Greenrock Welcomes New Sources Of Power

February 24, 2014

Government must actively encourage businesses working on supplying new sources of power, according to a group promoting Bermuda’s part in a worldwide campaign to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Greenrock’s executive director Gordon Johnson made the call after Finance Minister Bob Richards announced that Government and the Regulatory Authority would be “brought to bear to ascertain fair and equitable interconnect rates” for alternative energy producers.

Mr. Johnson said through policy, incentives and regulation Government should now support any new initiatives surrounding alternative power sources.

He added, “BELCO has been, and I am sure will continue to be, a very good business partner in our community and of Greenrock’s, but it is necessary to introduce competition in this sector.

“What questions are required today about our energy generation and consumption? What conversations occurred in 1904 when BELCO was created with the promise of bringing the magic of electricity to our Island and what conversations do we want to have over 100 years later? What can we create together that we can’t create alone?

“We are seeing the effects of competition within the telecoms market right now which is being reflected by the introduction of better deals for the consumer. I am sure the same thing can happen with the electricity market.”

Greenrock is promoting Bermuda’s participation in Earth Hour on March 29 when everyone is being encouraged to attend events at Washington Mall and City Hall car park – as well as turning off power for an hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

Beyond Earth Hour, Greenrock wants to assist in the creation of a legacy that decreases Bermuda’s reliance on fossil fuels and helps to reduce the cost of electricity.”

Mr. Johnson added, “In his Budget speech, the Finance Minister said that one reason Bermuda had lost its competitiveness was the high cost of electricity.

“That may be true, but the high cost of electricity also impacts very heavily on the financial outgoings of ordinary Bermudian families, particularly Bermudians who have fallen over or are close to our economic edge.

“We must create a legacy that in addition to increasing our competitiveness, also benefits the average Bermudian in terms of reducing their costs and their reliance only on fossil fuels.

“To this end, while we absolutely welcome Government’s Budget announcement we also look forward to learning how it will be accompanied by incentives, policy and a plan to encourage alternative sources of power.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (15)

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  1. Skeptic says:

    Sure, it makes good sense to maintain pressure on all players to achieve progress toward environmentally sound and economical choices, but I am getting tired already of hearing Mr. Johnson’s press releases every other day, especially when from what he already told us, he only realized that he should be green since becoming ED of GreenRock. All seems a bit shallow to me……

  2. Archie says:

    People must support Earth Hour – we cannot hope to curb the cost of electricity without alternatives. Earth Hour signals our intent to do something about this

  3. Archie says:

    Skeptic – good for Mr Johnson. He’s getting out there and banging the drum. You should not criticize someone for saying what they believe in. He’s right, Bda will be held to ransom unless something is done and people start realizing we cannot go on the way we are.

  4. Terry says:

    What rock you lott live on.

  5. 1 hour is fruitless says:

    Lets think logically about this for a minute. What are you trying achieve by shutting all your power off for 1 hr? If anything it’s only symbolic..! It’s not going to make any difference to your bill. Your neighbours will now know your energy conscience.
    Here’s why: Belco is not going to shut down a generator for 1 hour cause it takes a while to shut down and start up, so no difference in fuel charge either, which is 50% of our bill.
    If you want to make a more meaningfull change put a timer on your water heater, use a gas stove and dryer (which you still pay belco for, cause they own bermuda gas) and change all your lights to compact fluorescent.

  6. Jus' Askin' says:

    Bring in more electric vehicles. Bikes, cars and buses ;-)

  7. sage says:

    What are duty rates on solar/wind power equipment? Should be zero. If there are limits on size of home solar systems, remove them, some people are currently getting cheques from Belco rather than bills, unfortunately the initial costs are, like everything here, still too expensive.

    • Jupiter Zeus says:

      SAGE you are indeed misinformed here’s a bit of information that may help rectify that situation; renewable energy systems (complete) have been duty free for a number of years now. You can put any size system you want on your house/property as long as it falls within the Dept. of Plannings PDP (up to 400 sq. ft.) or DAP1 (over 400sq. ft.) requirements ie. it is both physically, electrically and structurally sound and does not encroach on boundary setbacks etc. Some of those who have invested in photo-voltaic systems and are interconnected to BELCO using a net metering arrangement and are receiving credit for the electricity their PV systems produce but they still receive a bill from BELCO monthly. Any credit is calculated every six months by BELCO. As far as I am aware there are no systems that are completely net-zero at the moment i.e. producing the same as they consume. The inefficiencies of the technology and our consumption behaviors haven’t quite aligned to allow that to happen as yet I don’t believe!

      • sage says:

        What exactly am I “misinformed” about? I haven’t kept abreast, so I asked about duty rates because wind systems were considered as generators and were charged full duty previously, I questioned whether there are limits, having read something about a 5 kw maximum for residential applications, which would explain why people are not achieving “net zero ” or producing enough excess to make a profit after paying off the initial investment. “Inefficiencies in the technology” don’t make a difference if you install a 10 kw system and you burn only 1200 kw a month.

        • J-Zeus says:

          “some people are currently getting cheques from Belco rather than bills” and “something about a 5 kw maximum for residential applications” are two things you posted which are misinformation hence my statement that you are misinformed. Not intended as an insult just a comment on the status of your understanding of the situation as it relates to this subject. This is how crediting for net metering works (straight from BELCO’s website;; “6.3 The net balance between charges for Customer usage of energy supplied by BELCO and any credits for net energy production will be displayed on each monthly bill of the Customer’s for the supply of energy from BELCO to the Residence. BELCO shall record the accumulated net balance over consecutive months and if, on the 30th day of June or 31st day of December each year, this accumulated net balance results in a positive credit for the Customer, a refund in an amount of an accumulated net bill credit will be paid to the Customer within BELCO’s next billing cycle, except as otherwise set out herein.”

          As far as “something about a 5 kw maximum for residential applications” – although not documented BELCO will tell you when you inquire/apply for interconnection that they will interconnect a system up to 15kW not 5kW, so a slight difference in size. They say this limit is in place due to the limitations of their distribution network. Hence one reason why some home owners (along with the falling cost of PV) see this as a good time to invest in a PV system.

  8. Herb Adderley says:

    I am not sure what the duty rates are on Solar Panels but i know that for a $35,000.00 installation you get a $5000.00 rebate from Govt. My sister has installed this size of a system on her house.
    Unfortunatley the one problem I have with this cost is that after 20 yrs it all has to be replaced with new panels, so their investment is completely gone in 20-25yrs. Every 3 yrs the panels have to be removed for painting underneath so thats another cost, but they are getting a check each month from Belco. So they are doing their part in helping the envirement which is good. It is a costly system though and it doesnt produce power if the power goes out in a hurricane for instance as they dont have a storage system which would be way to expensive to install and maintain.

    • J-Zeus says:

      The Government rebate is based on the size of the system i.e. how many watts it is not how much it costs;

      All the information on the Govt. rebate initiatives are here;

      Replacing the system every 20-25 years is also a bit of a red herring Herb. That is the length of time your installer should be giving you for a warranty on the system but that doesn’t necessarily mean you would have to replace your system completely after that period of time. Like any electronic/mechanical system attached to the outside of your house its efficiency is going to depreciate over time.

      How to physically maintain your roof after installing a system is something you need to consider and talk through with your installer. They, if they’re any good, should be able to suggest how this can be done without removing the panels completely every few years.

      You also need to consider payback period before investing. This is based on your annual electricity consumption/costs. Again your installer should be able to show you the calculations for this before you sign on the dotted line. If you can pay off the system in 6-8 years or less even if you have to replace the system after 20-25 years that means it will have paid for itself 3-4 times over in that period of time. A worthwhile investment no? J-Zeus.

      • Herb Adderley says:

        thaks for your info, sounds like you are in the business. I have never found warranties to stand up to Bermuda weather etc, so we will just have to wait and see how long it lasts. I do know that my sisters system has to be removed for painting under. A lot has to be considered when making this investment, one thing which i dont think is calculated is if you had that much money in a 5% return investment for instance, that has to be part of the calculation on your return. As far as getting a big return that hasnt happened yet with her system, it does work when she is offf island for an extended period though. Thanks for your info.

  9. bluebird says:

    I do hope you are all ready to give up…………
    Your transportation
    Your washer
    your dryer
    you fridge
    your freezer
    your water heater
    your lights at nite
    your street lights
    your traffic lights
    your security lights
    your computor
    your television
    your internet
    your cable
    your electric iron
    your electric drill
    your coffee maker
    your electric kettle
    all your electric appliances
    and don’t forget the comfort of the airconditioning in the summer
    and don’t forget the comfort of the heater when it is cold.
    just to name a few that make our life very comfortable.
    So you all give yours BUT I will keep mine,as we are very fortunate.
    GLOBALLY if you are earning $34,000 per year according to the world bank
    :You are in the TOP (1%) that is top one percent.

    • J-Zeus says:

      And let the mis-information begin! If we only took the time to inform ourselves a little better we might actually understand the intention of many (but not all) initiatives such as Earth Hour! No one is asking you to give up all your modern electrical conveniences dinglebird (sorry bluebird – couldn’t resist) just become a little more aware of your energy consumption habits! Turning off your lights for an hour is simply a symbolic gesture to acknowledge you are aware of how your habits affects the cost of electricity and therefore see the need to support the cause – nothing more nothing less! How much effort does it take? About 1/20th of the effort it takes you to turn on all those electrical devices you have listed I would imagine! ; )