• JIS News

    The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is to recognize members of staff who have helped the Ministry save approximately $6 million on its energy bill for its offices in downtown Kingston during 2009/10.
    Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Director of Corporate Planning in the Research and Planning Unit at the Ministry, Andrea Patterson Morris, says the Ministry could not have saved the $6 million, which amounted to nine per cent of its energy bill, without staff support.
    “The staff was well on board. They took it so seriously that, sometimes, while walking through the ministry, the place was so dark we had to ask them to, at least, turn on some of the lights,” she said.
    She explained that while the Ministry was greatly assisted by the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC), the staff adapted a culture change and played an integral role in ensuring that the strategies recommended by the JPC worked effectively.
    Mrs. Patterson Morris, who is also the Energy Coordinator for the Ministry, said that an audit of the project showed that the North Street office was very aggressive in terms of conservation.
    She said the Ministry implemented a number of strategies to save on its energy bills, most of which were what were called “low hanging fruits’. These included turning off computers, AC units and lights, when not in use, as well as removing excessive lighting and using the stairs instead of the elevators.
    “We also conducted audits which showed us the areas of the Ministry that were leading, in terms of saving more on energy use,” she informed.
    Communications Officer, Daniel Dunkley, says that various floors were engaged in a competition to see who could save the most energy. The winner will be chosen, based on an audit carried out on a bi-monthly basis, and presented with an award.
    A logo competition is also being done to keep staff interested. The competition will see the floors designing a logo to be used as the brand for the competition. The awards ceremony will be held at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle office.
    Offices participating in the conservation project include the Ministry’s head office at North Street, as well as those at Heroes Circle and East Street.
    The project started in June 2009, after the Government of Jamaica took a proactive step to reduce the country’s energy bill. This meant that the ministries and agencies of Government had to reduce their energy consumption by 15 per cent for 2009/2010.