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  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says conserving energy and reducing the country’s energy bill, will become critical to the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • “The Government has to spend less, has to use less energy, has to be a more efficient user of energy going forward, and we are going to commit to specific actions and objectives under the IMF agreement,” he said.
  • Mr. Paulwell was speaking at the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) breakfast forum , today (February 19), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says conserving energy and reducing the country’s energy bill, will become critical to the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The Government has to spend less, has to use less energy, has to be a more efficient user of energy going forward, and we are going to commit to specific actions and objectives under the IMF agreement,” he said.

Mr. Paulwell was speaking at the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) breakfast forum , today (February 19), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.

He said the Government, being the single largest consumer of energy in the economy, recognised that it had to make some adjustments, and last year, embarked on a mandatory energy efficiency and conservation pilot project.

The project, which is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to reduce the public sector electricity bill by 30 per cent over the next four years. Minister Paulwell said that work has already started at the Office of the Prime Minister and several other agencies.

“We have done basic retrofits, the application of window film to reduce the amount of light and heat from the sun that comes in through the windows, thereby reducing the demand for air conditioning, and the application of cool roof technology to reduce heat,” he informed.

He said other measures are being considered , such as changing the office dress code from heavy suits to lighter clothing, so as to reduce the demand for air conditioning.

“We are moving swiftly and sharply to get our people to do the small acts, such as switching off lights when not in use, turning off computers at the end of the day and regulating temperature settings,” the Minister added.

He said the Ministry will be monitoring the energy use of the various agencies over the period of the pilot, and there will be incentives for those that use less energy and penalties for those agencies that increase their usage.

The Minister encouraged all Jamaicans to assess their consumption and seek to implement conservation measures. “There are a myriad of practices and technologies that can be implemented and the results can be seen almost immediately,” he noted.

The Government’s annual energy consumption is in excess of 411 gigawatt hours, which represent approximately 12 per cent of total electricity use in Jamaica. In 2011, the Government spent some $1.2 billion per month for electricity, but Minister Paulwell said much of that outlay was due to the fluctuation in the global energy market.

Mr. Paulwell said the Government has crafted a clear path in reducing the country’s energy bill, as outlined in the National Energy Policy and Vision 2030, and will be implementing several long, short and medium term measures, as it relates to energy conservation.