The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is offering a special energy efficiency loan at eight per cent, for business operators to cut costs and advance the country’s objective of achieving 30 per cent reliance on renewable energy.
“There is a special rate of eight per cent on Jamaican dollars, where any business can access the first $30 million of funding needed. This funding can be had for up to 10 years, and if a moratorium is needed, it is available,” stated General Manager for Loan Origination and Portfolio Management at the DBJ, Edison Galbraith.
He was addressing a recent energy forum, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.
“Any amount over $30 million will be available at 9.5 per cent. If you are in any line of business and you need funding for energy conservation, energy efficiency, or renewable energy, funding is available for them. That will increase business competitiveness, output and growth, while reducing greenhouse emissions and foreign expenditure on oil,” the General Manager said.
He told the audience that the Bank is also making it easier for businesses to access loans for energy projects, and due to the unwillingness of commercial banks to accept equipment as guarantees for funds, the institution is now making it possible for a $10 million loan to be guaranteed by them. He urged businesses to be more open to energy audits, noting that grants are available for that activity.
“The benefits of having energy audits cannot be understated…if you have a business, you need to know how much you can save, and we have made it a requirement for loans. Persons have been reluctant, so we have launched a grant facility where any small and medium business can access up to $200,000 towards the cost of an energy audit,” Mr. Galbraith said.
He also pointed out that the DBJ has loans for householders, up to $2 million at 9.5 per cent payable over five years.
The General Manager noted that 72 projects were undertaken over the past year at a cost of $700 million, compared to 20 over the previous three years. “All of these projects incorporated energy efficiency solutions, with renewable technologies,” he said.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus