Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn (FP)

Government is working assiduously to reduce the amount of fossil fuels being imported for use in the country.

This was emphasised by Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, as he addressed the Regional Workshop on Energy Management and the ISO 50001, hosted by the Barbados National Standards Institution at the Savannah Hotel on Monday.

He told his audience that in 2011, over 970 million dollars was spent on importing oil – well over the sums earmarked for health education.

Reducing the drain on foreign reserves and "promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in support of the establishment of a green economy will continue to guide government’s plans," Mr. Benn said.?? He observed that identifying solutions was critical, as increasing the competitiveness of local goods and services was dependent on the availability of a stable and affordable energy source.

"The development of our energy policy is being undertaken within the broader framework of the regional energy policy being formulated within CARICOM to preserve and increase the ???green’ nature of Caribbean societies…Government is seeking to introduce a number of initiatives to minimise solid waste, promote recycling and separation; promote green building techniques and standards; use alternative fuels and renewable energy and purchase ???green products’ such as solar pumps, solar lights and composters," he said.

To support these initiatives, Senator Benn noted, the BNSI would develop a national standard on energy labelling of appliances and products and had established the National Electrotechnical Committee, to oversee the development of national standards on energy efficiency, performance and safety requirements for renewable and alternate energy systems.

The ISO 50001 standard is intended to assist organisations in making better use of their existing energy-consuming assets; promote energy management best practices and reinforce good energy management behaviours; and provide a framework for promoting energy efficiency throughout the supply chain.

The workshop ends today.


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