Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo and Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio today [Tuesday] launched a New Energy Initiative aimed at bringing down the cost of energy and taking advantage of emerging green technologies.
According to a release from the Governor’s Office:
“We’ve relied on fossil fuels on Guam for more than a century,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “We can’t rely on it forever. We have to reduce our energy consumption, do what we can to make energy cheaper, and eventually move the island to renewable energy production. The global price of fossil fuels touches everything. If we get away from these fuels, we can bring down the cost of power, gas and goods. This can truly change the landscape of our island, and it’s something that’s 100 percent within our control.”
The Governor will be tasking his Council of Economic Advisors to work with Guam Power Authority, Guam Energy Office, the Energy Task Force and the Center for Island Sustainability. The Council will examine renewable energy and sustainability efforts, then formulate policy recommendations in a strategic plan. This plan will serve to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, employ renewable energy production, transmission and distribution, and lead to cheaper energy costs.
“I want this Council to explore creative solutions,” Governor Calvo said. “First and foremost is to find ways to help GPA fund its plans to convert part of the power generation system to renewable energy sources. But we can’t stop there. We can’t control the cost of shipping goods to Guam, but we can look into producing these goods here so we don’t have to pay the cost of shipping. We can’t control the price of gas at the pump, but we can build a better mass transit system. There are so many ways to look at this problem and provide solutions.”
This administration-led initiative follows the pioneering efforts of several GovGuam agencies that have come forward with solutions to lower the cost of energy. Guam Community College started off with solar panel parking lot lights and is pursuing further green initiatives. The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Energy Task Force are looking into ways to reduce consumption. Guam Visitors Bureau and Department of Public Works will be the beneficiaries of induction streetlights in Tumon. GPA has approached its efforts with a strategy that addresses energy costs for residents, businesses and the government. The government is the largest consumer of electricity on island, with Department of Education’s bill for the last month exceeding $1 million.
The Guam Energy Office conducted an energy audit of several GovGuam agencies already. This is the first step in assessing consumption needs and reassessing the use of power. GPA now is following with a Demand-side Management Program. This will allow GovGuam agencies to control more of its usage and lower costs. The program GPA announced today involves Guam Waterworks Authority, which pays GPA about $14 million every year to power up its water pumps. GWA hopes to save up to 50 percent using the Demand-side Management Program.
GPA has several other partnerships with both the public and private sectors to reduce energy costs and to introduce renewable energy sources on a smaller scale.
Energy Star Appliance Vouchers
Guam Energy Office is leading an educational campaign of ‘Energy-saving Tips’ and a federal voucher program. These vouchers discount the cost of Energy Star appliances by hundreds of dollars at select retail outlets.
“We’re entering warmer months and there’s a lot of roadwork causing traffic delays,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio said. “Residents will be facing higher power bills and higher prices at the gas pumps. We can’t control the global price of fuel for electricity and gasoline, but we can certainly do more to curtail these costs here at home.”