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Jul 21, 2022

Belize Charts Course Regional Path towards Regional Efficiency Labeling Scheme

A recent Sustainable Energy for All report by the United Nations indicates that countries across the Caribbean are unable to meet their energy demands. CARICOM’s Regional Organization for Standards and Quality has sounded the alarm, stating that efforts to address sustainability in energy use are needed now more than ever. Saving money on energy is one place to start. Upgrading outdated equipment and utilizing efficient appliances can aid in this regard. CARICOM is taking a systematic approach towards this end through its Regional Efficiency Labeling Scheme, launched back in 2019. Belize committed to piloting the labels, and today the Belize Bureau of Standards signed a cooperation agreement with the Mexican Association of Normalization and Certification for technical assistance in fulfilling its commitment. News Five’s Paul Lopez Reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Your refrigerator, light bulbs and air conditioning units may be burning more energy than you have bargained to pay for, consequently leading to soaring monthly electricity bills. Using energy efficient alternatives to these appliances will lower your monthly electricity bill; reduce the country’s energy demand, and decrease your carbon footprint. In response to high energy cost and usage within the region, the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) launched the CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Labeling Scheme back in 2019.


Jose Trejo

Jose Trejo, Director, Belize Bureau of Standards

“The aim is to have minimum performance standards, so that you could minimize the energy use. So, across the three different items that is what these standards objectively are trying to achieve.”


Jose Trejo, Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, is leading the charge in Belize’s commitment to pilot an energy efficient labeling framework for the CARICOM region. Through labeling, consumers will better understand just how much energy they can save by purchasing certain appliances. Importers will also be better informed on what appliances meet the standards and quality outlined within the scheme.

Jose Trejo

“At the macro level it is about making good energy choices, so that you as the consumer if you are sensitized enough, informed enough and understand you make those choices based on a labeling scheme that we have, which will guide the consumer on making those choices. And the labeling is pegged to meeting the requirement of the standards and of course ensuring that when the product lands from a particular country that it meets the requirements of the standards.”


There is no data specific to Belize which indicates how much energy is being wasted in households and businesses through the use of outdated refrigerators, light bulbs, and air conditioning units. However, one study by the Inter-American Development Bank found that investing in energy efficiency could yield up to six billion dollars in economic benefits over the next twenty years for the region. The Mexican Association of Normalization and Certification (ANCE) will be providing the Belize Bureau of Standards with the technical support required to establish such a labeling framework. Mexico is one of CARICOM’s main sources for refrigerators.


Jose Trejo

“We are going to develop the technical capabilities and capacities. I always draw parallel with biodegradable products. We have gotten a lot of training with biodegradable products to understand what we are looking at, so that we could make precise evaluation of all the documentation that comes to us at the point of importation, or at the point when the bureau provides you with that documentation. So this signing of this agreement here is to formalization the relationship with an entity like ANCE and we envision that almost with immediacy we will be sending technicians there or technicians will be coming from Mexico to help train our staff as it relates to understanding  the standards, the technical requirements, their systems, how it functions.”


Juan Manuel Rosales

Juan Manuel Rosales, President, A.N.C.E.

“The first standard we developed for refrigerator, it was published thirty years ago. At that time a refrigerator use to, let’s think the same refrigerator, nine feet, ten feet, square feet, at that time that refrigerator use to consume nine hundred and fifty kilowatts per hour per year. Now, the same size of refrigerator is around three hundred fifty something. For the user, even us as technical engineer in this, when we talk about kilowatts it is not easy to see. But when you think that is twenty or thirty U.S. dollars per month what you are saving by just changing your refrigerator that was the part impulse ten fifteen years ago in Mexico to create a massive program for substitution of refrigerators.”


The Bureau of Standards anticipates that sensitization and education will shift the culture for quality in Belize which triggers a market response towards consumer preferences.


Jose Trejo

“We are not telling the consumer to get rid of the appliance. What we are doing is building the knowledge and education at some point so that the next purchase, what is the life span of a refrigerator? I don’t know. We are saying that within the next ten years, or whenever you make your next purchase it will be based on this.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.



Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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