On August 25, BUN-CA carried out the PEER wrap-up informational Workshop aimed at sharing the results of activities carried out in Costa Rica in the last six years, of this regional program implemented by the United Nations United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with core funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The official opening was presented by the Deputy Minister of Energy, Environment and Telecommunications, Mr. Andrei Bourrouet, the Resident Coordinator of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms. Luiza Carvalho, HIVOS Regional Director, Ms. Dineke Oudenalder van den, and the President of BUN-CA Foundation, Mr. James Hirsch.
In order to share the experience developed in the area of energy efficiency in Central America, with particular emphasis in Costa Rica, the following speakers were invited to submit presentations of the main outcomes of PEER: Ph.D. Delva Batista, Dean of Technological University of Panama (UTP), Mr. Carlos Saade, Director of the Salvadoran Association of Industries (ASI) and Mr. Carlos Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Institute of Technical Standards of Costa Rica (INTECO), who are also official members of the Steering Committee, as well as hotel developer, Mr. Vladimir Sanchez. They all presented their experience of working together with BUN-CA and the scope of activities carried out in their specific areas of work.
The audience was attended by national policy makers, representatives of co-financers, private entrepreneurs, energy efficiency technology suppliers, and from the academia and financial sectors. This event also had wide press coverage.
The Regional Energy Efficiency Project for Industrial and Commercial Sectors in Central America (PEER), implemented in the Isthmus since 2005, has accounted a reduction in electricity consumption of about 22,066 MWh in the 122 enterprises that have actively participated in this initiative, implemented in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, the target countries of PEER.
Over the past six years, PEER also accounts energy efficiency investments for about US$6.5 million dollars, and a mitigation, to date, of about 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
As presented by José María Blanco, Director of BUN-CA, the PEER initiative during its formulation in 2005 aimed at detonating energy efficiency markets around the end-use electricity mainly for lighting, electric motors, commercial refrigeration and air conditioners, while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases produced by thermal power generation in the interconnected systems in the region. In this regard we have been successful because it exceeds the amount of tons reduced, and moreover, we managed to sow the seed that the efficient use of electricity is an excellent business, "said the Regional Director of BUN-CA.
Energy Efficiency Programme in Tourism (PEEST) developed in 23 hotels in the area of La Fortuna, Costa Rica, had a strong influence of women entrepreneurs and managers who were involved in this initiative to reduce electricity consumption in their hotel facilities.
According to the records kept by BUN-CA, since 2008, 350 workers have been trained, in about 20 hotels, including general managers, owners and other representatives of companies related to the tourism business in La Fortuna region, in the northern part of Costa Rica.
The Director of BUN-CA emphasized the leading role that women represented in the execution of PEEST, where 49 percent of those trained were women, were many of them have taken the lead to become pioneers in the use of efficient technologies, such as air conditioners, lighting, refrigeration and efficient use of this equipment, likewise, in the use of solar energy for drying clothes and water heating.
"One of the most important aspects of the initiative with small hotels in La Fortuna was that the commitment of women entrepreneurs in the implementation of measures for better utilization of energy resources, a decision that has become a very significant item in the operating costs of the hotels", said the Director of BUN-CA.
The active participation of women in PEEST have showed, among many aspects, the development of a new energy paradigm carried out at the Hotel Las Colinas, which is led by businesswoman Ms. Ivette Lopez, who also serves as Chairman of the Association of Tourism of La Fortuna (AMITUFOR).
“During the 30 months of PEEST execution, Hotel Las Colinas made investments of US$9,500, saving 114,450 kWh, equivalent to 37 tons of mitigating carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which represents savings of US$13,300 dollars in payments of the electricity bills, without affecting the quality of guest service, i.e investment has been paid in a year”, said Ms. Lopez.