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    Story Highlights

    • The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) has embarked on a Christmas campaign from December 1 to 31, aimed at encouraging citizens to use energy efficiently, including turning off lights when not in use.
    • The Corporate Affairs Manager is encouraging citizens to replace the incandescent bulbs around their homes or businesses with light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which last longer than traditional bulbs and can use up to 90 per cent less electricity.
    • The Group General Manager says the PCJ is currently spearheading research in various areas of energy, including extensive investigation into Jamaica’s potential for renewables and hydrocarbons.

    As Jamaicans adorn their homes with festive lights and other electrical decorations this Christmas, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is appealing to householders to conserve on their use of energy.

    The entity has embarked on a Christmas campaign from December 1 to 31, aimed at encouraging citizens to use energy efficiently, including turning off lights when not in use. The month-long campaign involves the placement advertisements in the print and electronic media.

    “We know that Christmas is a high energy usage time. People are decorating a lot more, they are plugging in a lot more, they are entertaining more, they are cooking more and so energy bills tend to go up in December. So, we are running this campaign just to remind people that they still need to conserve and use energy wisely,” says Information and Corporate Affairs Manager, PCJ, Camille Taylor.

    She notes that the country spends US$2.8 billion annually on imported fuel, and Jamaicans should play their part in conserving on this vital commodity and reducing the country’s high energy bill.

    She contends that although the price of oil is going down, the commodity is still not cheap. “It is not an inexpensive commodity, so one barrel of oil conserved is money earned for the country,” she points out.

    She tells JIS News that the primary message the PCJ wants to get out to consumers is to “always keep energy conservation in mind.”

    “We are asking people to use less Christmas lights and use more reflective ornaments that will reflect the glow, so you have the effect of light, but you are not burning as much current,” she advises, adding that lights should not be on for more than five hours and should only be turned on after dark.

    “Decorative lights are amazing to look at, especially at night. So instead of burning your Christmas lights in the day, turn them on after dark,” she says.

    Ms. Taylor says lights should also be turned off when persons are leaving their homes or workplaces for the day.

    The Corporate Affairs Manager is encouraging citizens to replace the incandescent bulbs around their homes or businesses with light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which last longer than traditional bulbs and can use up to 90 per cent less electricity.

    She is also urging consumers to shop for energy efficient electronics.

    “Christmas is a time when we are buying electronics for gifts or we might be upgrading our own personal appliances. Look for the energy star label on any appliance that you buy. Energy star appliances use less electricity and they are also better for the environment,” she says, adding that consumers should not be afraid to ask about energy efficiency products before purchasing.

    Persons, who will be away from home, are being advised to plug out all electrical appliances that are not absolutely necessary.

    “Once an appliance is plugged in, even if it is not turned on, it is actually burning energy, so plug out your cable box, your television, your radio, your Internet modem. A lot of these things that are always left plugged in, they actually seep energy and drive up your bill,” Ms. Taylor notes.

    She is also encouraging persons to do proper meal planning, to cook as many dishes as possible in the oven at the same time, and limit how often the oven door is opened, as this lowers the temperature and it takes longer for the meal to be fully baked or cooked.

    Meanwhile, Group General Manager of PCJ, Winston Watson, is urging consumers not to become complacent with the reduction in oil prices, and to continue to practise energy conservation.

    “We are hoping that as oil prices come down, we will still maintain that drive for conservation and efficiency and not get back to the stage we did many years ago when oil price went down to US$18 a barrel and then we lost our drive to conserve,” he notes.

    The Group General Manager says the PCJ is currently spearheading research in various areas of energy, including extensive investigation into Jamaica’s potential for renewables and hydrocarbons.

    “We think that the most important part of this whole energy mix is finding our own oil and gas. We are looking at renewable energy but energy conservation can buy you a lot of savings in terms of what we are doing in the country and so we are driving that promotion,” he informs.

    He notes that the PCJ has invested more than $116 million in an energy efficiency intervention programme, which began in 2004, resulting in more than $43 million in savings on Jamaica’s annual energy bill.

    Projects have been implemented in Government schools, hospitals, health centres and other public sector facilities.

    The PCJ is mandated to manage the country’s energy needs in a manner that supports the Government’s overall strategy for national development.

     

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