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Electricity personnel and consumers, in Anguilla,  attended a National Workshop on Energy Efficiency held under the auspices of the OECS and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The October 12 workshop, aimed at promoting energy reduction awareness, and organised by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications, Utilities and Housing, was held at the Soroptimist Conference Centre.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Director of Public Utilities, Crefton Niles. He welcomed the consultant,Mr. Vincent David,who has conducted similar workshops throughout the OECS sub-region. Mr. David is a representative of ECONOLER, a world-renowned firm specializing in the design, implementation, evaluation and financing of energy efficient programmes and projects.

Governor Alistair Harrison stressed that there was a need to use energy more efficiently inAnguillaat the national level, at work and at home in order  to reduce costs. He said it was important at the national level to have the right policies in place for the efficient generation and consumption of energy. “The amount of money that we can save by using energy more efficiently at the national level, is proportionately very much greater than can be saved in one of the larger jurisdictions,” he said. “Then, of course, we have the other advantages of a small island in theCaribbean, with almost infinite reserves of solar and wind power. Potentially, we are a tremendous generator of renewable sources of energy, but that’s not an easy option by any means. There are all sorts of practical issues associated with that, but it is a huge advantage for us.”

The Governor commented that it was amazing to realise how much energy a householder could save by opening the fridge once and closing it, or by switching off the lights. “It just demonstrates how important we, the people,are in consuming energy more efficiently and more widely,” he stated.’

Minister of the Environment, Walcott Richardson, said in part: “The Government is hugely enthusiastic about energy efficiency…It has to be right at the heart of what we do, hence the reason for this workshop. The Anguilla Renewable Energy [Committee], with the support of the OECS and the CDB, is now able to draw on the expertise of a dedicated Energy Efficiency Team, with real experience. It will help us to deliver our existing policies and possibly find new ways to save energy throughout the economy, and develop a draft energy efficiency strategy appropriate for Anguilla.”

Mr. Richardson observed that Anguilla needs to be energy efficient now more than ever. “Not only will we face a growing gap between energy supply and demand, but we will need to cut our energy use overall as the price of fossil fuel will not be coming down any time soon,” he observed.

French-speaking consultant, Vincent David, said that under the OECS project the sub-region would be provided with strategies and action plans to assist with energy efficiency awareness.

“Energy efficiency is business. I want to stress that this, as well as renewable energy, is a lot of job creation,” he told the workshop participants.

Minister with responsibility for Energy, Evan Gumbs, reported that earlier this year the OECS mandated ECONOLER to consult on the development of a strategic framework for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the energy sector at the regional level.

“The main achievement of this project is expected to be the elaboration of sub-regional and national strategies and action plans for promoting and controlling development for sustainable energy in the sub-region,” Mr.Gumbs explained. Among other matters, he said that the initiative was to review the current energy situation, in each island of the OECS, including the identification of the most critical sectors with high energy utilisation.

The Minister said that energy efficiency was about energy conservation both from the side of the utility – ANGLEC – and the user. “We all must learn to conserve energy and to be more efficient with its use,” he advised the people of Anguilla. “We need to change our attitudes towards how we use energy. It is envisioned that this workshop will point us in that direction. As Minister responsible for energy, I have a vested interest in ensuring that we…engage a strong energy conservation programme; ensure the continued commercial viability of our utility; promote energy reduction measures and programmes such as use of renewables; and ensure that all Anguillians can afford the electricity they need.”




Category/ies:Anguilla News, News.
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