The Caribbean Development Bank and the USAID Caribbean Clean Energy
Program partner with the Barbados Renewable Energy Association in the
execution of a Regional Certified Energy Manager Program
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with assistance from the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund, and the USAID Caribbean Clean Energy Program (CARCEP), in partnership with the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA), on Monday, May 7, launched the Regional Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Training and Capacity Building Program in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The Certified Energy Manager (CEM) designation, a US-based international certification offered through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), has become the international industry standard for practitioners operating as energy managers, and this is also the case in the Caribbean.
CDB and USAID (CARCEP) have identified capacity strengthening and awareness building as critical areas for the transformation of the energy sector, and for their support, with the deficit in certified energy managers requiring early attention.
“In CDB’s energy efficiency work, we have seen and felt the need for regional certified energy management specialists, both for the conduct of quality, investment-grade audits and for energy management systems that improve the sustainability of an investment,” Mrs. Tessa Williams-Robertson, Head, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Unit, CDB said during her opening remarks.
“Once a building is retrofitted, we need to manage and monitor the results of the initiatives.
How are our buildings performing on the energy front? How has our energy use culture changed? Building awareness of how we consume energy, and changing the behaviour of our people to encourage smart relationships with energy, are all part of our mission,” she said.
Referencing observations made during the early stages of USAID CARCEP’s scoping mission in the Caribbean, Mr. John Marcocchio, Energy Efficiency Promotion Specialist, USAID CARCEP said, “The lack of trained energy managers throughout the Region is a major impediment to implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Making available this first 2 regional CEM training program will go a long way toward addressing this deficiency. Having CEMs in every country in the region will provide a much-needed resource to assist the private sector, which will open the door for financial Institutions to support these projects, advance the region’s adoption of sustainable sources of energy, and reduce dependency on fossil fuels,” Marcocchio
The Regional Certified Energy Manager Program is an intensive five-day classroom training program involving 25 participants, including five females, from across nine regional member states – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. Two webinars were held in advance to prepare participants for the formal training. Upon completion of the training course, the CEM examination will be administered.
The Jamaica Society of Energy Engineers (JSEE) will deliver the training, led by its President, Mr.Owen Gunning. JSEE is the only regional accredited chapter member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and, accordingly, are able to conduct training and examination for the CEM credential.
In closing, Ms. Meshia Clarke, Executive Director, BREA thanked the development partners “for their vision and foresight in recognizing the importance of such a program and providing the necessary funding support,” but underscored the need for governments to move with haste, to take the actions necessary to accelerate growth and penetration of renewables.
Prior to this intervention, outside of Jamaica, the CEM certification training was offered once in the region and targeted only electric utility staff.