Jamaicans Urged to Conserve Energy Even as Cost Trending Down

Photo: Mark Bell Director of Energy Economics and Planning Unit, Energy Division, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Yvonne Barrett-Edwards, addressing a workshop at Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, today (December 6).

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans are being encouraged to continue practising energy-conservation and -efficiency methods, even as the cost of electricity continues to trend downwards.
  • This came from Director of the Energy Economics and Planning Unit, Energy Division, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Yvonne Barrett-Edwards, during a workshop being held at Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, today (December 6).
  • Energy conservation measures include plugging your electronic equipment into a power strip and turning off the power strip when leaving home, or when the equipment is not being used; reducing the amount of time spent using the fan, and when not at home, unplugging the fan; turning off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use; turning computers and printers off at the power strip; and replacing air-conditioning filters.

Jamaicans are being encouraged to continue practising energy-conservation and -efficiency methods, even as the cost of electricity continues to trend downwards.

This came from Director of the Energy Economics and Planning Unit, Energy Division, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Yvonne Barrett-Edwards, during a workshop being held at Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, today (December 6).

The three-day energy workshop is put on by the Ministry, in partnership with Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) and Global Affairs Canada.

“Already we have seen that although electricity has gone down, persons are using it as an opportunity to get water heaters, air-conditioning units and other equipment. So, we are seeing an increase in the consumption of electricity,” she said.

Energy conservation measures include plugging your electronic equipment into a power strip and turning off the power strip when leaving home, or when the equipment is not being used; reducing the amount of time spent using the fan, and when not at home, unplugging the fan; turning off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use; turning computers and printers off at the power strip; and replacing air-conditioning filters.

“We have to stick to these measures as much as possible,” Mrs. Barrett-Edwards implored.

In the meantime, she said the Ministry is working assiduously to ensure that the guidelines set out under the National Energy Policy are met. The policy sets a target of having 20 per cent of the country’s energy being generated from renewables by 2030.

“Currently, we are about 15 per cent, because we just, this year, commissioned two wind plants and we have not yet commissioned the only solar plant in the region; but, certainly, the contributions to the Jamaica Public Service Company have been recorded,” she added.

Ms. Barrett-Edwards said the three plants, with a total capacity of 80 megawatts, have increased the country’s renewable-energy contribution to the grid.

The National Energy Policy has identified fuel diversification and the development of the country’s renewable-energy sources as two of its main objectives.

She said the transport, bauxite and petroleum sectors account for 93 per cent of the country’s overall energy consumption, adding that these areas are being targeted.

In the meantime, Director, Project Management, Energy Division in the Ministry, Horace Buckley, lauded OLADE for their investment in the country’s energy sector with the provision of technical, capacity building and training assistance for players within the sector.

“This has allowed Jamaica to be on the cutting edge of energy systems, modelling and planning, which have cemented our position as the Caribbean leader in energy,” he said.

Mr. Buckley further informed that Jamaica is one of the six Caribbean countries benefiting from the US$500,000 Energy Statistics Capacity Building Initiative, which was spearheaded by OLADE.

The workshop is geared towards employees of national energy organisations and other representatives from the energy, economic and environmental sectors of Jamaica, who will be responsible for delivering information to the Jamaican Energy Division.

JIS Social