Schools, ministries, agencies get big prizes for energy efficiency

Schools, ministries, agencies get big prizes for energy efficiency

BY LAUREN WRIGHT
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, March 29, 2019

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GOVERNMENT schools, ministries and agencies won up to $5 million in prizes in the annual Energy Champion Competition.

Among the top winners, who all won $5 million each, were:

1. Maggotty High in the school division;

2. Ministry of Labour and Social Security in division two;

3. Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in region five; and

4. eGov Jamaica Limited of division one, who were presented with their cash prizes by Minister of Energy Fayval Williams.

Runners-up were Ministry of Transport and Mining, division two; National Library of Jamaica of division three; and Priory Primary and Infant School of the school division, who pockted $1.5 million each .

A special certificate of award of energy-efficient lighting, and a cash prize of $500,000 was given to Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School.

Winners briefed the public about the actions they took to conserve their organisation’s use of energy for the competition. Champions from the school’s division explained that much of the assistance was from their students. They ensured that lights were off after classes and even installed light timers for additional help. They also mentioned that utilising natural resources was a key part of how they saved energy.

Meanwhile, ministries and agencies said they set goals and educated their staff through energy conservation awareness campaigns and programmes. Other strategies included the installation of motion sensor lightings, LED light bulbs and waterproof cooling systems, keeping office machinery off and also using the stairs instead of elevators.

PCJ’s acting group general manager, Brian Richardson said the aim of the the competition was to give participants an appreciation of the importance of energy management, through the hands and execution of conservation of energy efficiency measures.

“At the same time, we facilitated capacity building across the public sector by encouraging employees to take an active role in their organisation energy operations by influencing energy policy and driving behaviour changes and revamping approaches and practices,” Richardson said.

“The Energy Champion Competition is a wonderful opportunity for us as the implementing agency to work together with our equal partners to achieve the important goal which is more efficient energy usage in the Government sector, because if we can manage our energy, we can manage our money, we can manage our economy,” he added.

Jody Grizzle, project manager of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme, said by using social media participants they were able to illustrate how they saved energy by uploading videos and spoke of their initiatives on sponsored hours on radio or television.

Grizzle announced that outstanding individuals were also rewarded with prizes.

“Participants for first place won 32-inch smart televisions, second place won inverter microwave ovens, and third place baskets of energy-saving devices.

She said organisations were all required to establish an energy management committee. “In addition to that we required them to have at least one meeting during the competition and submit to us the minutes,” said Grizzle.

She said, too, that for the competition, it was requested that the ministries and agencies conduct audits to show how much they saved on their energy bill this year, compared to last year.

The Government of Jamaica Energy Champion Competition started in 2017 through the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme. The competition targeted public sector entities and sought to encourage them to lower their expenses on energy.

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