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The Government, through the Development of Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), has made some $360 million in loans available for the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across various sectors.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, in closing the 2013/2014 Budget Debate on Thursday, May 1, in the House of Representatives, informed that residential customers can access up to $3 million.

The loans are available through financial institutions at an interest rate of 9.5 per cent and the money is repayable over eight years.

“So far, six residential energy loans have been issued valued at $8.9 million,” Dr. Phillips told the House.

As it relates to provisions for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), he informed that the DBJ and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have collaborated on a project to promote sustainable energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy solutions in the sector.

The total project is valued at US$807,000 with contributions of US$593,000 and US$214,000 from the IDB and the DBJ, respectively.

The project’s main objectives are: to facilitate the use of energy efficiency practices and technology measures in Jamaica; and to support the operation of the DBJ’s Energy Fund, by demonstrating the benefits of energy efficiency measures within small and medium-sized enterprises in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips said that the DBJ will continue its successful energy management strategy in 2013/14 and will explore and implement other energy projects in partnership with the IDB to reduce cost and drive concessionary energy lending in the market.

In the 2012/13 financial year, DBJ issued 39 energy loan guarantees valued at $124 million, which enabled $165 million in credit for SMEs in the manufacturing, agro-processing, agriculture and professional services sectors.

Dr. Phillips delivered his closing presentation under the theme: ‘A New Direction for Hope and Expanding Opportunity’.

By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter