Jamaica on Track for Reduction in Energy Bill by 2016


Jamaica remains on track to reduce its energy bill by 2016, says Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell.


He noted that this will be achieved through several noteworthy measures including the establishment of a 360-megawatt power plant.


The power plant is a critical component of the Government’s plans to reduce energy cost from the current rate of US$0.42 cents per kilowatt hour.


“That project is on stream, it’s on target; we are making sure that not a day slips and that come January 2016, we will see a significant reduction of more than 30 per cent in the price of electric power,” Mr. Paulwell said.


He was speaking on Friday, January 3, at the official launch of the ‘Joie De Vie’ Wellness Festival at the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) Overtime Lounge in Kingston.


Minister Paulwell informed that there has been a “tremendous uptake” by Jamaicans in the use of renewable energy.


“People now understand the worth of our sunshine, of our wind, and even of our rivers, and more and more Jamaicans are accessing the tremendous policy initiatives to enable our people to participate in generating their own electricity,” he stated.


The policy initiatives include loan funding and the removal of taxes on all solar equipment including batteries. These measures, Minister Paulwell said, “will enable our people to participate in generating their own electricity and to sell it back to the grid.”


“I was quite amazed last year, just looking at some of the reports of the lowering in demand for electricity, and it has come about not only because people can’t afford to pay for it but there has been a massive project to educate Jamaicans to conserve and be more efficient users,” he said.


In the meantime, Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Hedley, lauded the organizers of the ‘Joie De Vie’ Wellness Festival and encouraged Jamaicans to participate in the event, which is scheduled for February 1-2 at Fort Clarence Beach in St. Catherine.


Co-organizer of the wellness festival, Dr. Ijah Thompson, informed that over 50 companies have already signed up to take part.


He said the event will include wellness exhibits and talks, as well as beach volleyball and football; military style obstacle course; five and 10k run/walk; 10 and 15k cyclethon; and a swim challenge. These will be followed by a sweat beach party.


Persons interested in participating are being asked to register in teams for free on January 7 at


‘Joie de vie’ is a variation of the French phrase ‘Joie de Vivre’ meaning ‘joy of living’.