Hotel industry in The Bahamas to improve energy efficiency in hotels

The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association and Ministry of Tourism launch major energy efficiency program for hotels with support from IDB and International Partners

Hoteliers from throughout The Bahamas attended the launch of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action-Advanced Program (CHENACT-AP).

The objective of the CHENACT-AP, in The Bahamas, is to improve the competitiveness of small and medium sized hotels through improved use of energy, with the emphasis on renewable energy and micro-generation. Additionally, there will be positive impacts to the environment in terms of reductions in greenhouse gases and ozone layer depletion.

The first phase of the Program will involve energy audits of participating hotels and recommendations on how to improve energy savings. The energy audits will then be transformed into financial proposals that could be presented to international or local financial institutions to obtain funding for implementation. The Program will fund energy audits up to a total amount of US$1 million for participating hotels in The Bahamas.

The keynote speakers expressed their support to programs of this nature. The CHENACT–AP directed at helping the small- and medium-sized hotels (hotels with fewer than 400 rooms) - to achieve better financial sustainability and promote energy conservation in their operations.

“Energy-related costs represent 15 to 20 percent of a hotel’s operating budget; therefore, the program is timely and welcomed”, said Mr. Glenn Sampert, Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort. “There is every reason to believe that this is not going to change by itself. It will take more aggressive and determined efficiency and conservation measures by hotels, policies which encourage the use of energy-saving equipment, and bold new approaches to energy generation”, he added.

Mr. Albury, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Tourism stated that the country “cannot afford for the cost of energy to price us out of the market” and continued to say, “while sun, sand, and sea will attract visitors, the high cost of doing business will drive them away.”

The Honorable Kenred Dorsett M.P., Minister of Environment and Housing, declared his full support of the Program by explaining how his Ministry and the Government will support the objectives of CHENACT-AP with concrete actions.

The CHENACT-AP is also scheduled to be launched in Jamaica this month. The first phase of the CHENACT was initially executed in Barbados. The project will aim to bundle the carbon emission reductions (CERs) from all three countries, The Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica, as a result of the energy efficiency measures and renewable energy applications. The project will develop a Program of Activities as climate finance instruments to bundle the CHENACT-AP reduced emissions and sell these in the international carbon markets.

The audience included the Bahamas Hotel Association’s local and foreign hotel owners and managers interested in participating in the Program, as well as the General Manager of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Mr. Kevin Basden; Manager of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution, Dr. Iva Dahl; engineers, energy saving suppliers and other individuals.

The Program is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and it is being executed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) with the technical support of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) and it is also sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), the Center for Development of Enterprise (CDE), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).