SHTA survey on GEBE impact on business sector: 41% lost business, 19% lost stock | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–A survey conducted by the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) to assess the impact that NV GEBE’s frequent load shedding has on businesses showed that nineteen per cent of the respondents indicated they lost stock, while 41% stated they lost business due to the crisis.

SHTA said in a press release that power outages and surges have led to loss of equipment amongst over half of the respondents, while some expect this to still happen. When asked what the key needs of businesses were, given the challenges, recurring answers were availability of generator parts, financial support and affordable fuel.
“By now everyone is aware of the predicament GEBE finds itself in as well as the efforts to remedy the situation. Constant load shedding has a detrimental effect on our economy, visitors, employees and the community generally,” SHTA said in a press release.
In this regard, SHTA shared some tips for energy conservation. The tips shared are as follows:

Company and office spaces
* Many companies want to be as inviting to customers as possible by opening their doors whilst cooling their store. Either closing doors or an air curtain could directly reduce energy consumption.
* Reconsider if your spaces need artificial light, or can do with natural light only.
* Closing blinds, shades, and drapes helps to keep your space’s temperature lower and reduces energy use for your AC.
* “Smart” thermostats and sensors can reduce power use on many appliances throughout the day.
* Cleaning of air filters and tuning of HVAC systems is a globally advised way to reduce energy use.
* Only some degree change in settings of air conditioning temperature provides energy and cost savings. Don’t set your air conditioning to a low temperature that will never be achieved (e.g. 16 degrees Celsius); your air conditioning will run constantly since it will never achieve that level.
* Inform your employees about all suggestions above and below for optimal effect.

Office appliances
* Unplug computers, printers and other appliances if they are not in use. Next to saving energy, it avoids damage when the net surges back after a power outage.
* Appliances like cell phones and laptops need only a few hours to charge, so there is no need to plug them in over the full night. Cell battery life is better if only charged up to 80% instead of 100%.
* LED/energy-efficient light bulbs instead of traditional ones do not just save money, they also last longer.
* Switching off lights, air conditioning and other appliances in rooms not being used are a way to reduce energy and cost.
* Planning to and running your generator during peak times can reduce the pressure on the grid during peak hours.
* Running high energy appliances outside peak hours will alleviate grid pressure during peak hours.

Restaurant and office kitchens
* Fridges are amongst the most energy-consuming appliances. See if your fridge temperature can be adjusted, and remove food you are going to cook timely to save possibly needed electricity for cooking/heating food later on. Ensure fridge doors remain tightly closed.
* Like with air conditioners, cleaning filters and servicing your fridge saves energy.
* Whilst baking or broiling, try to avoid “peeking” in the oven as it directly increases energy use.
* When cooking with electricity, keep lids on pans for less use of energy.
* Microwaves use far less energy than electric ovens; reconsider which one to use.
* Do dishes when you have a full load, as both manual and dishwasher washing cost energy.
* When you normally use a dryer, see if you can use the summer heat instead of the dryer. Try to use a full load if you still want to use the dryer.

Source: The Daily Herald