The ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative (ECOFRIDGES) received with enthusiasm by the financial sector in Ghana. ECOFRIDGES Green On-wage financing (ECOFRIDGES GO) will be commercially available for Ghanaian households in the coming months.
ECOFRIDGES is a joint program by the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative and the Governments of Ghana and Senegal with the sole objective to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient and climate friendly domestic refrigerators and room air conditioners. In Ghana, U4E is collaborating with the Energy Commission, the main public stakeholder, as well as other local partners. Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE) is part of the project team leading the development and implementation of the ECOFRIDGES financial mechanism in both countries.
The four game-changing Ghanaian financial partners—Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, Absa Bank and CalBank—will be offering ECOFRIDGES GO in their business scheme in order to accelerate adoption of energy-efficient and climate friendly domestic cooling appliances. Specific credit products will be developed to finance the up-front cost of appliances purchased by qualified customers from partner vendors selling certified cooling appliances. Customers will be incentivized to turn in their used but operational cooling appliances for recycling in an environmentally friendly manner.
“These schemes will help make cooling more affordable while mitigating environmental impacts and stress on the electricity grid”, according to U4E’s Brian Holuj, ECOFRIDGES project manager.
ECOFRIDGES is also being implemented with the Government of Senegal through “l’Agence pour l’Economie et la Maitrise de l’Energie” (AEME), “la Direction de l’Environnement et des Etablissements Classés” (DEEC) and the national electricity company SENELEC. In Senegal, the focus is on an on-bill financial mechanism, where consumers can purchase energy-efficient and climate friendly cooling systems through repayments on their electric utility bills in partnership with local financial institutions.
We are really excited about these new financial products that will help customers make environmentally-friendly cooling choices and facilitate their purchase”, according to Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program’s Shilpa Patel, K-CEP’s Head of the Finance Window.
ECOFRIDGES is set as one of the many solutions for governments and households to tackle the post-COVID19 challenges in developing countries. ECOFRIDGES can help countries “build back better” by reducing emissions and harming gases for the environment that relate to old and inefficient appliances. In addition,, it improves efficiency and energy consumption, thus, providing households with a clean cooling solution while reducing financial burdens related to energy consumption. Access to clean and efficient cooling is an essential need, and ECOFRIDGES is a great opportunity to cost effectively address this challenge.
According to Kofi Agyarko, Director at the Energy Commission, his institution will provide the needed support to this new initiative that builds on the success of the refrigerator rebate scheme. The rebate scheme ended in 2015 in view of the enormous potential for replication in the West African sub region and Africa, in general, where Ghana and Senegal lead the charge.
The ECOFRIDGES Initiative in Ghana is made possible by funding from Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program and in-kind contributions from Ghana’s Energy Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and local financial institutions. Read more on United4Efficiency.