JIS News

A call has been made for qualified electrical engineers to take advantage of the opportunities existing for energy auditors, and for the implementation of energy auditing projects, with over $1 billion available annually for these projects.

The call came from Acting Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Nigel Logan, in an interview with JIS News.

He said that there were close to 1,000 public institutions requiring energy auditing. In light of the number of projects needed to be audited over the next five years, the 13 or so registered energy auditors would be insufficient to carry out those audits and get companies to implement projects arising from the audits.

“It means then that there is a clear business opportunity for electrical engineers, to get into energy auditing, and also to be energy service companies,” he said.

Mr. Logan pointed out that funding was available, through the PCJ for energy conservation projects. The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) also has funds available for small and medium enterprises, as well as the National Housing Trust (NHT) under their home equity line.

He pointed out that audits vary in cost, depending on the size of the organization, and are done to highlight an organization’s high energy consumption; what is causing it, what is driving it and what are the energy conservation opportunities.

“For a normal high school, it might cost $250,000 to $300,000, because that might be a normal walk-through audit. Hospitals could cost closer to $1 million, because they are going to require equipment to do measuring and testing, and leave it there for a week or two to identify what the electricity flows are and what is driving it, because that’s a much more complex organization to look at,” he pointed out.

Mr. Logan also stated that the PCJ was leading the charge in carrying out the audits for public sector buildings, at the agency’s own expense. 

“The Ministry of Energy and Mining has conducted audits at some selected institutions, and have determined what it will cost to implement the conservation project for the entire public sector,” he told JIS News.             

He notes that the emphasis is on persons who are electrical engineers, qualified energy auditors and electrical contractors, who would audit and implement the conservation projects. They will need to show that they are certified and produce a National Contracts Commission certificate, before being registered.

He stressed that, based on the targets set and the Vision 2030 timeline, a significant portion of the thrust would have to be achieved within the next five years, so there was need for auditors to be identified and to get on board.