Cayman receives EU grant to improve energy efficiency

| 18/07/2022 | 26 Comments
Representatives of the CIG, RESEMBID, OfReg, UCCI, the National Energy Policy Council and Governor Martyn Roper

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government will be using a European Union grant of more than €1.2 million (around CI$1 million) to improve the energy efficiency of government buildings and National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) homes. The funds, awarded by the Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID), will be used by the new Cayman Islands Energy Efficiency Programme to facilitate retrofits for existing public sector buildings and affordable homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs.

Premier and Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Wayne Panton said the programme would reduce burdensome electricity costs for 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.

Panton congratulated the ministry team, particularly Senior Policy Advisor for Energy Kristen Smith, who was instrumental in securing this award. Smith noted that in addition to the benefits of energy, emissions and financial savings, the projects aim to build Cayman’s 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,” she 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 programme will include energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits, as well as the installation of renewable energy for NHDT homes from the 100kw CORE allocation designated to the NHDT in 2020. Both aspects of the programme include training components, establishing minimum energy efficiency standards for new builds, and an assessment of the best financing mechanisms to support the retrofit of additional public sector buildings and residential buildings.

Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures are complementary tactics that contribute to a more sustainable Cayman.

“Reducing electricity consumption is essential to meeting global goals to combat climate change and lower emissions,” she said. “These programmes will be a step in the right direction towards meeting these objectives. Electricity supply and consumption account 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.”

RESEMBID Sustainable Energy Programme Manager 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 programme and attend 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 mobilising existing frameworks and undertaking substantive action,” Prescod said. “Through a residential programme and public sector building retrofit programme, 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.”

RESEMBID is funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, the development cooperation agency of the Government of France, which supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs): Aruba, Anguilla, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Barthelemy, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos.

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Category: Energy, Science & Nature

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why would a for profit energy supplier invest in technology that reduces their revenue ?
    Money will go to a few advisers and that’s it.
    Change van only come from the consumes.

  2. BLVCKLISTED says:

    Sounds good… nothing will ever come to fruition in true CIG fashion though.

    Nice photo, I guess.

    • Crab Hunter says:

      So sad that some people will just sit there and criticise whenever something positive occurs.
      Too bad they can’t contribute anything meaningful.
      You’re welcome to try making a positive difference, but it would require effort.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Until the elephant(s) in the room i.e. CUC, their military wing OfReg, and their political wing, Cabinet, are dealt with nothing will happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true. In 30 years CUC has done practically nothing to wean itself off of diesel fuel generation.

    • Noname says:

      I wholeheartedly agree on this part. Designing a home around efficiency or sustainability on the island is pretty much in its infancy at best!

      It took several years to get permits to modify and install our present system which IMHO is an embarrassment at best. BCU , Ofreg made the process as aggravating as possible .

      Nowadays though the process shall be a wee bit easier for existing constructions but not by much yet . The bigger issue is that there are very very few solutions if you don’t want to deal with the CORE program which at the time of writing isn’t accepting more capacity , keep in mind that there is only that much that can be injected into cayman’s very spotty electrical grid without updating CUC’s infrastructure (which I think isn’t happening any time soon , given CUC’s very resistance and extremely restrictive views towards renewable energies).

      As previously posted , to reach any kind of efficacy the CORE programs capacity per household should at the very least be 30KW , the present 10 KW limit is yet another way that CUC limits rooftop solar expansion.

      Combine that with the intellectual quantic void or shortsightedness of our policy makers and you are down to your own devices as to improving the efficiency of your home / business.

      The present situation won’t be solved by grants or decisions by committees which are only interested in maintaining the status quo , especially since the regulators on island as captive as can be from the providers.

      The 🤡🚗 (clown car) at Ofreg is due for a detailed traffic stop search, sobriety test, and deep inspection, what has been decided here is just an incentive (which will undoubtedly come with many strings attached) that will at best provide the man hours to the application of yet another layer of paint to hide the rust!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very embarrassing, this should have been done years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right? Settling the energy-inefficient utility bills with our public money hasn’t yet been sufficient inducement, we have to ask the EU for a million bucks to really get going?!?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just in time for some new appliances come election time. I need a wine fridge, energy efficient of course. Thanks

  6. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone bother to read all of the strings attached?

    • watcher says:

      Yes. Someone did. 1.2M may be considered a reasonable expenditure for the intel they will gather. Remember, currently the EU is only friend of EU members.

      What is the EU benefit? Altruistic good? I doubt it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Spray foam insulation is a con. My landlord spent thousands installing it on the promise of lower energy costs. The results were zilch. She is a multi generational Caymanian, a wonderful woman, who wanted to help her tenants. I recently did a market study in Cayman , comparing it to other Caribbean islands with similar construction costs. 20%;elsewhere but 50% or more in Cayman. Same shipping and supply costs, similar prices of product and real estate. Pirates use any excuse.

    • Anonymous says:

      Something strange then. I have had that insulation in a house and apt. Made a great difference in both cases. Also had efficient and well maintained A/C. Lower energy costs requires several components.

    • Anonymous says:

      I got a new AC at the same time as insulation. My bill was $120/month last month.

    • Know a con when you see one says:

      Many energy saving materials and methods seem like a con if not applied or employed properly. Just like the classic example of radiant barrier foil/bubble wrap installed on many roofs in Cayman. Contractors in most cases skinned it across joists without any air space between it and ply decking. This material needs an air gap, eave vent and ridge/gable vents to work properly. A vented attic also needs a vapour barrier between attic space and living space below. There are also special considerations for non vented attic spaces in the case of a spray foamed one. All common sense to the very few who grasp the concept.

  8. Colour me impressed says:

    This is quite an achievement.
    Congrats to all involved. I’m happy to see our little island taking on these initiatives and benefitting the quality of life for our residents.
    As the saying goes: “Think Globally and Act Locally”
    This is a great start and I look forward to see it grow.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this a hot tub time machine EU grant? Does anyone else recall the UK withdrawing from the European Union at 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020? Can we ask them for a sports Almanac for 2023-2050? Thanks.

  10. Say it like it is says:

    The poor Governor is dwarfed by the substantial presence of our male Govt male representatives.

    • Sad says:

      Sadly they aren’t dwarfing anyone with their intellect.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice to see him in a suit and tie for a change.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor is short but he’s a healthy specimen, running regularly and staying fit. The Government male representatives have obviously been saving their energy reserves but probably time they shed that.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can some of the funds for NHDT be diverted like the soil was?


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