Hotel Managers Pleased with Clean Energy Workshop

Photo: Contributed Participants at the USAID clean energy training workshop, held recently at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, St. James.

Story Highlights

  • Members of the hospitality sector in western Jamaica say the recently staged energy-efficiency training workshop for players in the industry will greatly assist them in their push towards reducing operational costs.
  • The workshop, which was the first of its kind to be held for players in the hotel sector, focused on the value of conservation, while assisting them in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes at their resorts.
  • Using the features of a web-based tool, participants learnt how to track electricity, fossil fuel and water usage and how to compare water consumption data with other properties in the region, identify no-cost, low-cost and equipment upgrades that can save energy, water, fuel and money, and to pinpoint and quantify the value of the energy- efficiency investments.

Members of the hospitality sector in western Jamaica say the recently staged energy-efficiency training workshop for players in the industry will greatly assist them in their push towards reducing operational costs.

Speaking to JIS News following the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored workshop at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James, the participants, which included Hotel Managers, Chief Financial Officers, Environmental and Maintenance Managers, said the training workshop presented them with ideas which will assist their respective resorts to better manage utilities.

The workshop, which was the first of its kind to be held for players in the hotel sector, focused on the value of conservation, while assisting them in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes at their resorts.

Participants were also exposed to aspects of the USAID’s Caribbean Clean Energy programme’s energy-efficiency benchmarking initiative which can assist them in identifying abnormal energy and water usage as well as unearthing opportunities for savings and investments.

Using the features of a web-based tool, participants learnt how to track electricity, fossil fuel and water usage and how to compare water consumption data with other properties in the region, identify no-cost, low-cost and equipment upgrades that can save energy, water, fuel and money, and to pinpoint and quantify the value of the energy- efficiency investments.

Sheldon Seymour, Group Facilities Manager for the Courtleigh Group of Hotels, told JIS News that the seminar not only had the theory on how to reduce cost, but came with a practical component.

“It will benefit our group of hotels because the fact is we are a large consumer of energy and we have to find new and creative ways to reduce our operating cost. I was interested in this one because it actually provides you with a tool to start measuring, and assists with implementation of new systems that will help us to reduce cost,” he said.

Another large consumer of energy, Sandals Resorts International (SIR), participated in the workshop and Environmental Manager at the company’s Sandals South Coast Resort, Vilma Smith, told JIS News that although the group is big on energy conservation, the seminar has opened up new avenues through which it can become even more efficient.

“I now have a broader perspective as to what the (other resorts) are doing and how we can measure up. It has given us an insight as to how we can better conserve on energy,” Ms. Smith said.

Another participant, Cleveland Wright, the Environmental Manager at Round Hill Hotel in Hanover, noted that the workshop provided much-needed education for him and has brought renewed energies to his programme to help the resort reduce energy costs.

“It is very important for education purposes and to reignite the mission that we have been on from 2001. We have been an environmentally friendly hotel since 2001 and has been Green Globe certified,” he said.

Alicia Mullings, the Group Environmental Manager at Jewel Resorts, said the workshop helped to reinforce principles that are already in place in the company and the new information will further enhance the energy-efficiency programme.

“It will help us to be more aware of the impact that proper energy management has and to be more conscious and more aggressive when it comes to conserving energy. Anything that we can do to become more sustainable and to save more in terms of our resources and the environment is a big deal for us,” she said.

The USAID states that eight training workshops will be held across the Caribbean under the Caribbean Clean Energy Programme (CARCEP). Workshops have been planned for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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