The Caribbean Cooling Initiative coordinated by UN Environment’s United for Efficiency partnership presented the first draft of a national strategy to transform the refrigeration and air conditioning market in the Dominican Republic, during a high-level consultation meeting in Santo Domingo with representatives of the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, Tourism and public and private key stakeholders.
The document of the National Cooling Strategy identifies the necessary measures to scale cooling solutions, while saving money in electricity bills and reducing the environmental impact of energy consumption.
The strategy, which will be finalized by the different actors in the coming months, includes new rules on the performance of refrigerators and air conditioners, energy labelling requirements, and other policy and programmatic recommendations.
If energy efficiency is not increased in the cooling sector, the electricity consumption from domestic refrigeration and air conditioning in the Dominican Republic will double by 2040.
"Establishing a pathway to reduce the environmental impact and the electrical consumption from cooling appliances is critical for the Dominican Republic. We want to set ambitious goals that will unlock benefits for the country and to do so in conjunction with the preparatory work we are developing for the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol," said Elías Gómez, director of the Ozone Layer Protection Program of the Ministry of Environment.
The Caribbean Cooling Initiative (C-COOL) is led by United for Efficiency, with the financial mechanism expertise from the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy, policy analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and funding support from the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program.
Within the framework of the strategy workshop, United for Efficiency presented to 80 representatives of the hotel sector the new financial mechanism Cooling as a Service, which allows customers to simply pay for the amount of air conditioning they use instead of buying and maintaining the equipment.
This innovative solution comes from the collaboration between the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy and the Japanese company Daikin.
“Keeping buildings cool and comfortable can be very energy intensive. Through United for Efficiency's Caribbean Cooling Initiative, we are pleased to launch a financial mechanism that will save businesses money while reducing their electricity consumption and their environmental impact," said Roberto Borjabad, officer of the Climate Change Unit at UN Environment Regional Office in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Refrigeration and air conditioning account for approximately half of the electricity consumption of the Dominican hotel sector, which is one of the main drivers of the national economy. A transition to more efficient technologies would have a profound impact on the economic competitiveness and the environmental footprint of the national hotel industry.