Oh, island in the sun

Does anybody else feel as if they work just to pay utility bills? Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the general idea. We want especially to single out the Jamaica Public Service and their ever-escalating utility rates. In April, yet again JPS applied to Office of Utilities Regulation for rate review due to inflation. In Jamaican parlance, “Dem jus a di out we yeye”.

So we are pleased that Solamon Energy is looking to introduce solar farms and wind technology to Jamaica in a big way. Company executives will be meeting with government officials and business leaders to discuss turning unused bauxite mines into solar farms to generate electricity for homes and businesses. The aim is to lessen Jamaica’s dependence on fossil fuel and foreign companies (aka JPS).

It’s a long time coming and we have no shortage of this natural resource. In Jamaica, there are already many homes and business with solar panels but we have not adopted alternative energy in a big way as in Barbados, for instance, where solar panels are a standard feature of most new homes.

We talk a lot about “Going Green”; it’s the new buzz phrase, especially for local businesses. And let’s give kudos where due. These companies have done much to change people’s attitude towards the environment and engender greater respect for the natural resources that sustain us. The reality is, however, that it is going to take more than eco tips to reduce our JPS bills and dependence on foreign oil.

So here’s to Solamon and all the other alternative energy companies that are looking to do business in Jamaica. Let’s embrace them in a big way. The initial outlay for energy saving equipment may be big, but it pays for itself over the years. Besides, just the pleasure of seeing JPS get some stiff competition is enough of a reason to invest in solar energy.