Jamaican Small Businesses Going Green through New DBJ Programme

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - June 22, 2012

Above: DBJ Managing Director Milverton Reynolds, DBJ Project Coordinator Christopher Brown, Minister of State Julian Robinson and CAC 2000’s Steven Marston

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaican small businesses are getting a green boost thanks to a new project from the Development Bank of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The project, called GreenBiz, aims to provide technical and financial assistance in energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy to small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Right now, 10 percent of our energy is generated by renewable sources,” said Minister of State Julian Robinson, who called the move a “significant initiative that will boost both energy conservation and the use of renewable energies.”

“We are aiming, by 2030, to move that to 30 percent, because as a country we can’t continue to depend on the vagaries of what happens on the world oil markets,” said Robinson, who is Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.

DBJ Energy Project Manager Christopher Brown said small and medium-sized enterprises are “hit hard by high energy costs and they can’t stay competitive.”

Under the new project, they will be able to access environmentally-friendly and cost-effective sources of power, saving money in the process.

The IDB gave a $593,000 grant for the project, while the DBJ contributed $214,000.

It has three components: a study to determine demand for energy efficiency and green energy sources; a training programme for certified energy managers who could assess the energy needs of prospective buyers and a public education campaign through the use of demonstration projects.

The first two phases have already been completed.

“The issue of energy is probably the number one issue for individuals, householders and businesses, small and large, because so much of the operating cost goes into paying that energy bill,” Robinson said.

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