MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28: This week the Department of Energy launched ‘Energy Limbo: How Low Can You Go?’– an energy cutback competition which sees participants compete for the biggest reduction in their electricity use over the course of almost a year.

They are currently seeking volunteers who wish to compete in the challenge, which features a $600 travel voucher as the grand prize.

Prior to the start of the competition the Department of Energy will supply and install an electronic electricity meter into participants’ homes that will provide real-time information about their electricity consumption on their laptop or PC. 

Every month contestants will check in with Department of Energy staff to share their electric bills which will then be compared with participants’ historical data to assess progress. They will also give advice and guidance to participants who aren’t reducing consumption as much as they would like and inform contestants on a monthly basis as to how they are measuring up in comparison with the other contestants.

Minister of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy, the Hon. Marc A. R. Bean, JP, MP explained that by doing a few small steps, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars each year.

“We believe that without doing very much that’s different to their current behaviors, the average resident can save 15% off their bills by just being aware of obvious energy waste,” Minister Bean explained. “If an average homeowner pays about $350 per month on their electric bills, then that’s a potential savings of more than $600 per year- that could be going toward many other things. Through this contest, we hope to see ordinary people saving far more than that, and have them sharing their experiences of success with the public.”

All you need to take part in this competition is a residence with its own meter, a wireless internet connection with a home computer, and a copy of your electric bills from January of this year.  Eligible participants need only share the past year’s worth of electric bills with the Department, and they must be homeowners or tenants with landlord permission.  Actual billing information will be kept confidential, as it’s only the percentage of savings that will be revealed to the public.

Director of Energy, Jeane Nikolai added: “Meter installations are very simple, and do not in any way alter your premises, but we are currently arranging for their installation by trained technicians in order to ensure that every contestant is set up properly.  Those installations will take place between November 28th and December 31st.”

This contest will begin in January, and will go for ten months through the end of October.  The winner and the runners-up will be announced in Caricom Energy Week of 2012, to celebrate energy awareness.

The first place winner will receive a $600 travel voucher and the top three competitors will be permitted to keep their metering device.

The Department of Energy is looking for contestants to take part. Registration will be on a first come, first serve basis, and will be capped at twenty contestants. 

Those interested should contact the Department of Energy at

The Minister of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy the Hon. Marc Bean, JP, MP, Director of Energy Jeane Nikolai and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy Dr. Derrick Binns will also be taking part in the initiative, but only as passive participants rather than competitors.