In the spirit of spreading ideas, we like to keep an eye on energy-efficient initiatives taking place around the world. From government backed programs to small businesses with big ideas, no endeavor is too small when it comes to promoting energy-efficiency in every industry.

Making headlines this week is the Caribbean Hotel Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Action – Advanced Program, also known as CHENACT-AP. Initially launched in 2011 at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, the CHENACT-AP is, according to Earth Conscious Magazine, a $2 million dollar grant designed to help the tourism sectors of Barbados, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Guyana in their quest to become more energy efficient.

Inter-American Development Bank partners with regional tourism organization to promote energy-efficiency

The CHENACT-AP is essentially an agreement signed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) that takes shape in the form of a 4 year project that will finance energy audits for hotels looking to cut costs by becoming more energy-efficient. It is predicted by the IDB that participants in the program will see an energy consumption drop of somewhere between 30-50% with improvements in areas such as lighting, water use and air conditioning, among others.

In an interesting quote from Mr.Albury, Undersecretary of the Jamaican Ministry of Tourism, it becomes clear that a business case exists in favour of program participation as there is no implication that hotels will be in a weaker financial position by making the switch to energy-efficient alternatives: “While sun, sand, and sea will attract visitors the high cost of doing business will drive them away.” Saving on energy-costs is not a short-term investment. Benefiting both hotel operators and customers in the long-term, the program is designed to lead to additional revenue on top of reduced energy costs.

According to the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, the program will target small and medium sized hotels (fewer than 400 rooms). In an effort to offset costs associated with investing in energy-efficiency, part of the CHENACT-AP program aims to finance a way in which individual hotels can sell carbon credits in the international carbon market in order to generate revenue and contribute to the implementation of energy-efficient changes in the workplace.

A focus on renewable energy and micro-generation

According to the IBD, the emphasis of the program will be on renewable energy and micro-generation. The co-signers hope the initiative will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being produced by hotels in the region, an industry with a bad rap when it comes to energy use. Hotels who participate in an audit funded by the program, can then submit proposals to both international and local financial institutions in order to achieve funding for implementation.

After the successful launch of the first phase of the CHENACT-AP in Barbados, according to the Jamaica Observer and GO-Jamaica (a tourism website), the program is now set to launch in Jamaica, an anticipated arrival by many in positions to predict the energy-savings that could, and will be had. This includes members of the government looking to see the tourism sector cut down on energy consumption and costs like  Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.  “I have taken note, with a great deal of optimism, the savings in the smaller hotels in Barbados. Electricity savings that range from 19.9 per cent to 26.3 per cent is worth celebrating and this augurs well for our own industry.”

Questions about the CHENACT-AP? Leave the below! Are you a hotel looking to become more energy-efficient? Check out these great rebates for energy-efficient equipment and try our interactive energy audit for personalized recommendations that can help your business save on energy costs.

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