KINGSTON — Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. Clive Mullings, is calling on Jamaicans to be smart in their energy consumption, and control what they spend to meet their domestic energy needs.
Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Mullings said that consumers must ensure that the appliances they purchase are energy efficient, and that they are aware of what causes spikes in energy usage.
“The reason why, in some instances, the bill goes up, is that the house is locked up and is very hot, and the refrigerator, by virtue of the increasing pressure on the outside, is continuously working,” he said.
Mr. Mullings pointed out that 65 per cent of energy consumption is in refrigeration and air-conditioning, and the Government is actively examining the use of the current hydro carbon refrigerant, which is highly inefficient.
“We have to see how best we can minimise the utilisation of that in appliances or make our consumers aware that when they are purchasing equipment, they don’t just buy the cheapest one, but they look at the energy efficient one,” he argued.
The Minister also cited other strategies that consumers could adopt to minimise energy consumption, including opening windows to increase air flow, using the water heater for no more than five to 10 minutes and restricting the frequent use of irons.
“Unlike the leaking pipe where you can see water gushing, you don’t see the electricity gushing. For the refrigerator, you have to get into the culture of not going in and out like a revolving door, because you are affecting your consumption. These things add up,” he noted.
The Minister said that efforts are being made in public buildings to reduce energy consumption, particularly in this time of fiscal constraints.
Mr. Mullings recommended that private companies could request of the Jamaica Public Service, a graph of their energy consumption pattern. This would enable them to identify periods of high energy use, analyse these times and take corrective decisions.
By O RODGER HUTCHINSON, JIS Information Officer