Major savings on green home

Minister of Industry Denis Kellman and Permanent Secretary Ruth Blackman discuss green housing plans with Danny Cumberbatch.

Government has endorsed a new green housing concept promising major savings for home owners, including $5,000 in annual electricity costs, and the innovative cultivation of food crops on the roof top.

Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development Denis Kellman, speaking this morning at the official launch of First Home Inc’s green living community venture, said it was in line with the Freudel Stuart Administration’s concept of a green economy and should be lauded.

The venture is being done in partnership with exclusive agent Cumberwood Realty and Caribbean Cabinets Company Limited. Today’s event was held at the latter company’s Spring Garden Industrial Estates showroom.

“The company, First Homes Incorporation, has advised that the homes built by them will be energy efficient, being completely powered by a solar electric system. However, they will remain connected to the national grid and any excess power will be sold to the Barbados Light & Power Company,” the minister said.

“The communities will have water saving devises and recycling programmes. In the final analysis, the concept of green living communities being offered by First Homes Incorporation saves the home buyer money in more ways than one and in this challenging environment, any opportunity to save money counts.

“This project must be lauded. Not just because it fits into Government’s policy to promote a green economy, but because the potential it has as a counter to many of the challenges currently faced by Barbados such as water scarcity and food insecurity,” Kellman added.

He was also impressed “that apart from water saving devices, these homes would allow for the creation of vegetable gardens on roofs which speaks to a more efficient way of using space”. “So home owners would be able to grow what they eat. To this end, it saves foreign exchange. It also generates employment for creative minds because of the level of technology required and opens the door for further innovation and inventiveness,” he noted.

The official said the renewable living concept being pushed by First Homes was a revolution of the 21st century and in line with Government’s green economy policies.

“The green economy is not just about the ability to produce clean energy, but also technologies that allow cleaner production processes, as well as the growing market for products which consume less energy, from fluorescent light bulbs to organic and locally produced food. Thus it might include products, processes and services that reduce environmental impact or improve natural resource use,” he stated.

“First Homes Incorporation has become an active participant in this revolution with the development of its Green Living Communities. While the concept is not new in general terms, since it is operating in some parts of the developed world namely, USA and Canada; it is a first for Barbados and I would venture to say the Caribbean. That is why this moment is a historic one.” (SC)

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