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Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Laurence Broderick has said that efficiency in the use of energy will boost the economy, as less will be spent on oil.
Addressing an energy conservation seminar, hosted by HMS Trading Partners at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville on Wednesday (March 26), he noted that savings from energy conservation will enable the Government to spend more on education, health, and infrastructural development thereby creating a smoother environment for business to operate.
“The volatility in oil prices has strong potential for crippling the financial planning in the Jamaican economy, especially since we are net importers of petroleum. As we improve on energy efficiency we are improving on productivity, creating better conditions for business and making savings for other essentials in the society and in time we will see the kind of economic growth that we must have to prosper as a country,” Mr. Broderick said.
He urged consumers and business operator to practice energy conservation by using energy saving products, noting that every citizen is a stakeholder and should seek to reinforce the importance of reducing the country’s oil bill.
“The urgency to employ effective energy strategies cannot be overemphasized. Jamaica has an energy intensive economy with per capita energy use equivalent to 10 barrels of oil annually – swallowing up 60 per cent of our export earning, with a 90 per cent dependency on imported oil. We must respect the fact diversification of energy is the way to go and if it is coal or gas, the time is now to decide,” he reasoned.
Imploring the participants to join in the campaign for reducing spending on energy he remarked that energy must be viewed as a scarce resource and decisions made accordingly.
“Just as there are fundamentals to managing the investment portfolio, there are fundamentals to manage the energy portfolio, and we have to manage this sector to achieve the level of consumption fitting a country of our size. Energy saving means demanding more of ourselves as businesses, and demanding more of the products we sell to customers. It is imperative that we improve energy efficiency and conservation at all levels of the economy as this presents the most cost-effective treatment to the problem,” the State Minister said.