The role of individuals in energy conservation and efficiency across the region was underscored on Monday during the launch of the Regional Building Energy Efficiency Programme (RBEEP) at the CARICOM Secretariat.
Influencing a difference in their outlook and the way that people utilise energy in their own spheres, is one of the key outcomes that the RBEEP hopes to achieve.
The RBEEP is geared at cutting energy use in buildings in the Region while maintaining the quality of energy provided; reducing demand for imported fuel; and stimulating replication in CARICOM.
Speakers at the day-long forum highlighted the importance, not only of changes at the national, policy, administrative and technical levels, but also the critical impact of actions at a personal level. Those actions include turning off and unplugging appliances and equipment when not in use; using lights only when necessary and remembering to turn off all switches; replacing incandescent bulbs with new compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs; minismising the opening and closing of airconditioned rooms; building with good ventilation to make full use of natural air conditioning; buying energy efficiency appliances; and carpooling.
Dr Paulette Bynoe, Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Guyana who chaired the launch, said it was the expectation that it would usher in a change not only at national levels, but also at the individual level.
“We make choices about energy in our communities, in our homes, in our schools, in our universities, any institutions that we represent, and therefore I think that by the end of today, we can all be persuaded to take positive action to make a difference”, she said.
She drew to the attention of the participants at the launch the strong co-relation between energy use, economic growth and human well-being.
Dr Devon Gardner, Programme Manager, Energy at the CARICOM Secretariat, delivered the feature address at the launch.
The incorporation of more energy efficient solutions as well as renewable energy technologies within the framework of an energy management system in buildings will not only benefit the respective institutions economically but also the region.