OECS Secretariat, Castries Saint Lucia – Residents of OECS Member States will soon receive further knowledge on energy saving techniques through the recently launched OECS Energy Efficiency Public Education and awareness campaign entitled: “Power Savers, the Power is in your hands”.
The OECS Power Savers energy efficiency campaign was initiated on Monday 11th November 2013 in Saint Lucia to coincide with Caricom Energy Week. Leonard Deane of the OECS Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance project says the public education and awareness programme is necessary for key stakeholders in order to build support for sub-regional policy actions on energy efficiency and the sustainable energy programme: “In order to ensure that both benefits and objectives are achieved, it is also imperative to educate the public on all aspects of energy management with particular emphasis on energy efficiency, standards, renewable energy technologies and the contribution and benefits of a sustainable energy programme to the economies of the member countries of the OECS. So it is in this regard that the ICF Marbek Consultants were mandated to design and roll out this public education and awareness campaign on energy efficiency, targeting all public and private sector categories that would assist in altering behaviour patterns, as they relate to the efficient use of energy.”
Monday’s launch of the OECS Power Savers energy efficiency campaign, exposed some of the habits one should avoid, in order to help reduce the cost of energy at home and at work while using energy for the use of lighting, office equipment, air conditioning, laundry, refrigeration and transportation among other examples. The campaign will also carry a series of television infomercials and radio public service announcements across all Member States of the OECS. A new Power Savers website, with e-newsletters, webinars and a series of fact sheets, can be found at www.powersavers.org.
Also at the launch a planned car-pooling initiative was presented among several plans in Saint Lucia to further drive home the importance of energy efficiency to the economy and to the environment. Charlin Bodley of Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy Science and Technology is part of the team which identified a focus group of four schools from which parents will team up to drive children to school as against the normal day situation where there is sometimes one child per vehicle: “It’s a pilot programme this year. We are hoping that every year we can make it work and that eventually it will not just be a week of car-pooling.”
In complimenting the OECS Power Savers energy efficiency campaign, Permanent Secretary in Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy Science and Technology Sylvester Clauzel noted the power of knowledge adding that Public Education and Awareness has to be the first step to empowering people in making a positive energy change: “Whilst we work towards our renewable energy goals we can take some decisive actions in the area of energy efficiency and conservation that can produce significant and immediate benefits. Our region has sadly continued to make use of energy inefficient lighting, cooling, appliances and architectural designs. All of these contribute to poor use of resources and financial problems. It is clear that the approach needed at this time is a paradigm shift in energy use that results in political, technological, financing, and behavioral changes. Achieving this shift in our modus operandi will not be easy, but I am confident we can with the right tools. Critical to catalyzing this change is access to the right information and widespread public awareness on sustainable energy matters.”
The OECS Power Savers energy efficiency campaign is executed under the OECS Secretariat’s Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance or SETA Project through funding by the Caribbean Development Bank. Seta is one of three projects geared towards promoting energy efficiency in the OECS. The others are the proposed Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Agency project which was launched in Grenada on Thursday November 7th 2013 and the Eastern Caribbean Energy Labeling project.