Like most Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Saint Lucia faces special disadvantages associated with its small size, heavy dependence on imports, for example fossil fuels, electrical appliances including lighting equipment, high costs for energy, infrastructure, transportation and communication, growing populations and proneness to natural disasters. Adding to these challenges is the fact that 100% of the Island’s electricity is generated from fossil fuel while harnessing of renewable energy is at its infant stage with heavy reliance on grants from developed countries for development. These factors render the economies of Saint Lucia very vulnerable to forces outside its control – a condition which sometimes threatens its economic viability.

Noting our national challenges, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards has partnered with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) by participating in the Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (QSEC) Project.

This Strengthening of Quality for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (QSEC) Project is aimed at developing quality infrastructure services, especially in the areas of metrology, testing, inspection, certification and accreditation in the area of energy efficiency. Central to this project is the implementation of a regional pilot energy efficiency labelling program (in CARICOM and a parallel scheme in the Dominican Republic) designed to promote the use of energy-efficient household appliances and illuminants to include lighting equipment, refrigerators and air conditioners which will contribute to lower energy consumption.

The project is being implemented at the CARICOM level by participating CARICOM members (Saint Lucia, Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago) as well as the Dominican Republic. The lead implementing partners of the project are the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad (INDOCAL) from the Dominican Republic. The primary target group comprises consumers of energy in private households, in public institutions and in the private sector who benefit from a sustainable use of energy; as well as a secondary target group of retailers, importers and distributors of electrical appliances.

All retailers of refrigerating equipment, air conditioners or lighting equipment (LEDs and CFLs) are invited to participate in the project. Researchers have noted energy efficient equipment have a higher profit margin, better quality, consume less energy, longer lifespan and consumer perceive highly retailers of properly labeled appliances. Retailers are encouraged to register for an online meeting to discuss the roll out of the project by Wednesday June 24, 2020. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday June 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Register in advance for this meeting.