By Mohammad Ghazal – Aug 10,2016

AMMAN — Government buildings could reduce their power bills by 30-40 per cent by adopting low-cost energy-saving measures, according to an energy audit released on Wednesday.

The audit, conducted by the USAID’s energy sector capacity-building activity in partnership with the Energy Ministry and the Jordan Renewable Energy and Efficiency Fund (JREEF), looked into energy use by six ministries.

“The audit’s results prompt public agencies to take immediate major energy-saving measures without the need for additional resources,” Lewis Tatem, the deputy mission director of USAID, said during an event to announce the results.

The measures recommended include installing LED bulbs and improving the efficiency of heating and cooling systems in public buildings.

“Jordan imports around 97 per cent of its energy needs and demand increases by around 5.5 per cent annually. Adopting such measures is crucial to slash energy bills and address one of the key challenges Jordan is facing,” Tatem added.

Stressing USAID’s continued support for Jordan, Tatem said the audit played an important role in highlighting how energy bills could be reduced and that the development agency’s activities also focus on capacity building.

Amani Azzam, the secretary general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, noted that the energy audit on the ministry’s building showed that it could cut its energy use by 40 per cent with an investment of only JD22,000, which the ministry would recuperate in seven months through savings to its power bill.

“Based on our results, we encourage all government agencies to allocate budgets for simple energy-saving measures such as these suggested in these studies,” said Azzam.

JREEF Executive Director Rasmi Hamzeh said the government has recently instructed all agencies to allocate budgets to energy-saving measures and to reduce lighting costs by 10 per cent.

Grayson Heffner, resident adviser at Energy Sector Capacity Building of USAID, said public agencies in Jordan could save around JD313,000, or JD6.5 per square metre, per year by adopting energy-saving practices.