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Research Highlights

April 2015

PNNL Brings Building Efficiency Expertise to the Caribbean

The average price of commercial electricity in the United States is about 11 cents/kWh. In the Caribbean, it's around 50 cents/kWh, more than 350% higher than the United States. As part of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable (CHEER) initiative, PNNL will be working with DOE International Affairs and Buildings Technology Offices and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to improve water and energy efficiency in the Caribbean's largest industry—tourism. By doing so, CHEER expects to reduce the Caribbean's dependency on foreign oil, improve the region's economic sustainability and provide substantial cost savings to hotel owners and operators.

CHEER offers technical assistance, training, and financing to hotels that commit to implementing efficiency technologies. PNNL's expertise will be leveraged to assess and advise which water and energy saving technologies are most appropriate, reliable, cost-effective, and maintain a high level of guest satisfaction for the Caribbean hospitality industry. Given the severe marine environment of the Caribbean, however, recommended technologies will be proven for this environment. Solutions could include implementing lighting and air conditioning retrofits and controls, solar-thermal water heating, low-flow aerators, or high-efficiency laundry.

As part of the first step in establishing CHEER, PNNL Senior Staff Engineer Graham Parker participated in the Caribbean Clean Energy Technology Symposium in St. Thomas, where the project received a high level of enthusiasm from across the Caribbean community.

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