by Emmanuel Joseph
Significant progress has been made toward implementing two pilot energy projects that could cut millions from Barbados’ fuel imports bill and the monthly payments of thousands of households.
Consultant Project Manager for the Sustainable Energy Framework for Barbados, Monica Williams told Barbados TODAY that one of the initiatives, the Energy Efficiency Project would target 3,000 low- and middle- income households, which would receive 15,000 LED bulbs.
“So far, we have recruited 50 per cent of the participating households. The objective is to reduce the amount of electricity used and thereby cut the light bills,” Williams explained.
Last year it cost Barbados more than $787 million to bring petroleum products into this island, with consumers spending an annual total of $713 million, $410 million of which comprise fuel charges on their electricity bills with the Barbados Light & Power Company.
The LED lights, which the Government proposed to gradually replace the traditional higher energy consuming incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, are more power efficient.
Experts explained that the LED lamps last upward of 30,000 hours and give off more light while consuming less electricity, while the incandescent variety lasts about 1,000 hours and the compact fluorescent about 8,000.
Manufacturers and other experts also pointed out that the LED lights are free of the health-threatening mercury, unlike the traditional types.
Williams revealed that the 15,000 LED bulbs had already been delivered to the Division of Energy.
“We are now awaiting procurement of the power monitors to be installed simultaneously,” the consultant added.
She said the second initiative was the Renewable Energy Project. This one, the government advisor noted, was focused on public buildings and households.
Williams disclosed that it involved the use of photovoltaic system.
“The list of 25 participants (households) has been approved by the minister and we are in the process of procuring the 28 systems,” she pointed out.
The project consultant said three of the 28 systems would be installed on public buildings and the University of the West Indies had already been identified as one of them.
“The two others are still to be determined,” Williams added. The pilot projects are being managed by the Global Environmental Facility.