Government hopes to save millions in electricity costs

Government is hoping to shave $2 – 3 million off the country’s electricity bill annually with the implementation of its US$24.6 million Public Sector Smart Energy Programme (PSPP).

On Friday the Ministry of Energy and the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) paved the way for the programme to go ahead, which will include the changing out of close to 30,000 street lights across the country.

The project, which is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union, is designed to reduce electricity consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while driving down government’s fuel import bill.

Officials of the BL&P are expected to embark on a procurement process “very soon” to source the Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures.

The overall project will also provide for the retrofitting of about 13 Government buildings and use of more electric vehicles.

So far Government has two electric vehicles as part of a pilot project and is expected to procure about six more by the end of this year.

Minister with responsibility for Energy Senator Darcy Boyce said based on a 2009 study, Government is aiming for a 29 per cent per year reduction in electricity consumption through various methods of renewable energy use and energy efficiency.

Boyce said he would soon be going back to the IDB for more funding for a second programme he is hoping to sign off on by the end of this year, to effect greater energy efficiency.

Acknowledging that government is a significant user of electricity, Boyce said the street lamps account for a great portion of that usage.

“So this project will save us a couple million dollars a year [up to] $3 million a year. It is a small amount in the context of Barbados but it is a start to save some money. When that is combined with the work to retrofit the 13 Government buildings with solar photovoltaic it begins to add,” he said.

Boyce urged the officials involved in the programme to “keep the momentum going”, adding that it’s his intention for the country to reach a 100 per cent reliance on renewable energy by 2045 as outlined in the BL&P 100/100 Vision.

Boyce also noted that Government would be expanding the efforts to the transportation system.

Head of Green Economy and Resilience Section of the EU Peter Sturesson urged officials to take even further steps to focus on energy efficiency, pointing out that this is a critical aspect if the country is to save foreign exchange.

“Of course we must embrace the role of energy efficiency in this master plan because this is one of the low hanging fruits for Barbados in the transition to clean energy,” he said.

Pointing out that the project marked “yet another milestone” in Barbados’ development, Sturesson added that the EU remains committed to helping the island fund developmental projects.

Meanwhile, Representative of the IDB Juan Carlos De La Hoz Viñas predicted that by obtaining lower electricity cost the country would improve its competitiveness.

“We all know that as part of the conversation with the private sector that electricity cost is a major problem in terms of doing business in this country. So every attempt to reduce the electricity cost will improve competitiveness in the country,” he said.

Managing Director of the BL&P Roger Blackman said the country has the opportunity to become the leader in the area of renewable energy usage in the region.

He pledged continued support of the utility company in finding the requisite solutions to ensure the sector was expanded.

9 Responses to Government hopes to save millions in electricity costs

  1. Christopher Foster
    Christopher Foster June 24, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Why not also cut the duties and taxes from Electric Vehicles and solar panels. This would in term extend the benefit to the average person instead of just the government.

  2. Kani Buss
    Kani Buss June 24, 2017 at 11:45 am installing solar on all government buildings but still let a foreign company come and build a solar farm here to sell the public energy,while Williams can’t get his solar project push to the locals…can’t wait tuh vote wunna out

  3. Cisco Wolf
    Cisco Wolf June 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    This was said almost 2 years ago. With the very same start time ‘VERY SOON’. One stretch of lights changed in spring garden and the regular yellow sodium lights filled the rest of the way. In another 2 yrs, no one will ask where the 25 million went.

  4. Belfast June 24, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    How about the electricity that the New Super Duper Andrews Sugar Factory was supposed to feed into the grid?

  5. Peter June 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Marlon Madden, Good choice of topic to report. However tour report would have been much more thought provoking and insightful had you expanded that report on worldwide up to date developments on green energy. For example the entire subway and railroad systems are powered by offshore wind turbibes positioned I waters over 15 hundred feet deep, 47 % of the Netherlands, formerly Holland’ s electrical energy comes from wind turbines offshore likewise. Here are a few other countries reaping overwhelming success . Canada The entire Newfoundland Island, The entire state of Texas, where it’s less than 30 % of what it took to pump a barrel from those oil wells. One corn farmer earns over 9 Billion dollars per year from his rurbines alone. Ge sells corn to Kellogs for their cereals about eight other Midwestern states have began following suit. China has reclaimed 7 dead reefs that are now agriculture and power successes. Australia, New Zealand, Scotland , South Korea, Japan who are phasing out Nuclear energy and Dozens more countries. Even Aruba, The Azores, The Hawaiian Islands and quite a few others.. It is only our silly, shallow thinking negative minded politicians eho are asleep won’t wake up and smell the coffee. Do some studies Marlon, do your bosses and readers proud. Don’t look at Bizzy He’s thinking profitability Solar is not the be all end all. If he is thinking of his legacy he’ move on it. He is almost at his lifespan’s end. Every single one of us will die and take NOTHING with us. Thing is we’ll only be a memory and that is all…… You, Me Harris, Vendor, All the BT owners, directors, decision makers All, EVERY IONE OF US.

    • Iain Edghill June 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Check your facts Peter, or activate your fact-checker. “One corn farmer [in Texas] earns over 9 billion dollars per year from his rurbines (sic) alone.” Surely you jest! Newfoundland generates most of it’s electricity from hydro-electric power [Churchill Falls], not wind turbines.

  6. BimJim June 24, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Only in a DLP/BLP government wet dream could these idiots propose to spend $27 million to save $2 million a year. By my calculations in 14 years they will have broken even, and in 28 years the electricity will be paying them. I told you it was a dream.

    With such mathematically-challenged idiots as are running this country there is little wonder the nation is $13 BILLION in the red.

    I wonder who will have won the yard-fowl kiss-ass brown-nosing jackpot and be new millionaires this year?

  7. jrsmith June 25, 2017 at 9:42 am

    What I would love to know from the experts in barbados , the power consumption of an average family home for starters, this then would give an idea as how the local energy , be accessed and the various ideas and technology applications would be put in place ……………………………….

    This might not matter to anyone , but barbados was far ,far ahead of most of the world , when it come to free energy, wind and sun..
    As a kid growing up we and now (79) we had a ( Phillips wind charger ) ) which charged a battery to play a 26 band radio and quite a few other people having the same…way out in front we were…………………………………………..
    Solar panels we should have been a leader at least constructing for export of the devices, people in Barbados had solar panel water heating long before Janet that hurricane hitting us..we allow the boat to sail ,,, now the world thinks solar panels is the best thing since slice bread…..I dont think so……………

    My take the (renewable energy market and climate change) carries with it a lot of (Political Corporate corruption ) , it will take decades to really give the poor people benefit from the technology…………………………
    As for wind turbines , many companies in the (UK) has drop out of the technology , claiming its too expensive for the low returns in profits….even the (British government ) has drop out of lots of the solar energy so call discount projects………

  8. Frank White June 25, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I am all for renewable energy programs but what I am against is the awarding of these contracts…

    Many persons find it fitting to argue cases for the white community, that they should be given these contracts but what about the black community, don’t they deserve to eat??

    Since this is what’s in the works, I want to see businesses own and operated by members of the Black community, given contracts as this is the only reservation, I have…


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