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By Gemma Handy

More than 500 members of the public are to be surveyed as plans to help the country transition towards renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power, gather pace.

The government is set to embark on a nationwide household survey this month which is expected to last several weeks until early December.

Information will be garnered by phone, in keeping with Covid-19 guidelines, from people across the twin islands.

The move comes amid long-term plans to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

In addition to a cleaner environment, government also hopes harnessing the country’s abundant sunshine and wind will translate to lower electricity bills too.

Like many island nations, Antigua and Barbuda has long been largely reliant on imported fossil fuels, leaving it vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations, which in turn impact electricity rates.

“The survey is very important because it will help the Department of Environment and the government to better plan and make decisions around using and integrating renewable energy, especially for low-income and vulnerable households,” senior environment officer Daryl George told Observer.

“We all know Antigua and Barbuda is a small island developing state which is vulnerable to climate change, so we help to become a part of the solution by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. But we also hope to help a lot of persons to be able to save money by turning to renewable energy sources,” George added.

The survey seeks to assess the acceptability and affordability” of renewable energy. Its findings will help carve a path forward towards developing domestic and small-scale investment opportunities in the sector.

Call the Department of Environment on 462-4625 or email [email protected] for more information.

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