JIS News

Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell has called for a concerted effort towards energy conservation, nationally.
We have to recognize that for us to survive, for us to be able to live, we have to decide now, once and for all, that our lifestyle will have to be affected to achieve greater energy conservation and greater efficiency,” the Minister emphasized.
Pointing out that in 2001 Jamaica’s energy bill was under US$400 million, and that it has now climbed to approximately US$1.2 billion, with constant increases in petroleum products, Mr. Paulwell said his appeal came against the background that Jamaica was a non oil producing state, having to import over 90 per cent of its energy needs.
The Minister was addressing the official opening of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Expo 2005, at the cruise ship terminal in the Montego Freeport on Friday, October 7.
Mr. Paulwell said that the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Group was now doing an assessment of the energy situation in Jamaica, and that at a recent retreat of that group it was unanimously decided that focus must now be put on conservation and efficiency measures nationally, in a much more systematic long-term approach, recognizing that the effort must be made to influence changes in the Jamaican lifestyle.
Giving an example of the kind of influence on lifestyle changes that is expected, he said there was a campaign on to push for the use of 87 octane fuel over 90 octane, which would be more cost effective. “Before we started the campaign, the usage was just about 50 per cent 87 octane and 50 per cent 90 Octane. We have been emphasizing that it really does not enhance your car’s efficiency to go for the higher octane; all it does is to ensure that you spend more on the fuel. There has been some dramatic shift, and we now have roughly 75 per cent of our people using 87 Octane and 25 per cent using 90 octane,” he said.
The Minister said there was a lot of work to be done to spread the message of conservation, and this could only be done through a national effort.