GOB partners with OAS and Caribbean nations for energy project

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The Government of Belize this week held a three-day consultation in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS), to improve Belize’s energy sector.

The Ministry of Energy and the Public Service hosted the consultation at the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) on the ITVET compound, along with the OAS, representatives from McGeown Associates, and Collaborative Labelling and Appliance Standards Incorporated (CLASP).

The project seeks to establish a program for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for appliances, along with financial and marketing support.
The Ministry explained a key component of the project is to drive energy intensity in buildings below 20 percent, compared to business-as-usual.

Carolina Pena, manager of the Sustainable Energy Capacity Building Initiative with the OAS, explained that the OAS brought in representatives from various other countries to share their experiences and explain to Belizean energy sector stakeholders how similar projects were made effective in their respective countries.
Other participating countries included: Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Ambrose Tillett, Energy Director in the Ministry, explained that the OAS will make three interventions to assist with the energy sector 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.

The OAS would then assist with 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. Finally, the plan is to work 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,” Tillett said. “One thing we noticed is that in Belize, we tend to use energy rather inefficiently.”

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