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Energy audit slated to improve competitiveness of hotels

SCIESKA ADDERLEY
Guardian Business Reporter
scieska@nasguard.com

Published: Feb 18, 2013

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Small and medium-sized hotels throughout The Bahamas will be participating in a $1 million energy audit in an effort to improve their competitiveness via the improved use of energy.

Earlier this month, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), the Ministry of Tourism, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action Advanced Program (CHENACT-AP), which focuses on renewable energy and micro-generation.  Hoteliers from throughout The Bahamas attended that launch.

The program’s first phase will reportedly involve energy audits of participating hotels and recommendations on how to improve energy savings.  Those audits are expected to be transformed into financial proposals that could be presented to local or international financial institutions to obtain funding for implementation.

A total of US$1 million will be allocated for the energy audits the hotels in The Bahamas will participate in.  The IDB will fund the project.

A release on the launch issued late last week said “there will be positive impacts to the environment in terms of reductions in greenhouse gases and ozone layer depletion,” as a result of the audit.

The CHENACT-AP is aimed at assisting hotels with fewer than 400 rooms “achieve better financial sustainability and promote energy conservation in their operations,” noted the release.

The CHENACT-AP will launch in Jamaica this month and was initially executed in Barbados.  The project will aim to bundle the carbon emission reductions (CERs) from all three countries: The Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica.

The program is funded by the IDB and is being executed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) with the technical support of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST).  It is sponsored by the Center for Development of Enterprise (CDE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Last month, executives at the Grand Isle Resort on Exuma revealed to Guardian Business that lower electricity costs are needed to achieve meaningful success in the tourism industry.

“It’s very expensive to operate in The Bahamas.  We feel very directly the cost of electricity.  Someone needs to look into that and why that has to be.  Our homeowners constantly have to invest in the place to keep it running.  However, so far all of our homeowners feel it has been a good investment,” according to Grant Castle, the resort’s executive director.


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