#Jamaica, December 29, 2017 – Kingston – Winner of the first Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Energy Champion Competition, Ms. Marcia Higgins, is calling on Jamaicans to focus more on energy efficiency and conservation. She says this will help the country to reduce the quantity of oil it imports for energy consumption.
Speaking with JIS News after being announced the first winner of the competition on December 18 at the PCJ’s head office in Kingston, Ms. Higgins said she heeded the call by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology for persons to practice energy efficiency and conservation, thus she was able to win the competition. The Energy Champion Competition was staged through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP), which has a mandate to promote the nation’s energy transformation.
Currently, only students and members of the public sector are allowed to submit entries, and those interested in entering can do so by posting their energy-conservation activities on the Facebook page – ‘Ease Up on Energy’. Ms. Higgins, who is the Operations Manager at The Postal Corporation of Jamaica, entered by posting about her device, which has an automated timer that turns itself on and off, and her refrigerator on and off between set hours.
“When I saw the contest on Facebook, I rattled my brain as to what I could do to enter. I saw a video of someone turning off the light, then I decided to show something that everybody should try and do. The fridge guard turns off the refrigerator and then it comes on at a time that you determine,” she said.
“My fridge guard turns off at 11:00 p.m. and turns on at 5:30 a.m., so for seven hours, I will be saving energy, and that would have been energy lost. So far, I am seeing a $2,000-per-month reduction in my JPS bill,” Ms. Higgins said.
She told JIS News that she tried to be innovative and different with her entry and not incorporate a traditional energy conservation activity, so that she could have a better chance of winning.
Ms. Higgins said she is very passionate about energy conservation. “Energy to me means money that could have been used for something else, so I’m very passionate about anything that allows me to save money,” she added.
During the final stage of the competition at PCJ, Ms. Higgins was given the opportunity to dip into a bag and select the prize valued at $40,000 – a smartwatch, an energy basket including an LED desk lamp, energy bulbs, a smartswitch or a Samsung Galaxy tablet. She dipped and selected the tablet. “I’m totally excited,” the public-sector employee, who has been working with The Postal Corporation of Jamaica for the past 17 years, said. Ms. Higgins was presented with her tablet by Project Manager, PCJ, Ms. Jody Grizzle.
In her address, Ms. Grizzle encouraged more qualified Jamaicans to enter the competition, as there are more prizes to be won in upcoming months by nine persons.
“The Energy Champion Competition is about reducing energy consumption, and reducing the amount of money spent on paying high energy bills in the public sector,” she said.
“The aim of the competition is to promote behaviour change among public-sector workers, and once we’ve built the capacity of our public-sector workers, they will take these same strategies into their homes and throughout Jamaica. We will improve our chances of achieving a reduction in electricity consumption and save on high energy and fuel costs,” Ms. Grizzle added.
According to the Project Manager, the PCJ believes that when you want to change behaviour, this is a very good strategy to increase the participation and interest of your target population.
“It is an easy activity to do to build interest and promote our objectives. We want to encourage all public-sector workers, if your organisation is supported by funds from the Consolidated Fund, to go on Facebook, log on to the ‘Ease Up on Energy’ webpage, and do a creative action to show and demonstrate your interest and ability to save energy,” Ms. Grizzle said.
By: Ainsworth Morris (JIS)