Government Still Committed to Affordable Energy Solution, PM Tells Partnership Council


Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has reiterated government’s commitment to an affordable electricity rate for manufacturers and residential users.


Speaking today at a meeting of the Partnership Council at Jamaica House, the Prime Minister said the Enterprise Team being put in place will be well suited to deal with large investment projects like the 381 megawatt electricity generating plant and its mandate is to ensure electricity is provided to Jamaicans at an affordable rate.


The Council expressed appreciation at the decision of the Prime Minister to halt the process following concerns raised by the public describing the action as a “recognition of the need for consensus building on an important national objective.”


The Partnership Council was provided with an update on Government’s Energy Policy by Minister Phillip Paulwell which he said emphasized energy diversification and conservation. He told the meeting that both the World Bank and Inter American Development Bank were supporting the thrust and that already a major effort was underway to reduce government’s $14 billion electricity bill through the application of control films, replacement of bulbs, replacement of inefficient A/C units and cool roofing. A conservation public education programme is also to begin shortly.


The Partnership Council underscored the need to use indigenous sources of energy noting that by continuing to import solutions, the country would always be confronted with an energy problem.


The Partnership Council comprises representatives of government, opposition, private sector, trade unions and civil society under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. It was established under the Partnership for Jamaica agreement reaffirming principles of dialogue and consensus in national development issues.