(CMR) The Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID) recently awarded the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency more than €1.2 million to improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings and Government-built affordable homes.
RESEMBID, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France – the development cooperation agency of the Government of France, supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
The Cayman Islands Energy Efficiency Programme aims to improve energy efficiency and facilitate retrofits for both existing public sector buildings and National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide cost savings for homeowners and the Cayman Islands Government.
Premier and Minister for Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Hon. Wayne Panton said the Cayman Islands Government Energy Efficiency Programme represents a ‘triple win’ across the three pillars of sustainable development: economy, society, and environment.
“This is a win, win, win scenario: The residential energy efficiency program will reduce burdensome electricity costs on affordable housing residents while the public sector project has the potential to avoid tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save millions of dollars on electricity consumption,” Mr. Panton said.
“I want to congratulate everyone in the Ministry team who contributed to this project, particularly Kristen Smith, the Senior Policy Advisor, Energy, who was instrumental in securing this grant award,” he added.
Program Manager of RESEMBID Sustainable Energy Nnyeka Prescod visited the Cayman Islands to take part in the official launch of the University College of the Cayman Islands’ free sustainable development training and attended the soft launch for the Cayman Islands Government Energy Efficiency Programme.
“Under the pillar of sustainable energy, the Cayman Islands Government continues to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to the national renewable energy transition by mobilizing existing frameworks and undertaking substantive action,” Ms. Prescod said.
“Through a residential program and public sector building retrofit program, the Government provides an example of the relevance, applicability, and replicability of sustainable energy actions in public facilities – yielding technical benefit for staff, workers and proof of concept and awareness opportunities for the general public.”
Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn says implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures are complementary tactics contributing to a more sustainable Cayman Islands.
“Reducing electricity consumption is essential to meeting global goals to combat climate change and lower emissions. These programs will be a step in the right direction towards meeting these objectives,” she said.
“Electricity supply and consumption accounts for approximately one-third of our national emissions. While we work to increase renewable sources of energy, we can simultaneously work to reduce the amount of power needed to keep our homes and offices running.”
In addition to the benefits of energy, emissions, and financial savings, Ms. Smith says the projects also aim to build our local energy sector capacity and act as a catalyst for increasing energy efficiency uptake in the Cayman Islands.
“Our 2020 home energy efficiency competition demonstrated how switching to an energy-efficient air conditioner and applying spray foam insulation can dramatically lower electricity consumption and help homeowners save hundreds of dollars every month,” Ms. Smith said. “Taking on these pilot projects will help reduce the cost of living for NHDT residents, help Government save on recurrent expenditures, and raise awareness about the social, financial, and environmental benefits of increasing energy efficiency, which are essential to achieving the objectives of the National Energy Policy.”
The Cayman Islands Government Energy Efficiency Programme will include energy audits, energy efficiency retrofits and the installation of renewable energy, for NHDT homes, from the 100kw CORE allocation, which was designated to the NHDT in 2020. Both aspects of the program include training components, establishing minimum energy efficiency standards for new builds, and assessing the best financing mechanisms to support the retrofit of additional public sector buildings and residential buildings.
More information on the grant and project milestone updates will be shared on www.energy.gov.ky
The public can also access additional resources and energy-saving tips by following @caymanenergy on Facebook and Instagram.