Water and energy costs at the National Conservation Commission (NCC) are on the decline, with a further savings of $40, 000 per year being anticipated, through water conservation and alternative energy measures being undertaken.
In addition, the NCC, in collaboration with the Division of Energy, has embarked on a programme to continue reducing its energy usage through solar power at an additional 10 of its buildings around the island which will be fitted with solar panels and batteries.
This was disclosed by acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Edison Alleyne, yesterday during the official launch of Arbor Week at the NCC???s Codrington, St. Michael headquarters.
???Since the financial year 2010 to 2011, when the expenditure for the utilities amounted to the sum of $655, 872, out of which $416, 727, was for electricity and $239, 145 was for water, these costs have been on a steady decline due to the retrofitting of our buildings and facilities with water and energy saving fixtures,??? he pointed out.
Mr. Alleyne added that the Commission anticipated that there could be further savings of $40, 000 per year with the addition of the NCC???s rain water harvesting project and the expansion of drip irrigation systems at the major parks.
The acting Permanent Secretary said that as the Commission focussed on its general policy of conservation to reinforce its commitment to the greening concept, solar powered systems were installed at some lifeguard towers across the island.
???These systems would allow the lifeguards on duty to have the use of a public address system to alert beach users when sea conditions are not suitable for bathing. The systems are enhanced through the use of sirens and lighting systems,??? he said, noting that all towers would be outfitted with similar systems over time.
In addition, the Oistins Bay Gardens Complex is to be retrofitted with solar panels in an effort to provide lighting in public areas, through work done in conjunction with the Barbados National Oil Terminal Company.
Mr. Alleyne also commended the NCC???s rain water harvesting project, which saw water from 10 of its buildings being collected and stored in 1, 000 gallon tanks before being piped to the plant nursery and to irrigate the gardens on the compound.
He also noted that some of the beaches were also equipped with water saving fixtures which would now form the standard for all the Commission???s buildings going forward.
???These are but a few initiatives being undertaken by the Commission, which will certainly go a long way in reducing energy consumption, and by extension, be a significant saving to the Government of Barbados,??? Mr. Alleyne said.