CARICOM Closer to Developing Regulations to Improve Energy Performance in Buildings

Clean environment

A team of regional experts working to develop a building code that is energy efficient has reached consensus on a Draft Caribbean Application Document (CAD). The team has also endorsed a programme of work for the effective, efficient and timely completion of the code.

The steps were taken at the second meeting of the Regional Project Team (RPT) held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The RPT comprises energy efficiency and standards development experts that were nominated by National Bureaus of Standards from across the Region. Its mandate is to review and determine an optimal approach for adapting and developing an appropriate code for consideration as the Energy Efficiency Building Code (EEBC) for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The EEBC, which will address all aspects of energy use in buildings, is expected to reduce the dependency on imported fossil fuels within the Region by reducing buildings’ energy consumption. Furthermore, it can substantially contribute to compliance with domestic targets for sustainable energy use and global commitments for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction.

At its first meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, in March 2017, the RPT approved the use of the International Energy Conservation Code 2018 (IECC 2018) as the reference code for the Regional EEBC. Since then, the Draft CAD was developed, through cooperation between the CARICOM Secretariat and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The Draft CAD was reviewed by Committees established within the Member States that engaged key stakeholders. The revised draft of the CAD will now be open to the general public in Member States for validation.

TECHNICAL OPTIONS AND NATIONAL REALITIES

Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, attended one of the technical sessions of the second RPT meeting, he provided critical insight into a number of key issues, especially the legal requirements and socioeconomic considerations at national levels, of which the RPT should be mindful.

He indicated that the inclusive approach that was being pursued, with regards to the EEBC development, could contribute to a balancing of the technical options, which were being considered by the experts, with the national realities, and provide an easier path to country adoption.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ms. Sandy Peters-Phillips, said that energy conservation and implementation of an EEBC were critical to mitigate the impacts of climate change which posed great risks to Caribbean countries.

Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager, Energy at the CARICOM Secretariat, signaled the “collective intent of CARICOM to act in a collaborative and cohesive manner to give life an Energy Efficiency Building Code for the region”.

The development of the CARICOM EEBC is being supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, through the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Programme, as well as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Caribbean Buildings Project. •

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