Barbadians have been given the assurance that Government will continue leading the way to improved energy efficiency on the island.
This came last Friday from Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Andrew Gittens, as he addressed the launch of a Communications Campaign for the Barbados National Energy Policy 2019-2030, at Trinity Business Centre, Country Road, St. Michael.
Speaking on behalf of Minister Kerrie Symmonds, Mr. Gittens noted that under the Public Sector Smart Energy Program, the Ministry had installed over 23,336 LED streetlights in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance and the Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd.
“This is expected to reduce electricity consumption by 4.3 Mega Watt (MW) hours, creating savings of approximately US$1.7 million annually in Government’s electricity bill,” he added.
He said the Ministry had installed 2.46 Mega Watts of solar Photovoltaics on 15 public buildings, including the Bridgetown Port and the Grantley Adams International Airport, and educational institutions such as the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology.
Stating that this work would continue with the installation of an additional 1.9 MW on seven public buildings, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and several police stations across Barbados, Mr. Gittens added the Program had also procured eight electric vehicles to be used by various government departments and, by December, Barbados could expect the delivery of two additional electric buses to add to the Transport Board’s Electric Fleet.
Media representatives also heard that during the first quarter of this financial year, Government signed a US$30 million loan with the Inter-American Development Bank for the second phase of the Sustainable Energy Investment Programme.
And, the PS noted, this would see the re-capitalisation of the Energy Smart Fund, which aims to increase the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in the private sector by way of loans and grants.
“It will also focus on expanding energy efficiency and renewable energy in over 100 public buildings and allow for the further expansion of Government’s fleet of electric vehicles,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Project Manager, Keisha Reid, outlining the goal of the Communications Campaign, said it called “for every Barbadian to be an Energy Champion under the tagline ‘Smart Energy 2030’”.
[It] is a call to action for all Barbadians to be smart in the use of energy, not only in our purchasing of EE (Energy Efficient) equipment and appliances, but also in energy conservation efforts such as turning off lights and appliances not in use; and in the use of RE (Reewable Energy) resources as we move on the road to reaching our 2030 Energy targets,” she stated.
Pointing out that the campaign targets various segments of the population – the youth, families and the business community – she said the first initiative would be the Barbados Energy Champion Competition, encouraging every Barbadian to become an “energy champion”, whether in their home, school or office.
Ms. Reid further encouraged Barbadians to follow the Ministry’s Facebook page Division of Energy – Barbados, as well as its Instagram and Twitter pages at @EnergyBarbados, for more information.