GOVERNMENT PLACES RENEWED EMPHASIS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY

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Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce (third from left), looks on as Representative of the IDB Country Office in Barbados, Anneke Jessen and Secretary General of the CTO, Hugh Riley, sign the Letter of Agreement and the MOU of CHENACT.   

Fourteen government-owned buildings have been subjected to energy audits, since the implementation of the Public Sector Energy Conservation Programme, two years ago.

This was revealed yesterday by Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he delivered the feature address at the project launch and signing ceremony of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Programme (CHENACT) at Hilton Barbados.

According to Senator Boyce, the Government will invest in retrofits in order to “significantly reduce the annual energy costs in these buildings with payback of those investment costs within four years”.

He noted that Government was also working to ensure that all new government or government-related facilities would be fully fitted with solar electric or other alternative energy systems, and to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs from all government buildings. 

Minister Boyce stressed that Government’s objective was to maximise the efficiency of energy use in all areas of the economy and to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, with more emphasis on renewable energy technologies as primary energy sources.

In this respect, he said Government had already provided incentives for greater use of solar energy in providing the electricity needs of consumers and businesses, to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of installing solar or other non-fossil fuels electric systems.

“We have created a separate allowance; the Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Deduction [which is] a maximum of $5,000 per year, over five years to cover the cost of energy audits and 50 percent of the cost of retrofitting a residence or installing a system to produce electricity from a source other than fossil fuels,” Senator Boyce stated.

He also reminded persons present at the CHENACT launch, that businesses, whether incorporated or un-incorporated, could now “bolster” their investment in energy conservation or by having a non fossil fuel generation plant.  This, he said would accelerate the depreciation of those investments for tax purposes over a shorter period than previously.

“In addition, wind turbine systems, photovoltaic components and systems, wave or tidal power systems, fuel cell systems and geothermal heat pump systems are now automatically exempted from import duty and environmental levy,” Minister Boyce observed.

gapplewhaite@barbados.gov.bb

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