The consultation meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Energy and the Public Service, along with representatives from McGeown Associates, Collaborative Labelling and Appliance Standards Incorporated (CLASP), and the OAS.
From a citizen/consumer perspective, contributing to this issue means getting rid of old incandescent lights and appliances which use electricity inefficiently. Moreover, an important aspect of this problem is to make sure that appliance merchants move the stock of outdated equipment that they currently have in their stores to welcome energy efficient appliances available to the consumer.
“We recognize the leadership of the ministry and the government in fostering affordable and reliable energy and seek to contribute to said effort. We also recognize the challenge facing the utility and the government in making energy affordable. This activity allowed us to facilitate the exchange of experiences with the U.S. Virgin Islands to strengthen expertise and to share knowledge with Belize and with other Caribbean islands. To this end, we are bringing together experts to help make electricity affordable and accessible for all consumers”, said Carolina Peña, SECBI Manager.
Furthermore, Hon. Minister Frank Mena, Ministry of Finance, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities emphasized that the “implementation of utility energy services business models, such as the US Virgin Islands VIenergize Services, presents a great opportunity to transform the utility into a powerful agent of change for implementation of national sustainable energy strategies. In common with many larger communities, we recognize that the role of a modern utility must evolve with technology to help all customers manage their energy use, not just deliver electricity reliably” the Minister added.
With this objective in mind, the OAS will support Belize in this effort by making three interventions to assist with the national energy sector’s development. The first was gathering the consultants who have experience in setting up the financial and marketing mechanisms to facilitate large-scale energy-efficient appliances and equipment coming into the country. A second intervention will focus on setting up codes and standards to ensure market transition, phasing out old energy inefficient products, and replacing them with ones that conform to the standards. OAS’ third and final intervention will be working on compliance mechanisms to ensure that businesses do not return to energy inefficient appliances and equipment. “One of our main pillars is to try and improve energy at the point of use,” said Mr. Ambrose Tillett, Energy Director. “One thing we noticed is that in Belize, we tend to use energy rather inefficiently.”