JIS News

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, is reporting a 10 per cent reduction in the energy consumption level at Jamaica House, consequent on the implementation of a $2 billion transformation and efficiency programme, being spearheaded by the Ministry.

Making his contribution to the 2013/14 Budget Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, April 24, under the theme: “Fuelling Our Own Growth”; Mr. Paulwell said the reduction at Jamaica House, where only “minor work” on the programme has been completed, is reflected in an analysis of that office’s bills from the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company.

The programme, which is being implemented by the Government of Jamaica in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), seeks to transform the efficiency of public sector buildings as part of efforts to reduce the country’s energy bill, which soared to $222 billion on crude oil and refined petroleum products imports in 2012. This, he pointed out, represented 15.5 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).

He explained that the programme aims to replace aged and inefficient equipment; retrofit infrastructural deficiencies; and instigate behavioural change that promotes efficiency and conservation.

“We selected the Office of the Prime Minister as the flagship location to demonstrate that the leadership of this government is aware of the importance of energy efficiency. We began with basic retrofits; the application of window film to reduce the amount of light and heat from the sun, and the application of cool roofing technology, again, to reduce heat,” he outlined.

Mr. Paulwell advised that those activities have had a “direct impact” on the demand for air conditioning, while pointing out that “already, we have begun to realize savings.”

“It is a travesty that in a country with an economic situation as challenging as ours, the Government spends some $14 billion annually in electricity. I am pleased to report…that the preliminary results of this programme prove that energy efficiency and conservation makes sense,” he stated

Mr. Paulwell said the reduced consumption sets the stage for the programme’s next phase which will entail upgrading and retrofitting of the lighting and air conditioning. He contended that the programme, even in its preliminary phases, “proves the potential of energy efficiency and conservation as a growth sector for the economy.”

By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter