Retailers will soon have the opportunity to learn the specifics of the CARICOM Energy Efficiency Labels for select appliances, and how to market them.
CROSQ, in collaboration with the German National Metrology Institute (PTB), under the Germany-funded Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (QSEC) Project, is currently preparing to host several trainings for management and especially floor staff of retail operations which will be part of the piloting of the labelling programme.
In 2017, the CROSQ/PTB partnership embarked on a programme to design and implement an energy efficiency project for lighting products, air conditioners and refrigerators, which were identified as some of the main high energy consumers in homes and businesses. The labelling initiative is currently being piloted in four countries under this project, namely Belize, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, while Barbados, which is now looking to take a similar step, has joined as an observer.
With regional EE labels having been developed for the appliances, based on Minimum Energy Performance CARICOM Regional Standards in each area, it was felt that more assistance was needed to help retailers understand the information and to be able to inform their customers accurately. Based on that demand and requests from participating Member States, said CROSQ Technical Officer, Quality Promotions, Ms. Latoya Burnham, it was decided that training should be designed to address retailers concerns and queries.
“We are in the process now on making sure the training speaks to the areas that the retailers are interested in learning about. We’ve been interfacing with them using surveys and questionnaires to make sure the training is as spot-on to what the target audience, which is the retailer, wants,” she said.
Project manager with PTB, Ms. Lea Spindelmann said the initiative was all about supporting the development of the EE project as well as the QI services to support for the Caribbean region.
“The project illustrates that governments in Germany and in the Caribbean attach a crucial role to quality infrastructure institutions when it comes to supporting the transition to more sustainable and efficient consumption and production patterns. The cooperation partners acknowledge that the shift towards sustainability requires the involvement of society. Thus, in order to promote energy efficiency standards and labels in the private sector and among end consumers, activities such as the planned training are indispensable,” she noted.
The project manager added that retailers had a crucial role to play in raising awareness about the labels, as they were the individuals in most close contact with consumers and were thus best placed to disseminate information and promote the benefits of the implementation of the programme.
“This training will help retailers use the labels as a source of information to assist consumers to pick the appliances whose energy consumption and cost to run is minimum. As a deliverable resulting from the training, manuals will be produced that can be used to educate retailers throughout the region in the future,” said Ms. Spindelmann.
In the meanwhile, testing centres of excellence, which have been advanced under the programme, have begun operation in Jamaica, for refrigerators and air conditioners, and in Trinidad and Tobago, which has the infrastructure and expertise for lights and lighting products.