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CEDA and BELTRAIDE hosts Energy Management Training for small busineses Print E-mail
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Friday, 10 May 2019 00:00

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) in collaboration with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) facilitated a two-day Energy Auditing Management Training Course for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on May 6 and 7, 2019 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina.  The workshop had the participation from representatives of various MSMEs and support agencies with the objective of creating an informed and equipped community of companies.

At the end of the workshop, MSMEs should be able to effectively manage their energy usage, make sustainable decisions to improve profitability and use energy efficiency measures to improve their competitiveness regionally and internationally. The specific objectives of the workshop delivered through presentations and small group discussions which allowed participants to understand the role of energy in businesses; learn how to use tools to optimize energy resources; understand how renewable energy technologies work; learn about relevant standards and services; learn about energy efficiency and conservation; understand how to monitor performance; and learn how to effectively monitor energy consumption.

Dr. Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director at BELTRAIDE, says that completing an energy audit will potentially lead to greater efficiency and, therefore, less wastage and greater profit. One possible way to reduce energy consumption, which is the overall goal, is to use LED lights. Dr. Almendarez says that while the LED lights can be more costly to purchase, the overall savings are paramount. Another way to reduce the consumption of energy is using timers of lights, air condition units, and the like. Dr. Almendarez says that a focus on energy consumption has more than just a financial benefit and extends its benefits beyond businesses. One thing that Belize prides itself on is its minimal carbon footprint and by reducing our overall energy consumption, we can maintain that pride. It can also further extend into our contribution to climate change. “What it creates overall, is business efficiency and business efficiency means greater productivity.”

Damie Sinanan, Manager of Competitiveness and Export Promotion at CEDA, made presentations to the MSMEs at the training. CEDA, who sponsored the training in collaboration with BELTRAIDE and the European Union (EU), sees energy management as an important step in becoming a competitive business. Efficiency plays right into being profitable and competitive and in the workshop, MSMEs took a critical look at their energy consumption. Their overall goal was to bring down their costs in order to yield a greater profit.

The workshop has already been carried out in St. Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda and will be taken to Trinidad. After the first rounds of workshop, according to Sinanan, companies have used the knowledge gained as well as CEDA’s online auditing tool to really track their energy consumption. “They have identified areas in which they can save energy and that has benefits not only for them but for the environment as well.”

Sinanan says that the workshop was oversubscribed and if the funding allows, they will be back for a second workshop.