with partners overseas, where applicable. He also highlighted that preferences would be given to local competitors with goods and services of local origin.

Adding up all of the ECE measures analyzed, Mr. Gordon noted that Jamaica has the potential for significant and attractive investment:

• Total estimated investment:   JMD 7.8 billion

• Total estimated savings:            JMD 3.2 billion/y

• Simple payback                             2.4 years

• Existing gov’t consumption saved: 29%

• National level consumption saved: 3.5%

• Electricity savings:                        115 million kWh/y

• Electrical demand reduction:   35-40 MW

• Barrels of oil saved:                     200,000 bbl

• Greenhouse gas emissions reduced: 75,000 tCO2/y

Full presentation by Richard Gordon,   EEC Programme Launch

In giving the closing remarks, Hillary Alexander called for all players to take up the mantle and play their part. The event later closed with a brief press conference with the Minister and a workshop session.


Report by the Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS)

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