Public Sector Entities Reduce Use Of Electricity Under EECP

Photo: Donald Delahaye Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell (left), shakes the hand of Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna-Marie Rowe, at the official handing over of energy efficient solutions at the JIS.

Story Highlights

  • The Government is achieving its goal of reducing electricity used by its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), through the introduction of energy efficient solutions, under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP).
  • Government has had to pay annual cost of almost $13 billion for electricity used by its entities, and the aim is to reduce the figure by $2 billion with the introduction of several key strategic energy saving interventions.
  • The EECP was scheduled to conclude at the end of 2015. The extension, to be financed by the Government, will facilitate the implementation of the energy saving strategies in other entities. The ultimate goal is to retrofit the entire public sector with energy saving systems, so that the Government will serve as a model for energy efficiency and conservation in Jamaica.

The Government is achieving its goal of reducing electricity used by its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), through the introduction of energy efficient solutions, under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP).

So effective is the thrust, that the Government is extending the three-year programme.

“The programme has realized a good measure of success and so Government has decided to extend it for another two years,” states Project Manager for the EECP, in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Wayne Williams.

Government has had to pay annual cost of almost $13 billion for electricity used by  its entities, and the  aim is to reduce the figure by $2 billion with the  introduction of  several key strategic energy saving interventions.

The measures were recommended following an audit of the energy use by the public sector, with the overall objective to cut public sector energy consumption by 25 per cent.

After the implementation of the energy efficient solutions at one of the agencies, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), there is now savings of 17.5 per cent per annum on its energy bill.

There are others too, such as the Office of the Prime Minister, the Donald Sangster Building (Tax Administration Jamaica), Sugar Industry Authority Head Office, and the Greater Portmore Police Station, which also benefitted from the retrofitting of their buildings and are also reporting savings of  eight to 23 per cent.

Overall, the Government has so far realized savings of some $80 million at the end of September 2015 under the EECP, which has been implemented in 40 public sector facilities.

The solutions, which include solar control film on windows, ‘cool roof’ heat control solutions on roofs, and the overhauling of the air conditioning systems, were provided under the EECP, aimed at reducing energy costs across the public sector.

The JIS was among the first public entities to benefit under the EECP, which was implemented in 2011, through funding provided by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Other beneficiaries under the programme include  the Kingston Public Hospital, National Blood Transfusion Service,  HEART Trust/NTA (Runaway Bay), Montego Bay Revenue Service Centre and  Montego Bay Community College.

In the first year of the project, the JIS reported a reduction in consumption of just over three per cent from the application of just one of the strategies, the solar film.  In the second year, the cool roof coat was added.  This, coupled with the tinting of windows, resulted in a decrease of nine per cent.

For the third year, the final application implemented was the new energy-efficient central air conditioning system. The combination resulted in a reduction of 17.5 per cent over the three years.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, says cost containment continues to be a key objective of the JIS and the EECP has contributed significantly in reducing the agency’s energy bill, especially with the installation of the new air conditioning system.

Meanwhile, Mr.Williams points out that other entities have been experiencing significant reductions.

He tells JIS News that the Donald Sangster Building (Income tax) in Kingston, and the Greater Portmore Police Station, in St Catherine, only received air condition replacements and are showing 22 and 20 per cent reductions in energy consumption.

 

“It’s fair to say recipients of air conditioning systems are seeing the highest savings. Even people who have received cool roof and solar film combined, the highest we’re seeing is about 10 per cent (Sugar Authority). The Office of the Prime Minister also received both cool roof and solar film retrofits and is showing an average of 9 per cent reduction. So, it’s fair to say the ones with the largest reductions have definitely been those which received the new energy efficient air conditioners, which was anticipated,” he explains.

For his part, Director of Corporate Services at the JIS, Errol Gardner, points out that in addition to the energy savings, the EECP’s intervention has created an atmosphere that is more conducive for work.   He notes that productivity levels at the agency has improved and that members of staff are more comfortable and are even opting to work longer hours.

At the Greater Portmore Police Station, Superintendent Elfreda Roache, the officer in charge of administration, says she does not receive light bills at the station, so she cannot not speak directly to the reduction in energy consumption. She attests however, that there is a significant impact on the working environment at the station.

“They [units] are efficient, they are cooling well. I know for a fact that the persons at the station are more comfortable, because the air condition units are working exceptionally well. The guard room, our customer service area, got one installed and personnel are doing well in that new environment,” she says.

The EECP was scheduled to conclude at the end of 2015.  The extension, to be financed by the Government, will facilitate the implementation of the energy saving strategies in other entities.  The ultimate goal is to retrofit the entire public sector with energy saving systems, so that the Government will serve as a model for energy efficiency and conservation in Jamaica.

The Government is also planning to position Jamaica as the leader in the Caribbean, in the use of renewable energy, as it systematically carries out its mission of significantly reducing energy use across the island.

Expansion of the Wigton Wind Farm in Manchester is one shining example of a thrust to create the largest solar facility in the Caribbean.

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