By Rabindra Rooplall
A review of the Energy Efficient Public Procurement policies in the public sector can
have tremendous benefits as a new energy efficiency directive could lead to a more clear and ordered situation, according to Head of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Mahender Sharma.
This was disclosed at an Energy Seminar yesterday to stimulate dialogue and interest among targeted audiences on energy-related issues. The seminar was held at Cara Lodge.
Under the theme “Achieving Climate, Environmental and Economic Resilience through Sustainable Energy” the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and CARICOM member states are simultaneously observing the Energy Week from the 16th-22nd November, 2014.
In keeping with the observation of CARICOM Energy Week (CEW), the main thrust of CEW “is to build awareness among various segments of the society across the Community about critical energy issues with a key focus on sustainable energy development at the national level”.
It was explained at the seminar that Government and public authorities at all levels should demonstrate to local communities that Energy Efficient Public Procurement tackles local policy goals and is forward-thinking, drives innovation and can directly contribute to the concept of a smart region.
Thus, Energy Efficient Public Procurement should be based on extensive knowledge and experience.
Governments are urged to promote and support actions and programmes undertaken in the process of implementing the different energy efficiency-oriented directives.
According to Minister in Charge of Energy, Samuel Hinds, regarding energy efficiency initiatives, GEA has carried out energy assessments, replacement of defective photocells on street lights, replacement of high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps with more energy efficient lamps – all with the objective of reducing energy consumption by attaining higher levels of energy efficiency.
The Energy Minister explained that the Government has also provided fiscal incentives through import duties and VAT exemptions on identified renewable energy machinery and equipment and energy efficient lighting. These achievements were not without their challenges, and there is still much work to be done.
“The other pillar of sustainable energy, energy efficiency, is equally important and is considered a “low-hanging fruit” given that minor behavioural changes can lead to improved efficiency, less wastage and a significant reduction in energy consumption. Nationally, a small shift in demand based on increased energy efficiency can lead to savings of millions of dollars in the country’s oil import bill,” the Prime Minister asserted.
According to the GEA, the agency planned a week of activities which focuses on energy while giving recognition to its importance in achieving a reliable energy future that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
“Through art, media, essay writing and open discussions, the objective of the week of activities planned by the GEA is to sensitize the Guyanese population, with specific focus on youths, on sustainable energy, energy conservation (the ‘saving of energy by any means including energy efficiency’) and energy efficiency (the use of less energy to do the same amount of work).
The Guyana Energy Agency, in the exercise of its mandate, continues to promote energy efficiency, energy conservation and the development and utilisation of alternative sources of energy. The observance of ‘CARICOM Energy Week’ serves as an annual feature in fulfilling part of the mandate of the GEA through the dissemination of information, essential to improving public awareness on sustainable energy, conservation and overall efficiency.
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