Heating, Ventilating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration technicians from across the Caribbean region met in Guyana to attend an Energy efficiency and alternatives Technologies Workshop from December 3rd – 5th, 2019 organised by the National Ozone Action Unit of Guyana in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of New Zealand.

Also attending the meeting was the National Ozone Officer of Grenada, Mr. Leslie Smith, who seized the opportunity to convene a meeting of the technicians to discuss an “old” issue that has been given “new life”. The idea of a formation of a Caribbean Association of HVAC technicians was initiated in Grenada in 2012 and recently discussed at an Expert Group Meeting organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Suriname (October 5th, 2019) and more recently at a Caribbean Cooling (C-COOL) Initiative Strategic Workshop for a Regional Consortium in Grenada (October 30th, 2019).

During this special meeting organised in the margins of the Energy Efficiency Workshop, twenty four (24) technicians representing a cross section of thirteen (13) countries across the Caribbean attended. In addition to the issue of the HVAC Association,convener of the meeting, Mr. Leslie Smith identified several other areas for discussion, among them were: the development of a unified curriculum for HVAC-R training at tertiary institutions in the region, the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Caribbean HVAC associations and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association (AREA) and a regional licensing system for technicians.

A major outcome of the meeting was the establishment of a Steering Committee with the overall objective of setting up the framework and leveraging financing for the establishment of the regional association of HVAC-R technicians. The steering committee is comprised of the following members:

Leslie Smith – Grenada (Chair/Convener)
Frederick Beausoleil – St. Lucia (Recording Secretary)
Michael Harte – St. Lucia
Grantly Parris – Barbados
Gary Peters – St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Vernon Ramjattan – Trinidad & Tobago
Patrick Chinedu Ozwuzirike – Guyana
The Committee already held its first meeting in Guyana and discussed among other issues:

the selection of a Chair and Recording Secretary;
the development of Terms of Reference (TOR) for its members;
Distribution of introductory letters to all HVAC-R associations in the Caribbean
A schedule for virtual meetings of the Steering Committee
The National Ozone Unit of Grenada wishes this Committee well in coordinating activities for regional HVAC-R technicians.