New firm presents greener energy services

| 02/06/2010

Cayman Islands News. Grand Cayman Island science & nature news, alternative energy(CNS): Two local businesses with an eye on energy efficiency and sustainability have merged to provide an even more green service to residents in the Cayman Islands. While sustainable and alternative energy solutions remain in their infancy in the jurisdiction, the two companies hope to encourage more people to both maximise energy efficiency and turn to the sun as an alternative for their power source. Arch Solar Ltd, a contractor providing renewable solar energy systems, has acquired Smart Energy Management, which provides residential and commercial building performance assessments that help people cut down on energy use and power bills by as much as 40%.

Smart Energy’s founder, Jorge Vera, said he was first introduced to Arch Solar in 2009 and the two firms began planning their formal alliance in order to expand the services the two firms offer. Smart Energy and Arch Solar share the combined goals of energy efficiency and sustainability in residential and commercial spaces.

“Before investing in a renewable energy system, it is advisable to invest in an energy audit. Simple upgrade measures increase the efficiency of a building and optimize the performance of a renewable energy system. We are pleased to be able to offer our clients an exclusive package service that reduces energy costs on multiple fronts,” says Dana Arch, Vice President of Arch Solar.
An energy audit exposes inefficiencies associated with building design, reveals energy usage trends and provides information on where and how the energy is being used in the building in order to develop an energy management plan to reduce energy consumption.
“The comprehensive building diagnostic report provides insight into the building’s current performance, isolates any problems, and develops an array of improvement options designed to increase energy efficiency, building performance, comfort, and air quality,” explained Vera. “Creating an energy management plan, changing energy usage behaviour, upgrading lighting and installing properly sized and engineered air conditioner systems can drastically increase comfort and reduce energy bills by up to 40%.”
He added that some of the most common problems in Cayman when it comes to wasting energy are oversized air conditioning units and inefficient lighting. Turning off lights and appliances when not in use and pushing up the a/c thermostat when the rooms are not occupied are also just some of the ways people can cut costs and energy use.
Vera said that although awareness is increasing about the need for a more sustainable approach to energy and taking green issues more seriously, in reality very few people are taking energy efficiency as seriously as theycould, and he hopes the partnership between Solar Arch and Smart Energy will help more people embrace the cause.
“It’s a good match”, says Vera. “Our combined knowledge and experience will create the most effective provider of energy saving technologies. The increasing price of oil is moving Cayman residents and property managers to seek out independent, effective solutions to reduce their utility bills while increasing the value of their properties, and we are now ideally positioned to help.” 
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  1. Renewableenergysociety says:

    A few comments and observations:

    1. We need a Renewable Energy Society in the Cayman Islands;

    2. This talk about Electric Car trying to save on fuel, that is not going to work, because it is the same fuel that CUC uses to generate electricity, unless the rates are changed to a lower rate for when you charge your battery, may be early in the morning.

    3. The problem with renewables is that it is not FIRM CAPACITY, meaning you may not have it when you need it most. They still have not found a cheap way to store electricity, the batteries that store electricity are very expensive still.

    4. Unit Investment cost for renewables is expensive and highly prohibitive when compared with even Diesel Power Plants. Sure, things are changing.

    5. The solution is to have changes at the policy level. For one, incentives may be provided for using Solar Panels in all new construction, say commencing from next year (2011).

    6. I suggest the formation of a Cayman Renewable Energy Society, may be one already exists.


  2. Marek says:

    As nice as all this is, we can’t use it here in Cayman.

    The way the CUC agreement reads, you have to pay them for the electricity ‘you don’t buy from them’ if you use an alternate means of generating your power.

    Imagine, if you had to pay Kirk when you shopped at Fosters, or Esso when you bought your gas at Texaco… or even LIME when you used Digicell…

    Might sound crazy, but that is the license they gave to the CUC.

    All the major car companies are coming out with full on electric cars this year, but our roads law is still buried in the 15th century… surprised horseless carriages are legal…

    We have an opportunity here and unfortunately it is currently… wasted.

    I post… hopefully not in vain so that our leaders will make the necessary changes to allow Cayman to become the greenest and cleanest island in the world.

    I can dream…



  3. ZZzzzzzz says:

    Start with conservation and maybe a solar thermal system. 

    PV is a long way off in Cayman.  CUC’s C.O.R.E program for renewable energy is sad.

  4. Anonymous says:

    NIce idea but it is going to be well outside the affordability range for the average person. Even if the quoted energy savings were accurate (they are off by a very ong way) it would take yearsand years (probably hundreds of years) to pay off the cost of the original investment in the equipment. XXX

    • Jab-Jab says:

      Depends on the equipment – CUC has been using solar powered lights in their car park for years. Drive by and take a look some time. Then wonder if they didn’t take into account the Return On their Investment when choosing to go renewable over buying the electricity from 100 feet away.

      • Anonymous says:

        CUC didn’t worry about return on investment with these lights. The customer indirectly ends up paying for these capital improvements. CUC still holds the reins on power production. CUC still profits off the back of the little guy that can afford to install more than just a hobby PV system. This seriously makes the ROI period unfeasible for those who have the upfront capital to spend and want to save on electricity on their electricity bill. There are better ways to do it of course. Insulate to the gills and make sure you install the latest high SEER rated HVAC system.

        Just my opinion but CORE is rotten to the core!

    • Joe Solar says:

      And how long have you worked or been a shareholder in CUC?  Easy to say in a comment how much smarter you are than the experts but hard to prove.  Kind of like your Government leadership.Nice try.