Government and the Caribbean Utilities Company today launched a competition in which  one household will win a $20,000 energy-efficient makeover of their home.

All homeowners who live within their properties can apply to take part in the contest, and eight homes will be chosen for home energy audits, worth $1,900 each, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.

The ministry, in partnership with CUC, launched the Home Energy Efficiency Competition, with the aim to help show residents how to reduce their energy use, lower the cost of living and lower CO2 emissions, the statement said.

The energy audits will analyse the homes and determine where and how energy is being lost and what systems are operating inefficiently, and recommend improvements that can be made to substantially lower utility bills.

One of the eight homes will be chosen to receive a full home ‘energy makeover’, worth up to $20,000.

“The retrofit will be unique to the home, based upon the results of the audit, but may include solar water heater, smart thermostats, envelope sealing and spray foam attic insulation, energy-efficient appliances, LED bulbs and more,” the ministry said.

“The makeover should not only significantly reduce utility bills, but will also increase the value of the home, while reducing stress on Cayman’s electricity grid.”

Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Joey Hew, said in the statement, “The Cayman Islands Government is committed to creating a sustainable future for our community and to achieving the goals within our National Energy Policy. Helping our community to live in energy efficient homes is one part of this.

“Our long-term goal is to introduce green loans through banks, to make home energy efficiency retrofits achievable for the wider Cayman community. These could benefit homeowners whilst reducing the CO2 levels in the Cayman Islands and supporting a secure, sustainable future.”

One of the stated goals of the National Energy Policy is to have 70% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2037.

The competition was launched on National Energy Efficiency Day in the US.

Cayman’s National Energy Policy coordinator, Kristen Augustine, said the competition was one step towards achieving the goal of that policy to achieve “a more sustainable lifestyle through responsible energy supply and consumption in Cayman”.

“We really hope Grand Cayman residents take this opportunity to make an impact on their monthly bills, while supporting the transition to energy efficiency,” Augustine said.

The statement also quoted Sacha Tibbetts, vice president of customer service and technology at CUC, as saying, “CUC is dedicated to providing Grand Cayman residents with dependable energy and our goal is to move from diesel-fuelled energy generation to renewable energy. We aim to create a 60% CO2 reduction by 2030.”

The competition is part of ‘Energy Cayman’, a 12-month public-education campaign by the ministry.

The closing date of the competition is Wednesday, 18 Nov.

The application for the Home Energy Efficiency Competition can be found at www.energy.gov.ky/competition.

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