ENERGY EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP FOR HOTEL PROPERTIES
The Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association (AHTA) on Wednesday 8th March held an Energy Efficiency Workshop for Hotel Properties to help in reducing their electricity bills.
The AHTA collaborated with COSME which sponsored the workshop funded by the EU 10th EDF Caribbean OCTs SME Programme, and the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action Programme (CHENACT) whose goal is to improve the competitiveness of the small and medium sized hotels in the Caribbean through more affordable and predictable energy costs.
Loreto Duffy-Mayers, Regional Programme Manager, CHENACT, said the programme has been in existence for the past 8 years and observed:
“We’ve completed two phases. The first phase was primarily focused on Barbados, and the second went on to look at Bahamas, Jamaica and several other countries in the OECS and around the region. I’m going to be showing them basically somethings we’ve discovered in the other islands – some recommendations and active studies and implementation to show how some hotels have reduced their energy usage.”
Ms. Duffy-Mayers further observed: “We do realize, renewable energy in this whole region is still extremely expensive. It’s not financially viable unless the energy efficiency is done first. We still find hotels throughout the region using incandescent bulbs which are really pulling lots of current – as well as old and inefficient equipment whether laundry, kitchen, air conditioning equipment etc. and so we try to get the hotels to understand that they must look at the equipment they have before they look at anything renewable.”
Delroy Lake, President of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism, told The Anguillian: “We are giving tools to our hoteliers on how they can save on their electricity and water bills. We hope that everyone can go back to their respective properties and implement at least one new method they may have learned here today.”
Lake continued: “As you may know the Caribbean has one of the highest tariffs on electricity anywhere in the world so automatically doing business in the Caribbean is expensive from an energy perspective.” And noted: “A few years ago, at a CHTA Conference, it was said that the high cost of energy in the Caribbean is one of the biggest threats to the hotel industry. It represents probably the second highest expense on our budgets/ income statements, therefore it is only natural for you to try to gain savings when it comes to energy.”
After the workshop, Lake stressed that the AHTA intends to meet with government to discuss reducing import duties on energy saving bulbs and other energy efficient products.