Government’s Retrofitting Programme Gets A Boost

Published on September 15, 2015 by Joy Springer

China's Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke; Senator Darcy Boyce; Counselor, Department of Climate Change, Xie Ji, and Chief Energy Conservation Officer, William Hinds examining one of the LED lights following yesterday's presentation. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Government’s energy efficiency retrofitting programme, aimed at reducing electricity consumption in Government buildings, has benefited from a donation of 25,000 LED lights and 1,000 inverter air conditioning units by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. 

Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, formally received the donation from Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados, Wang Ke, yesterday, but Government actually received the equipment in April this year. 

Since then, more than 6,000 lights have already been installed in several Government-owned buildings. Senator Boyce said during the hand-over ceremony that the remainder of the lights had been allocated and were expected to be installed by year-end.

The Minister, in expressing appreciation for the equipment, noted that lighting and air conditioning systems accounted for a large percentage of the approximately $100 million spent annually in electricity usage and costs in Government-owned buildings.

Inventories and analyses conducted in more than 40 Government buildings, he said, had revealed that the existing lighting systems were highly inefficient energy-wise and, in most cases, consumed more than twice the energy that would be used by the LEDs donated by the People’s Republic of China.

Government’s overall goal, the Energy Minister disclosed, was to attain a 22 per cent reduction in the use of electricity consumption by 2020, and the retrofitting programme targeting Government buildings was an important part of this effort.

The beneficiaries of the equipment are the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Central Purchasing Department, the Barbados Defence Force, a geriatric hospital, seven polyclinics, nine police stations, 14 post offices, three fire stations and 10 schools.

In addition to donating the equipment, the People’s Republic of China provided training for the technicians using the equipment, including those from the Government Electrical Department, the Barbados Defence Force, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Barbados Vocational Training Board.