Turn Off To Turn On

This is in effect the new pitch from the Jamaica Public Service Company – JPSCO.  Turn off to turn on.

JPS eStore
I think it is safe to say that most Jamaicans hate JPS.  Yes.  I do know that hate is a strong word.  Yet, we love our power hungry devices.  We run the fridge, heat up the water, leave on the TV day and night, charge up the cell phone and, well you get the point.

Then, we turn around and blame JPS for the massive bill we get each month as we take a cleaver to our limbs to cover the bill.  It seems JPS is tired of that cycle (pun intended – just in case you weren’t sure).

Enter, the eStore and the concept of ‘conservation as fuel’.  JPS is encouraging us to take charge (I’m killing me) of our energy consumption using a variety of gadgets and gizmos to help us be, “energy safe, energy save and energy smart”. The flagship store on Ruthven Road stocks over 40 devices, which they say will save us money.  Just what we like to hear.

JPS eStore Surge Protector
JPS eStore Surge Protector
JPS Director Sales and Marketing, Garth McKenzie broke it down for me.  Energy safe products include surge protects and other products that protect your equipment from power spikes and other catastrophes.  I will bet good money that you already have every appliance in your house connected to a surge protector.

Ok.  Moving on.  Energy save sounds a little more exciting.  I changed out all my incandescent bulbs to fluorescents a decade or so ago.  Seems like I need to spend some money on LED bulbs to save some money.  JPS is also offering a number of power switches and timers.  These save us money by stopping energy leakage – appliances using power when they don’t need to.

Work and entertainment electronics are BIG culprits in this department.  The TV, cable box, DVD player, printer/fax, well, again, you get the point.  These items, even when ‘powered off’ suck power from your grid.  We can save money by plugging these power hog devices into timers, which can automatically kill their electricity supply.  And its idiot proof!

Again, not new.  But, JPS is offering a locally designed Digital Energy Timer (DET) well suited for our 50-cycle power grid.  Jamaican inventor, Jackie Stuart says the DET can hold 16 programmes in a day and the days can be individually programmed.  Power outages don’t affect the DET, because it has it own back up battery.

Andrew Simmonds suggested that you could use the DET to turn off your TV at night.  I suggest that you could use it to cut power to your fridge while cutting cost from your bill!

For me, the most exciting product category was also the most expensive.  Energy smart.  Here’s the deal: you can call up JPS and arrange for an Energy Audit after the audit, they can install an energy monitor.  In effect, the monitor tells you where and when, you are burning up fuel.  But it is not cheap.  The most advanced monitor will set you back over forty grand.  But, it can give you really detailed reports on consumption and cost of energy use in real time.  No more waiting for the bar chart on the bill.

In his presentation at the store launch earlier this month, it was The Hon. Phillip Paulwell that said, “Conservation is the new fuel.”  JPS President and CEO Kelly Tomlin supported the sentiment with, “turn off to turn on.”  I will add my two cents (equivalent to about 45 sec of LED lighting) – spend more to save.

Making Moves