The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Caribbean Clean Energy Program (CARCEP) signed a collaboration agreement with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in a landmark move to bolster energy efficiency in the Caribbean hotel sector, the largest electricity consumer sector in the region. The agreement, which was signed during the official ceremony of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) in Puerto Rico, defines the joint actions to be taken to effectively address the sector’s needs primarily in the areas of energy policy reform, research and capacity development.
This initiative is largely directed at beneficiary countries under USAID CARCEP’s mandate – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Hotel owners in these nations will be equipped with access to technical tools, training and other resources to help them understand and adopt energy efficiency best-practices to reduce their energy consumption.
This agreement symbolizes the start of what will become a wider catalytic benefit for sustainable growth in the region as reductions in energy consumption will deliver environmental benefits as well as improve regional economic competitiveness. There are approximately 2,500 hotels that can profit from this initiative. “CHENACT touched more than 150 hotels in the region. Through USAID CARCEP, we will be able to significantly expand the number of hotels and countries which can benefit from the program’s resources. Working with CHTA’s network of national hotel and tourism associations throughout the region, and with USAID CARCEP’s team, we look forward to advancing new opportunities for our industry and the region. Sound energy savings initiatives by hoteliers make good business sense and protect our rich natural resources which are an essential part of our touristic appeal,” Comito declared.
Already, the partnership has resulted in the launch of an energy benchmarking tool that followed the agreement signing at the forum. The tool, which was developed by USAID CARCEP, will allow hotel operators to analyze their electricity, fossil fuel and water usage; compare the energy and water intensity with similar hotels in their area; and learn about energy and water efficiency strategies they can employ to reduce hotel operating costs.
To support ease of access the tool will be housed on CHTA’s website, a strategic decision to ensure sustainability after USAID CARCEP’s implementation period ends in 2020. Hotel owners who are members of CHTA, including those located in non-beneficiary USAID CARCEP nations, will be able to access this tool at no cost allowing them to gain valuable insight that can ultimately help them learn how best to maximize their return on investments. The tool can highlight abnormal energy and water demands and unearth opportunities for savings and investments.
The next step is the roll out of USAID CARCEP’s training program in each beneficiary country. The first is scheduled to take place in Jamaica in November 2016 and is aimed at demonstrating how to use the tool as well as how to implement energy saving measures at hotels and resorts. For more information on accessing the tool or registering for the training sessions, interested persons are advised to visit CHTA’s website at www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com or contact John Marcocchio via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.