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.
Additional income from savings in electricity/fuel bills, a reduction in operational costs; and an increased flow of tourists preferring sustainable energy tourism destinations, are just a few of the benefits expected from the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Programme (CHENACT).
This was announced today 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 CHENACT. The event was held at Hilton Barbados.
According to Senator Boyce, Barbados will be a “special case study” for the CHENACT project, which will make some US $2,015,000 available to the regional tourism sector over a two-year period.
The funds will be used for several initiatives, including encouraging the implementation of energy efficiency practices and micro-generation with renewable energy in the Caribbean hotel sector. This will help to improve the competitiveness of small, medium and large hotels. Monies will also be invested in analysing existing Caribbean Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to determine their suitability to provide a competitive and effective service to the tourism sector.
Explaining the importance of CHENACT to the tourism industry, Minister Boyce noted that the industry was a heavy user of energy and that these costs accounted for a significant part of the overall operational expenses in the field.
He said: “The sector therefore has to address its cost profile and can hardly do so adequately unless it also addresses its cost of energy. Statistics have shown that the continued high energy prices we have experienced in the recent past have led to increases of between 15 to 30 percent in operational costs for the members of the Caribbean Hotel Association.”
Senator Boyce opined that the successful conclusion of the project would result in greater access to concessionary and grant financing for projects featuring hotel energy efficiency methods and for the reduction, if not elimination, of usage of ozone depleting substances.
He described the launch of CHENACT as “another step in our pursuit of the use of technologies to reduce our ecological footprint and to make our economies more viable by the reduction in the cost and use of petroleum-based energy and therefore less vulnerable to the vagaries of the fossil fuel market.”
In addition to the Government of Barbados, the other agencies involved in the project are the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, United Nations Environment Programme, the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd.