Video: Press Conference On Solar Energy

August 23, 2021 | 5 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban is holding a press conference this afternoon [August 23] to discuss “Bermuda’s adoption of Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency.” We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 13-minute replay is below

Update 3pm: Minister Roban’s remarks:

Good day to all members of the media and the listening public.

Many of you will recall the work by this Government over the last decade to advance the country’s transition toward greater use of renewable energy.

The Energy White Paper of 2011 and the Integrated Resource Plan have proved to be practical tools throughout this journey.

Bermuda’s sustainability and renewable energy strategy have us positioned to become a regional leader in this arena.

Led by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Bermuda Government continues to encourage the adoption of solar technologies and energy efficiency.

Investing in technologies that use our abundant sunshine, the Government supports solar photovoltaic installations with its rebate initiative, offering up to $8,000 cashback for homes with Annual Rental Values [ARVs] of under $30,000 and continuing in declining tiers to ARVs up to $120,000. If your ARV is above that amount, there is still relief in your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint. Many customers are not aware that there is no customs duty on solar panels, mounting systems, inverters, or other equipment needed to have a fully functioning system at your home.

Solar Energy Press Conference Bermuda Aug 23 2021

For those who would like to explore solar thermal technologies, better known as solar water heating, rebates and duty reliefs that mirror those in place for solar photovoltaic installations are available. It is important to note that free hot water could reduce your monthly electric bill by one-third. For specific details, contact the Department of Energy or visit gov.bm/department/energy.

Understanding that not all homes are suitable for solar thermal or solar PV installations, homeowners could opt for heat pump water heaters, which supplement heat taken from the air to provide hot water. This technology cuts water heating costs by up to 75%, and buyers can enjoy the low duty rate of only ten per cent.

Businesses can also rejoice in the measures put in place by this Government. Specifically, the customs tariff code CPC 4209 provides end-user duty relief to any importer bringing in goods that contribute to demand-side management. This includes energy efficiency equipment and technologies, building automation systems targeted specifically at energy management, and even passive measures like low-emissivity windows. To use this tariff code, the importer must obtain an authorization letter from the Department of Energy, which can be obtained within a few days.

Homeowners and businesses should also be aware that instead of the twenty-five per cent duty rate on LED and compact fluorescent lighting, they can enjoy a preferential duty rate of only ten per cent.

Furthermore, as demonstrated by the recent Level 1 Solar Installer course and the upcoming NCCER training with the Construction Association of Bermuda, this Government is committed to developing capacity on the island by ensuring a well-trained workforce with the ability to install solar technologies.

Now, I understand that some find the Department of Planning processes somewhat cumbersome. However, rest assured that the team is well-versed in the solar installation process and has excellent relationships with local installers. For solar PV installations not exceeding 1,000 square feet, which should generate more than enough energy to power the average home sufficiently, we advise homeowners to use the Permitted Development Permit process, which can be completed in about a week. Also, recognizing that rooftop solar, while becoming increasingly popular, does not change the massing or profile of buildings, we are working on improving efficiencies and streamlining operations. The only exception is for listed historical buildings or those within the World Heritage Site designated area of St. George’s. They will still need to go through the complete planning application process to ensure the integrity and character of our built heritage is appropriately preserved.

I am very proud of the work done to advance and grow an affordable, diversified energy market that promotes the adoption of clean energy generation, conservation, and efficiency, and confident that our island home will become a leader in sustainability and renewable energy.

I look forward to announcing future developments that will provide easier access to renewable energy and energy efficiency, even for those who do not own their own homes.

For more information, please contact the Department of Energy or visit gov.bm/department/energy.

Thank you. At this time, I welcome questions from the media.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Jus' Askin' says:

    :-( :-(

  2. LOL - the real one says:

    Bermuda is broke and so far in debt that it is ridiculous. Where is the Government going to get the money to give rebates on solar installations? The focus should be on real jobs, not pie in the sky ideas that on average only produce electricity 18% to 20% of the time.

    BTW, does anyone realize that BELCO will have to INCREASE electricity rates to cover capital and operating expenses when solar panels reduce the generation of electricity?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “The focus should be on real jobs”

      Government cannot create jobs. The best the Government (any government) can do is to create an environment in which businesses create jobs. That requires the business community to have trust in the Government.

      I agree that energy conservation is a good thing, especially given that the vast majority of our energy is generated from fossil fuel. But given that Government does not sell energy to the public, the alleged “rebate” is not a rebate at all, it is money for votes.

      A “rebate” is a “partial refund”. What is the Government refunding when giving cash for installing solar energy equipment>

    • Dejavu says:

      Belco did that already where have you been. Look at your bill

  3. Really says:

    Why has the finger taken so long ? Why didn’t the procurement process acknowledge a significant change in the point of connection to belco and Ren gage the bidders

    This is the most embarrassing solar plant in the Carribbean.

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