For the Dixons, the talk of going green is much more than talk but a passion put ardently into practise, “We are big believers of energy efficiency and do all we can to save,” says Newton Dixon of Retreat, St Thomas.
And indeed Newton and his wife Beulah have put their beliefs into sustainable practise turning their home into a model energy-efficient dwelling, “We make a conscious effort to only buy eco-efficient appliances as well as we use surge protectors, energy-saving LED bulbs, even solar powered garden lights” said Newton.
Their biggest energy efficient venture came recently with the procurement of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. “We had long thought about going solar as an additional way of saving on our energy receipts so we worked with an independent supplier to set up a stand-alone PV system.” Stand-alone PV systems are electrical power systems energised by solar PV panels which are independent of the national power grid. Storage battery banks are used to store the electrical energy produced by the PV panels.
The initial system, however, failed to meet their expectations barely generating enough electricity to run their residence. So the Dixons contracted energy solutions company ATL Energy (Appliance Traders Limited) to inspect it. “We assessed their setup and determined that their system was underperforming due to faulty equipment including faulty batteries, a faulty inverter controller as well as insufficient panels,” said Richard Marquis, Senior Application Engineer at ATL Energy. “We were able to salvage the panels from their previous setup, rewire the entire system and boost it to a powerful 3KW capable structure. We also outfitted the Dixons with a charge controller, which protects the system from electrical surges as well as prevents the batteries from under/overcharging,” said Marquis.
With their system now retrofitted and functioning, the Dixons gush that the move to solar was one of the best decisions they ever made. “Currently we run heavy appliances such as our standing refrigerator, deep freezer as well our entire household lighting completely on solar energy,” said Mrs Dixon, “I am so happy that ATL was able to save our investment because we are truly a ‘green’ family”.
“You’d be amazed at the difference that the type of light bulb used makes on your energy bill,” commented Shani Duncan, Head of Appliance Traders’ Energy Division (ATL).
Duncan recommended consumers make the switch to LED bulbs to bring about immediate savings on future energy receipts. “LED bulbs use up to 89% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 years so with cheaper running costs and fewer replacements, you’ll see energy savings straight away,” she said.
Panasonic, one of the world’s leading ‘green’ electronics companies harnesses the use of LED technology, manufacturing a wide range of eco-friendly devices including the relatively inexpensive but effective bulbs. “Panasonic has the best LED bulbs on the market which are not only eco-friendly but also considerably affordable,” quipped Duncan. “They range from J$2500** upward which is remarkable for a bulb that you’ll only change twice in 50 years. The LED emits the same soft white light much like fluorescents but are more efficient, durable and have a long life span which makes them perfect for residential lighting”.
The Energy division head urged consumers to undertake an energy assessment of their homes to develop tailored conservation methods, “Every step towards conservation impacts our financial bottom line so the time is right to make the energy switch.” And for those looking to cut back even further, Duncan advises that there are a plethora of options, from small steps such as switching to energy-efficient bulbs or going completely off the power grid by way of solar panels. “Consumers have the option of going off-grid becoming fully reliant on their own photovoltaic (PV) system or they can introduce a grid-tie system which utilizes both the PV’s and the national power grid,” she advised.
Hotels and properties looking to secure commercial equipment for start-ups and expansions are set to benefit from Appliance Traders Limited’s (ATL) new financing programme for small and medium Enterprises (SME’s) – ATL Unbeatable Credit.
ATL Unbeatable Credit strikes a convenient option for proprietors looking to boost their business without breaking the bank stated Managing Director of ATL, Danville Walker, “We offer competitive interest rates for businesses to acquire commercial equipment and what’s better is that we also offer warranty and service”.
One hotelier, Michael Grandison of Merrils Beach Resort in Negril, who recently entered a J$6.7 million contract with ATL expressed that the company’s financing option is smart solution for modern businesses, “In the hotel industry we’re always upgrading and it is rather cumbersome to obtain business loans from banks for commercial purposes as opposed to domestic items. It’s much more convenient to get financing from the company that not only sells the equipment but also knows how to service them”.
Grandison who will be augmenting all three Merril properties with commercial generators from ATL also commented that the company’s stake in energy-efficient products made it an easy buy, “Energy efficiency is important in the hotel business because electricity is such a costly utility especially ahead of the upcoming winter season when we anticipate maximum occupancy. The ATL team assessed my consumption patterns and recommended the best products for me. I’ll definitely be exploring additional energy-efficiency products such as PV panels and solar water heaters.”
Reporting an uptake of J$100 million on new loan portfolios since launching six months ago, Walker stated that the public response on both domestic and business accounts showed a steady surge, “We’ve noted marked increase in our financing portfolio particularly within the business sector and tourism industry as hoteliers move to procure commercial laundry equipment, air conditioning units, industrial kitchen equipment, generators as well as energy solutions especially ahead of the upcoming busy season”.
ATL’s Unbeatable Credit programme offers payment terms from three to thirty-six months with available options for payment moratoriums. The company carries a number of products in the commercial, industrial and energy-lines that are suitable for SME’s including generators, solar panel systems among others.
REMOVE WAX FROM LINEN
A steam iron is the perfect tool for lifting melted wax from linens. Lay a couple of paper towels over the wax and then press them with the iron. The wax will transfer to the towels as it melts. Move the towels each time you pick up the iron to prevent redepositing the wax.
FLUFF UP CRUSHED CARPETS
We’ve all been there: you move a piece of furniture, and you have that ugly compressed carpet where the furniture used to be. The cure for a crushed carpet? Use a spoon to loosen the fibers up; then hold a hot iron over the area and let the steam fluff up the carpeting.
IRON ON VENEER
An iron is the perfect choice for applying iron on veneer edging or patches. The heat from the iron activates the glue on the veneer. All you have to do is cut the veneer to the size you need, cover it with a piece of heavy paper or a cloth to protect the surface and then press with your iron to activate the glue.
FIX DENTS AND DINGS ON WOOD FURNITURE
To fix dents on wood furniture, poke several holes in the wood with a pin, lay a slightly damp cloth over it and hold the steam iron just above the area. This lets in enough moisture to swell the wood to its original size.
REPAIR A LOOSE VINYL TILE
Vinyl floor tiles sometimes slip out of place. Cover the tile with aluminum foil and run a hot iron back and forth over the area; the heat will reactivate the tile adhesive. Then, just stack a couple of books on to hold the repair down for a couple of hours. Safety tip: Aluminum foil can get hot so don’t get burned.
FIX BROKEN OR DAMAGED VINYL
The same iron that can help adhere a loose vinyl tile can also can help remove a broken one. The same principle applies: using heat to reactive the glue. Lay the aluminum foil over the tile and run the iron over it to loosen the adhesive. Then use a wide putty knife to remove the tile. A little vinegar will remove any adhesive residue. Then simply replace with a new tile.
IRON MORE EFFICIENTLY
Put a layer of aluminum foil under the cover on your ironing board, the heat from the iron will reflect off of the foil and help you iron twice as fast!
Local automotive giant ATL Automotive Limited today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Panasonic Latin America for the solar energy transformation of the Audi Terminal and Volkswagen Showroom on Oxford Road.
The announcement was made at a tour of the ATL Eco Store in the Manor Park Plaza. ATL Automotive’s CEO Adam Stewart outlined that the project is estimated to cost over J$25,000,000.
“We opened the two most sophisticated automotive showrooms in the Caribbean earlier this year at a cost of US$13 million. Anyone who has seen inside either Audi or Volkswagen would have seen the extensive lighting required in each and could also imagine the electricity cost that comes with that level of lighting. With the continued increase in fuel costs worldwide, a solar transformation at this time is our best option as it will drastically reduce our electricity consumption, thus saving us some money,” Mr Stewart explained.
Panasonic will install a 58.8Kw on grid system at the Oxford Road premises. This will supply approximately 30 percent of the power consumption and use an estimated area of 500m2. Panasonic STD module 245W panels with an efficiency of 14.8 percent and an output warranty of 25 years will be utilized.
“We have enjoyed a long standing partnership with Panasonic so we are confident in that we are receiving world class service from a company with more than 35 years’ experience in solar technology,” the CEO noted.
Work is expected to begin on the project in just a few weeks with completion estimated between a three and four week period.
According to Mr Stewart, this is the largest automotive investment by any local company. “We brought these brands to Jamaica based on a firm belief that the people of this country deserved better. Audi and VW have a goal to dominate the automotive industry worldwide by 2018 and this little country is contributing to that historic achievement in a big way. The feedback has been tremendous since we opened.,” Mr Stewart said.
To some on-lookers, the best view of the new showroom is at night when the lights on the German designed building illuminate Oxford Road into a never before seen spectacle.
Electronics and industrial solutions company Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) has joined forces with Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) to provide energy-saving products and services to Jamaican homes and businesses. The partnership was sealed after both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 22nd and will see ATL extending its distribution of alternative and energy-efficient products through JPS’ Customer Service eStore outlets.
Deputy Chairman of the ATL Group, Adam Stewart commended the new alliance citing that it demonstrated genuine intent by JPS to show Jamaicans how to reduce their energy bills. “This move is uncharacteristic of a power company, some would say its’ even counterintuitive but what it shows is that JPS cares about the energy crunch being felt by its customers,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of JPS, Kelly Tomblin responded in tow stating that the company wanted to educate and empower its customers to responsibly manage their energy use. “JPS is redefining its relationships with its customers; becoming more intimate and moving to address their concerns about energy costs. Partnering with a giant like ATL can help us deliver like we’ve never delivered before,” Tomblin said.
JPS will augment their eStore offering with energy-efficienct electronics from ATL including Panasonic inverter refrigerators, Panasonic inverter air conditioning units and Nimrod solar water heaters. The power company’s customers will also benefit from technical and consultative services through ATL’s Energy Solutions arm. “What we find is that the average consumer isn’t fully informed on how inefficient appliances can affect energy receipts so through our partnership with JPS we hope to offer energy-mindful solutions and cut costs,” said Stewart.
The partnership between ATL and JPS comes a few months after strategic energy initiatives by both companies in a mandate to promote energy conservation and efficiency. Earlier this year, ATL announced its expansion into the alternative energy business with the launch of its streamlined Energy Solutions division. ATL who already had solid footing in the ‘green space’ added to its already extensive range of energy efficient product line, providing solar water heating systems, photovoltaic panels, inverter batteries, pool pumps, LED lights, smart thermostats along with other energy-saving and eco-friendly devices. The company also revealed its plans for rebranding its Manor Park location as a fully outfitted eco-store, the first of its kind in Jamaica.
In April, JPS rolled out their eStore concept designed to offer different energy-savings products, including a variety of power efficient gadgets, timers and sensors. JPS currently has one eStore outlet at its Ruthven Road branch and has plans to open two additional stores before the end of the year.