Addressing a business breakfast organised by the Energy and Water agency (EWA), on the subject of Energy Trends within Malta’s Manufacturing Sector, The Malta Chamber CEO Ing Edward Chetcuti said that more needed to be done to promote the use of renewable energy in a bid to reduce the country’s heavy dependence on the traditional generation of energy.
“With this view, The Malta Chamber is once again taking a proactive, leading role, as it is setting up a horizontal committee dedicated to the subject of Energy Efficiency and Conservation, with a special focus on renewable energy solutions” Ing Chetcuti said.
Ing Chetcuti noted how the Chamber was doing its bit, not only to develop and propose the right policies, but also to raise awareness on the key issues related to the subject.
“The Chamber's vision for the energy sector, is for an economy that does not only balance sustainability with economic drivers, but which seeks for them to be complementary in what The Malta Chamber is calling a smart, sustainable island" Ing Chetcuti said.
The Malta Chamber CEO also said that energy audits should be encouraged further through subsidies and expert support, as they ought to become a base-line for the continuous improvement of business’ energy-efficiency.
Ing Chetcuti drew a parallel with the quality revolution of 20 years ago, when continuous improvement-based audits were the driving force behind the paradigm shift that took place in favour of improved customer experience. Similarly, the ultimate beneficiary of alternative energy would not only be businesses, as all of society would benefit from such an improvement in energy-efficiency.
In the immediate term, The Malta Chamber re-proposes its call to Government to reduce the cost of energy for non-household consumers. By doing so, it will render business more internationally competitive and reduce inflationary wage prices.
As it has suggested numerous times in the past, The Malta Chamber maintains this could be achieved by allowing business and enterprise to undertake bulk-buying and joint purchasing; allowing bulk consumers to opt for fixed or variable tariff as well as allowing privately managed energy distribution grids and substations in Industrial parks.
Government is also encouraged to consider the introduction of energy vouchers to incentivize private investment in alternative sources of energy, and lowering the eligibility threshold for night tariffs and widening the timeframe window with immediate effect. This would incentivise more operators to shift bigger parts of their operations during night time.