In recent years, the paradigm has shifted and ‘going green’ is no longer just a trendy tag line; it has become the standard when building in Cayman.
On This Page
Increasingly, focus is shifting to eco-friendly property design by way of solar panels, geothermal cooling systems, low-flow plumbing, high-efficiency appliances and LED lighting with reduced energy bills as renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, is duty-free for residential homeowners. The Customs and Tariff Act also eliminated the duty for spray polyurethane foam insulation, polyurethane foam sheets, low e-film for windows, smart thermostats and smart home energy monitors. It is hoped that this duty waiver on a range of energy-efficient devices and materials will encourage the insulation of homes to reduce electricity consumption.
Cayman National Bank's GreenLiving Programme
Cayman National Bank’s GreenLiving programme offers loans of over US$10,000 with 100% financing available to qualifying borrowers for hybrid and electric vehicles, solar panels or batteries, energy smart shutters or other energy smart upgrades. For more information, visit their website or speak to a member of the customer services team at one of their six branches located across all three Cayman Islands.
CUC has multiple energy programmes to incentivise customers to contribute clean energy to the island’s energy grid.Read More
Considerations When Building Green
If you are thinking about designing and building a green home, consider the following steps:
- Find a design-builder who has proven experience with green homes in Cayman.
- Use key building products like Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) such as Fox Blocks, which are manufactured locally, spray foam insulation, low VOCs materials and finishes, impact/insulated windows, Watersense-rated plumbing and Energy Star-rated appliances.
- Own your own energy. With the growing demand for alternative energy sources, utilise solar energy in your home (see Powering Your Home later in this chapter for more information).
- Design your home with the intent to have as much foliage protecting the outside to maximise cooling effects and minimise air conditioning usage.
- Alternatively, try a geothermal cooling system. Companies like GeoCayman can help you cool your home much more efficiently than traditional air conditioning systems, saving you substantial energy and money.
Alternative Cooling Systems
If you are looking for a more organic and less costly method of lowering air conditioning usage, consider planting lots of foliage around your house, adopting a white or silver-coloured roof, and keeping windows and doors open during the cooler times of day to allow a breeze. If you are building a house, consider suggesting to your architect ways to face the windows and doors to be able to harness as much of the breeze as possible.
Geothermal Cooling Systems
Fossil fuel costs to power our homes will only continue to rise as finite supplies dwindle worldwide. Electricity is already costly in the Cayman Islands, and as small Caribbean countries don’t have the bargaining power of larger countries, they will be the hardest hit as oil reserves become more limited. Cayman’s goal of obtaining 70% of its power from renewable resources by 2037 has fuelled discussions on finding alternative ways of doing this. While solar power remains a trusted option for renewable energy, interest in geothermal energy cooling systems is also on the rise.
If you are interested in converting your energy to become renewable and sustainable, the following company can help:
Building Green Consultants
The following organisations can help you if you are looking to build a greener home in Cayman.
Please also refer to the Advice on Building a Home page for more information.