Johanna Carstens

Energy efficiency experts are currently in Dominica to help set standards that will help in reducing the island’s energy consumption through the use of energy efficient household appliances.

Johanna Carstens Technical Advisor with the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP) along with Communications Consultant Carlton James has been meeting with stakeholders here.

Carstens said the purpose of the visit to Dominica is to introduce all stakeholders to the concept of energy efficiency and to advise on to the importance of energy labeling.

“We want to look at introducing energy efficient standards and labels for electrical household appliances in all OECS  countries,” she said.

The team is working with the Dominica Bureau of Standards to implement the energy reduction model.“In Dominica at the moment we have meetings and discussions with different stakeholders. One of our colleagues has facilitated a training workshop at the Bureau of Standards. In addition we have met with various Media organisations and Government representatives including the energy focal point,” she said.

Carstens said the work involves stakeholder discussions and training sessions which are currently ongoing on the island.

She said the economic benefits of the project for Dominica are two- fold.

“At the micro economic level it should benefit low and middle income houses. People should be able to reduce their electricity consumption and thereby their electricity bill by having better information on the consumption of the appliances they buy and so make better informed purchasing decisions,” she stated.

Carstens added that the entire country stands to benefit from this energy efficient project.

“The country can benefit from the project on a macro- economic level because we know that electricity to a large degree is made possible by burning fossil fuels which has to be imported at a very high cost. We have a fuel surcharge here and the electricity tariff as we all know has increased over the last years. This project no doubt will be ideal for Dominica,” she noted.

Carstens is optimistic that energy efficiency is the way forward.

“Energy efficienty is rather a cheap measure to do something about these high electricity costs that we have. Of course you can look at how you use energy for example switching off certain appliances that you don’t need, or, by having more efficient equipment certainly is very important,” she said.

Carstens confirmed that people are already buying into the regional energy efficient project and plans are afoot to launch it in all countries of the OECS.

A Regional Media workshop on the Energy Efficiency project has been planned for November, 2012 in Dominica to sensitize the media about the initiative.