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ENERGY MANAGEMENT MUST HAVE AS MUCH PRECEDENCE AS PRODUCTION PRIORITIES

International Energy Management Specialist

GMSA/IDB Energy Efficiency Project

Energy expenditure is believed to account for more than 30 percent of the average Guyanese company’s overheads in any given month.  Manufacturers in almost every category of industry, whether metal work, food production, infrastructural and vehicle repairs, household artifacts or building accessories, have struggled with high energy costs for decades.
The Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) has been advocating at the highest levels in Guyana for reductions and concessions for electricity charges for power from the national grid as well as the cost of fuel for power generators, mostly to find solutions to keep manufacturers in operation.The Association found a solution some two years ago and made the bold decision to embrace the concept of Energy Management.  A finely defined strategy was crafted to promote better Energy Management and encourage companies to make the most efficient use of their installed applications, whether they receive power from the national grid or they self-generate.  The element of effective Energy Conservation was added to derive a comprehensive Energy Management Strategy programme that will ultimately be morphed into a national model applicable to the entire business sector.
GMSA then approached the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) for assistance with funding.  The Bank approved and the jointly funded project (IDB 70%, GMSA 30%) was signed into being on 6th June 2012.Project Administrator, Clement Duncan who is also responsible for Trade and Investment on the GMSA’s Board of Directors, said that this Energy Efficiency/Management Project is critical to the development of enterprises in Guyana since it directly addresses the often contentious issue of high energy costs.  He specifically designed it to sensitize companies especially in the Manufacturing and Services Sectors to the best means of measuring and managing their energy distribution equipment/components and consumption, to make the most efficient use of their Energy applications and simultaneously, employ the most effective methods of Energy Conservation.

The project retained the services of two of the Caribbean’s most prolific Energy Management Consultants to carry out the key elements – the Energy Efficiency Ratings Survey and Energy Audit.  Both consultants, Mr. Eaton Haughton and Dr. Carl Duncan, expressed the view that there is a dearth of correct information around the Caribbean that would improve general awareness and prevent companies from being misled into believing that new equipment could reduce their high energy costs.

“There are many easy ways to measure, monitor and reduce energy usage, and to harmonize conventional systems with renewable sources,” said the Energy Audit consultant, Dr. Carl Duncan, a Fellow of CIDA, IDB and the UK Government.  He is highly trained in Power Station Operation and Maintenance, and Non-Conventional Electricity Generation and his areas of expertise include 1811-WA Auditing & Review of Regulated Utilities, tariff setting and regulating Electric and Water Utilities.  He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial and Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Business Administration.

Over the past 25 years, the Energy Ratings Survey consultant, Eaton Haughton, owner of an Electrical Services Company (ESCo) in Jamaica, has completed or contributed to several internationally funded projects for the governments and private sectors of Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  He has installed hospital solar water heating systems in Grenada and conducted energy audits and energy services projects for the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), the University of the West Indies and the CARICOM Headquarters here in Guyana.
“Energy Efficiency is paramount,” they both stated.   During his Q2 2013 intervention Haughton noted that “when a company’s energy management system is geared towards efficient consumption, that company will save itself the expense of investing in renewable energy capital.”

According to Dr. Duncan, business owners across the region and in Central America are beginning to understand that their energy usage must remain a key agenda item in day-to-day deliberations, stressing that “energy has to be managed in the same way as finance, production and other aspects of business”.

The good news, he said, is that the momentum is picking up in CARICOM countries.  Jamaica, Barbados and some countries in the Eastern Caribbean have already developed policy frameworks that are to be ratified by their heads of state.  “What seems to be lacking is the commitment from leaders in the public and private sectors to embrace conservation, employ renewable sources, and implement wide ranging education programmes that highlight the real monetary benefits.”  It is extremely important that business leaders buy in to the concept of energy management, Dr. Duncan added.

During his current 20-day intervention, the specialist consultant visited the project’s pilot companies and conducted on-the-job training sessions at each location for engineering and finance operatives.  He was also able to make significant recommendations for changes in equipment and fuel usage among other things after surveying the facilities and reviewing the data gathered by the measuring instruments.  His initial calculations indicate that the largest energy user in the group of pilot companies could save at least 5 percent of their annual energy cost which could accrue to an estimated US$250,000 per annum if certain efficiency measures are adopted.

The pilot companies had been encouraged to procure these measuring instruments at the beginning of the Energy Ratings Survey that had extended from November 2012 to May 2013.  Two of the five pilot companies originally selected to represent the major sub-sectors that fall under the GMSA’s purview fell out of the project, but three others were added – Sterling Products Ltd. representing the agro-processing sub-sector, Caribbean Containers which represents the Packaging sub-sector, and Demerara Mutual Life Insurance Company representing the Services sector. The remaining pilots are the National Milling Co. (NAMILCO), the Edward B. Beharry Group and Brass Aluminium & Cast Iron Foundry (BACIF).
At the recent workshop titled “Measuring for Efficient Energy Management” Dr. Duncan gave kudos to the GMSA for spearheading Guyana’s push towards effective, efficient energy management in business places.  He contended that with the application of energy measuring equipment, the auditing of information via online systems and constant monitoring, businesses would begin to really manage their consumption and develop patterns aimed at conservation.

Production priorities, he said, have traditionally taken precedence over most other aspects of business, but the positive effects on the bottom line of any company that takes its energy management seriously would be worth it.

THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECT

The ultimate objective of this project is to guide Guyanese enterprises across the business spectrum towards effectively managing their energy costs through the application of conservation methodologies, technological adaptations and Best Practice techniques.

This Project was designed to address three (3) distinct but interrelated components – Energy Conservation, Energy Consumption and Alternative Energy sources and Awareness.  All interventions, according to the Terms of Reference, will comply with the regulatory framework of the National Energy Policy, and the GMSA will continue to work closely with the Government of Guyana though the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).

The first phase, an Energy Efficiency Ratings Study was to collect baseline data for Lighting Equipment & Accessories, Heating& Cooling Equipment, Motorized Drives and other major energy consuming and power conductivity assets to establish a data baseline showing Consumption, Utilization and Cost patterns.  This study was followed immediately in June with an Energy Audit involving live In-Plant measurements to derive variance analyses between actual and rated consumption levels. With all data combined, recommendations will be made for corrective actions, be they technological, structural or procedural.

According to the project designer and Administrator, Clement Duncan, The data derived from the two studies and workshops will be morphed into a national business model that will be applicable to the wide spectrum of enterprises in the Guyanese business community.

The Awareness and Sensitization aspects of the GMSA/IDB Energy Efficiency project include three (3) Workshops, the second of which was held on Thursday 4th July 2013.  The final workshop scheduled for September 2013 has been designed specifically for company executives and decision makers in the Financial sector who are crucial to this new drive to introduce new methods of energy management and spearhead the evolution of renewable energy sources in Guyana.

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