Speaking at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) handover ceremony for two energy-efficiency projects in Black River, St. Elizabeth, recently, the Minister added that the ultimate goal is to reduce the cost of electricity, while modernising the energy sector.
“Our commitment to this has driven the Ministry to consistently develop policies in a comprehensive regulatory framework, so as to govern the development of the energy sector as well as fuel sustainable economic growth for the nation,” Dr. Wheatley said.
However, the Minister cautioned against complacency, noting that the importance of the sector to the Jamaican economy is such that maximum attention has to be paid at all times.
“We cannot for one moment allow ourselves to become complacent. The first half of the last decade saw Jamaica spending an average of $13 billion annually on energy consumption. This was not only unsustainable; it also posed a direct threat to the achievement of prosperity for our people,” he argued.
Dr. Wheatley further pointed out that it was because of that reality that the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had to collaborate in designing and implementing a programme to reduce the consumption in the Ministries and Agencies and also the wider public sector.
“Through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme, the Ministry continues to meet its goal of enhancing Jamaica’s energy efficiency and conservation potential,” he said.
“We have been able to achieve this through the design and implementation of a number of projects, such as the installation of solar control films on the windows of government buildings, cool-roof applications to the roofs of the buildings as well as retrofitting and replacing old and inefficient air-conditioning systems,” the Minister added.
Dr. Wheatley pointed out that the three-and-a-half-year-old programme has been very successful and encouraging, saving the Government some $100 million to date.