Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, is urging persons to access the Energy Fund operated by the Development Bank of Jamaica, which can be had at an interest rate of 9.5 per cent at various financial institutions.
The Government has allocated over $360 million in the 2013/2014 Budget to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and residential customers can access up to $3 million, which is payable over eight years.
Speaking at an Energy forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James, on June 6, Mr. Paulwell noted that enough takers are not accessing the loans.
“As people looking for opportunities, look at this facility that the DBJ has to offer. You can market it to your potential clients. We have to make use of these arrangements put in by the Government to encourage more of our people to access renewable sources. I am urging you to start a trend that will see greater take-up of the facilities offered by the DBJ,” he told the audience.
The Minister told the forum that there are vast areas in which persons can invest, and receive meaningful returns.
“There is a business for training people… you need people who can do energy audits, you need people to establish facilities, and eventually, we will need to have a solar facility in Jamaica, to assemble equipment,” he added.
Mr. Paulwell cited the energy saving project which has started at Government offices, on a small scale, that has already achieved reduction in the amount of energy consumed, adding that there will be further upgrade of the energy reduction system, with some 5,000 air-conditioning systems to be replaced.
“We have seen already a fall in consumption in the region of about 10 per cent, and we are now moving forward to incorporate greater efficiency by changing out, in the next year, the air conditioning systems, and replacing 100,000 bulbs…and although we have to advertise globally, we have a 10 per cent advantage for Jamaican businesses to supply these services and products. Here is another opportunity for you to invest,” the Minister urged.
The forum was hosted by the Energy Policy Coalition, an alliance of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), and the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ). It provided information on investment opportunities, as well as the latest trends in the energy sector, with several exhibits on display.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus