‘Make good energy choices for a great life’


09-July-2012

One of the first things I learnt about energy is that it cannot be created nor destroyed. Prof. Payet making his speechThere is a story in this first law of thermodynamics – it means that we can convert energy from one form to another. The earth, or indeed the solar system, is not running out of energy, but rather we are running out of fossil fuel hence requiring that we transform our economy from one which is based on fossil fuel to one based upon more sustainable forms of energy, such as renewable energy.

Left to our own devices, we would not want to make the shift unless it was really necessary or forced to do so. Why stop using an engine and an electric bulb that was invented over 200 years ago? Or let me put it this way, why spend R5,000 on the latest touch mobile phone when you can buy a much cheaper R500 monochrome Nokia?

So why don’t consumers spend R50 on a Philips Compact Fluorescent bulb (or CFL) which consumes a lot less electricity and lasts a lot longer than a R15 electric bulb?

The simple reason is that we as consumers are not always rational in our choices. We often place what is fashionable first. Indeed our aim today is to make energy efficiency chic and à la mode.
So when we consider that a typical CFL would last eight times longer than a normal bulb, it means that you would spend eight times more than if you stick to a normal bulb. Secondly, a 60 watt normal bulb uses four times more energy than a CFL with the same output.
So CFLs are not really expensive are they? At the end of the day it comes down to how we are paying for the energy we need in our daily lives. We need to encourage our consumers to make smarter choices. We need to encourage our importers and industry promoters to shift to those more efficient appliances. Being chic is being smart.

Hence our chic and smart slogan which goes by: LENERZI. Servi Byen. Viv Byen.
This slogan focuses on our habits and our choices. It focuses on the benefits of saving energy. By saving energy one can do more with the limited resources that we have. Energy is life and if we use energy well, then life would be better than normal -  it would be great!

Our national education campaign is designed to encourage Seychellois to make the jump - to make wise decisions that would impact on their quality of life in the long term. It is aimed at engaging specific groups in society, from children to adults, the private sector and government.

Our aim is to work with all to transform Seychelles into one of the most energy efficient destinations on the planet. In doing so we will spend less on electricity and have more for other projects.

Switching off unnecessary lights, air-conditioning and power plugs will not only save you but also the country. That is why every effort, however small, counts. Imagine if every Seychellois saved 5 watts of energy per day (equivalent to a TV on stand-by) – the country would save thousands of rupees per year in foreign exchange.

The purpose of this workshop is to fine-tune our education and communications strategy. However, we recognise that improving awareness of the need for energy efficiency must be also accompanied by changes in legislation and also availability of efficient technologies in the local shops. 

I am happy to inform you that as we work on this education campaign, steps are also being taken by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Seychelles Energy Commission to bring in a new Energy Act that will create a more dynamic market for stimulating energy efficiency and encourage the import of more efficient appliances into Seychelles.  The pieces of the puzzle are all coming together, and with your help we need to make energy fashionable and à la mode.
 
To implement this strategy your ideas and your insight into the mindset of our consumers is important. I urge you to think outside the box and what would entice you to make good energy choices for a great life.
Thank you.

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