JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) office at the Donald Sangster Building (DSB) Downtown Kingston is reporting a reduction in its monthly electricity bill of $500,000 after its implementation of energy efficient strategies under the government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme.
  • The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme is expected to save the government approximately $2 billion per year.
  • Public sector entities, account for almost 12 percent of the country’s overall energy consumption, costing the Government some $13 billion annually to pay for electricity.

The Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) office at the Donald Sangster Building (DSB) Downtown Kingston is reporting a reduction in its monthly electricity bill of $500,000 after its implementation of energy efficient strategies under the government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme.

Before, the agency was faced with a bill averaging $1.7 million on a monthly basis.  Now, upon completion of the implementation of the strategies, they are reporting an average monthly bill of $1.2 million, a $500,000 saving per month.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme is expected to save the government approximately $2 billion per year.

Public sector entities, account for almost 12 percent of the country’s overall energy consumption, costing the Government some $13 billion annually to pay for electricity.

The Programme which was introduced in 2012 was scheduled to conclude at the end of 2015; however, influenced by the successes, the government took the decision to extend the programme for another two years.

The ultimate goal is to retrofit the entire public sector with energy saving systems, so that the Government will serve as a model for energy efficiency and conservation in Jamaica.

Acting Property Services Manager at TAJ (DSB) Andrew Townsend explained that what is happening now represents a significant change from what obtained in the past.

“Things have improved in terms of electricity consumption. Between 2012 and 2015, we saw an average of 13 percent savings. If you do it on a per month basis you’ll see some figures going above that in terms of savings. When you compare January of 2012 and January of 2015 we saw savings of 29 percent,” he noted.

The Agency benefited from an overhaul of its energy ‘in-efficient’ air-conditioning system, replacing it with a modern system with greater energy efficiency.

“We haven’t put any additional strategies in place as yet. We still have some other things that we could do.  When those are done then I think we’ll see some more savings,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Project Manager for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP), a unit at the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Wayne Williams pointed out that since the launch of the programme several institutions have been experiencing significant reductions in their monthly light bills.

He noted that recipients of Air Conditioning systems are the entities recording the most significant reductions.

“Even people who have received Cool Roof and Solar films combined (are only seeing) about a 10 percent reduction, so it’s fair to say the ones with the largest reductions have definitely been those who got the air conditioners,” he noted.

Mr Williams also mentioned the remote Building Management Systems (BMS) strategy which has been implemented as a pilot in several agencies.

The three entities benefiting from this initiative are the Donald Sangster Building, Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and the Revenue Centre in Montego Bay.

“It’s actually a Web site that allows them to log on and monitor the floors to see which is cooling properly. You can actually do it from off-site. So the facilities manager doesn’t have to be on the property to monitor the system or they can do so from their desk,” he said.

“It’s really designed to give the Building Maintenance team more tools to better monitor and maintain the system.  It also helps to improve the performance,” he added.

Mr. Williams explained that the Building Management Systems are used extensively in developing countries and even in some islands of the Caribbean.   He noted further that it is not brand new to Jamaica, as one or two companies are utilizing it.

“I’d definitely recommend it to any medium-sized to large entity for review. For the smaller people they would need to have a well trained team in place to basically do their own monitoring.  What we’re doing now is to monitor the pilot for a year or so, get back the results, quantify it (in terms of money spent, money saved), give them the hard data and make recommendations,” he added.

He also encouraged businesses which are heavy users of conditioned air to seriously look into the BMS, to retro fit where buildings are old and new buildings have the system installed, as a means of monitoring and reducing their monthly and annual light bills.