CARICOM launches new energy efficiency code

BSJ executive director, Yvonne Hall (second from left) with colleagues examining document

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Apr 1, CMC – Jamaica has launched a new initiative aimed at develop a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC).

The project is being undertaken by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).

The code is expected to address all aspects of energy use in buildings, including thermal performance requirements for walls, roofs and windows; day lighting lamps and luminaire performance; energy performance of chillers and air-distribution systems; the electrical wiring system; solar water heating; appliances; renewable energy; zoning of buildings, climate classification and building energy management systems.

BSJ executive director, Yvonne Hall, speaking at the launch of the regional project at a two-day regional workshop that ended on Friday, noted that a large number of CARICOM member states import a significant amount of their energy at a considerable cost, and the project is a necessary step to develop greater energy efficiency in the region.

“The region’s economies are susceptible to the repercussions of rapid and fairly frequent petroleum price increases, making it extremely difficult for our industries to be cost-competitive with our international markets,” she said.

“Energy-efficiency measures are highly cost-effective as an investment, and it is important that all stakeholders in the region re-examine the way in which energy is used and identify ways of using energy more efficiently.”

Hall said the BSJ is delighted to collaborate with CARICOM counterparts to develop an energy-efficiency building code for the region.

The two-day working meeting was attended by delegates from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The team is tasked with developing the REEBC as well as its associated application documents and minimum Energy Performance Standards for buildings.

It is estimated that more than half of the electricity produced is consumed by buildings, with 10 to 20 per cent of the total life-cycle energy consumed being used for the manufacture and assembly of building material, construction, maintenance, refurbishing and demolition.

Meanwhile, 80 to 90 per cent of the energy is used over the life of the building for heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation as well as house appliances.

When the CARICOM Energy Policy was approved in March 2013, a directive was issued to CROSQ to commence the development of standards for energy efficiency for appliances and the development of a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code.

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