CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean is actively supporting the government of Saint Lucia as the country transitions from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, including solar and geothermal.
In this context, ECLAC Caribbean’s economic affairs officer, Willard Phillips, participated in a consultation process on February 25, on the development of a legal framework for the establishment of a National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC), which draws on the technical work carried out by ECLAC in Saint Lucia over the past few years. Also attending were senior policymakers and energy stakeholders in Saint Lucia.
The consultation process was also aimed at establishing guidelines for ensuring minimum energy performance standards for energy-using products and services. These include compulsory labelling of products, establishing energy efficient building schemes, ensuring energy audits and energy management systems, encouraging the purchase of high energy efficiency products by the public sector, promoting energy conservation, reducing the use of fossil fuels, providing customer information and empowerment, and creating a penalty mechanism for non-compliance.
ECLAC Caribbean offered technical insight on energy efficiency and renewable energy, with a view to enhancing Saint Lucia’s capacity to create improved financing products in order to attract investment that will encourage the development of the energy sector in the country.
According to its National Energy Policy (NEP), Saint Lucia aims to generate up to 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020. In addition, in order to achieve a well-balanced investor and consumer friendly energy sector, the government is aiming in the coming months, to introduce the NURC, as a multi-sector, independent agency to monitor and regulate electricity and water consumption.