San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

ICE Cuts Consumption, Urges Others to Follow

Costa Rica’s electric company lowered its own electric bill by 1.2 gigawatt-hours and wants to help other government institutions do the same.

Between August 2007 and July, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the agency that oversees the nation’s energy supply and electric and phone services, launched an energy efficiency initiative in 31 of its buildings across the country.

The 9 percent reduction in energy use represents enough power for 5,000 homes for one month, and would cost nearly $450,000 to produce using fossilfuel powered thermal plants, according to ICE. The savings also represent 160 tons of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas blamed for global warming – not released into the atmosphere, ICE said.

Now, ICE has begun training more than 80 representatives from other government agencies on how to curb energy use in their own offices.

The program is intended to eventually graduate 600 “energetic administrators” representing 88 agencies, including the Costa Rica Social Security System (the Caja), the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE), the National Insurance Institute (INS) and others.

The energetic administrators will take up oversight positions in their agencies to implement and monitor energy conservation efforts.


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