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Energy Matters competition winners grateful for appliances

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

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THREE Jamaicans, who were selected in an energy awareness competition, are now proud owners of home appliances built with inverter technology.

The prizes were presented by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley at the Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) showroom last Thursday.

The 'Energy Matters Competition' falls under the Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project, a brainchild of the ministry in conjunction with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and funded by the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The competition was conducted on the ministry's Facebook page, where participants, to qualify for a prize, had to answer energy-related questions. The winners were chosen randomly from people who answered correctly.

Albert Chin, a Bog Walk, St Catherine resident, told the Jamaica Observer that he was extremely grateful for his prize of a refrigerator.

“I feel great winning this prize, because winning this I'm able to help out someone. I'm going to give the fridge to an old lady in the community because she doesn't have one,” Chin said.

Gordon Town resident Savasha Savage was also thankful, because prior to the competition she said she did not own a microwave. The third winner, Annmarie Tulloch, who also won an inverter microwave, was not present for the hand over.

“We have a number of programmes running right now. This current one seeks to raise the level of awareness, especially in the public sector,” Wheatley said.

“A number of government buildings, so far, have been retrofitted with a new inverter-type AC. We have installed microfilm on a number of the windows to reduce energy loss; we have also educated our workers within the public sector as to energy conservation techniques,” he added.

The programme has yielded results, as the minister disclosed that about $150 million was saved last year. The money saved enabled the ministry to develop other programmes.

In light of the successes so far, the minister is inviting the private sector to join the government on its mission to reduce energy cost islandwide.

“People commend the government on the smart LED lights that we have been installing over the last couple of months. We have installed some 37,000 street lights through JPS (Jamaica Public Service), and we're looking to install another 35,000 street lights in this coming year. Within another two years, all the street lights throughout the country will be smart LED lights,” he explained.

In the meantime, the minister is appealing to criminals to desist from destroying street lights.

“We have a number of criminal elements who want to live in the dark ages and I hear that they are shooting out these lights. They need to know that we will be able to identify the criminals who shoot out these lights because these lights are not the regular lights,” he said.

He explained that the LED street lights will improve public safety as JPS can manipulate the lights from its control centre.

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