KINGSTON — Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, the Hon Laurence Broderick, has called on Jamaicans to place greater emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation to assist the country in reducing the national energy bill.
Speaking at a recent JIS Think tank, Mr. Broderick stated that the effort by the Government was a national one requiring all Jamaicans to play their part.
He noted said that a recent study on “Energy Efficiency Potential In Jamaica: Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies for Implementation”, done by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), highlighted three areas of high electricity usage which accounts for 63 percent of the electricity used in Jamaica: lighting, pumping National Water Commission (NWC) water and air conditioning.
He said that if closer scrutiny is paid to air conditioning, and an audit done on public buildings, the high energy consumption levels would be startling.
“The hospitals, the schools and the public agencies: you think of how many buildings you go into and the air conditioning that it takes [to keep it cool for the day], can you imagine if we were measuring it against productivity?” he noted.
Mr. Broderick suggested that the National Housing Trust (NHT), in their home development projects, implement solar panels as a natural part of the unit entitlement.
“We know the National Housing Trust has a facility for solar panels, but why can’t we reach a stage where we say for the next 1,000 houses that NHT is going to put up, that they have a green community then move from there and see the results of that green community,” he suggested.
The Minister also noted that efforts will be continuing to have the primary supplier of electricity, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), address the problem of energy loss over power lines, as was highlighted in the recent ECLAC Energy Efficiency study.
By O. RODGER HUTCHINSON, JIS Information Officer