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KINGSTON — Government workers from various ministries, departments and agencies on Thursday April 21 were recognised for completing a two-week energy conservation and efficiency management training course, which forms part of Government's efforts to reduce spending on energy.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica's (PCJ) auditorium, New Kingston, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Hilary Alexander, noted that the ministries' energy and conservation programmes play a significant role in the country's energy policy.

“It is something that is so seminally important to the future of this country, that I cannot stress it enough,” she told the course participants.

“We have a special policy that is going to directly treat with energy efficiency and conservation in the public sector and now what we’re doing is depending on you, who are going to be the leads in your Ministry, to take it forward, to implement it and to share your knowledge with others,” Miss Alexander said.

She encouraged the employees to pass on what they have learnt, as it was important to take the energy conservation message to the public sector, as well as the general public.

The training course, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims to train public sector workers in energy conservation, efficiency and management, in the hope that they will become Energy Monitors in their various ministries, departments and agencies.

UNDP Resident Representative, Akiko Fujii, said the agency was very pleased to be partnering with the Energy and Mining Ministry on the issue of energy conservation.

She said the UNDP has supported the ministry, throughout the process of developing Jamaica’s energy policy, and currently provides assistance on the policy’s Next Steps programme.

“Diversification of energy sources and energy conservation and efficiency management, are among the most urgent development challenges of our time,” she said.

Miss Fujii noted that the public sector was a significant player in the country’s efforts to reduce spending on energy, as it currently accounts for 12 per cent of national energy consumption.

She said the UNDP was therefore pleased to see the combination of training and awareness building of public officials in energy conservation, efficiency and management.

“We urge you to pass your knowledge on to your colleagues, to implement effective energy management and efficiency plans, programmes and strategies in your respective agencies, and to document and report on the impact of your efforts. Such monitoring, measurement and documentation will provide much needed data to inform further decision making,” she advised.

Course participants were presented with certificates and energy saving light bulbs.

 

By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter