Energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly refrigerators and air conditioners will be widely accessible and more affordable in Senegal through a new funding mechanism. ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative (ECOFRIDGES) Senegal, coordinated by the Agency for the Economy and the Control of Energy (AEME) and the Directorate of the Environment and Classified Establishments (DEEC), collaborates with Senelec, La Banque Agricole as a partner bank, and Electronic Corp and SENFROID as cooling equipment providers to facilitate access to these refrigerators and air conditioners to households through a refundable green credit through prepaid electricity refills (Woyofal).
ECOFRIDGES Sénégal is a United Nations Environment Programme United for Efficiency (UNEP U4E) project in partnership with the Agency for the Economy and the Control of Energy (AEME), the Directorate of the Environment and Classified Establishments (DEEC), Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), la Société Nationale d’Électricité et du Gaz (Senelec) and La Banque Agricole (LBA). It aims to mobilize investment in energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cooling solutions and recycle old appliances. The initiative is financially supported by K-CEP (Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme).
The countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are experiencing significant economic and demographic growth, leading to an increasing demand for domestic refrigerators and individual air conditioners. Cooling products are essential to the health, well-being and competitiveness of these economies, but they pose critical problems in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact. Second-hand models that often contain environmentally harmful refrigerants can consume two to three times more energy than the efficient model options available today.
This initiative is in line with the new Energy Sector Development Policy Letter (LDPSE), the overall objective of which is to strengthen everyone’s access to energy in sufficient quality and quantity at a lower cost, sustainable and environmentally friendly. This objective necessarily requires efficient and less polluting use of electricity by electricity users.
The ECOFRIDGES Senegal team is delighted to announce the launch of the ECOFRIDGES Senegal programme following an in-depth market assessment and extensive consultations with stakeholders. Woyofal customers subscribing to Senelec will have access to a consumer credit at an interest rate of 0% for a term of at least 24 months, provided the refund will be deducted from their Woyofal reloads each month during the repayment period. The credit finances the purchase of a refrigerator or an air conditioner approved as “ECOFRIDGES Sénégal Equipment”. La Banque Agricole will offer these green loans to eligible households.
Brian Holuj from UNEP U4E and ECOFRIDGES Sénégal Project Manager added that, “ECOFRIDGES brings together government ambition and oversight, energy expertise and billing convenience of the utility, the financial strength of local banks, and the best cooling technologies from local suppliers to make switching to efficient and climate-friendly products easy and affordable for consumers“.
By 2024, ECOFRIDGES Sénégal aims to unlock FCFA 3.3 billion in financing to support the purchase of more than 19,200 energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cooling units, saving approximately 14,000 MWh electricity consumption of households. This same funding can then be extended to cover additional investment opportunities with other sustainable energy technologies.
According to Daniel Magallon, BASE’s Chief Executive Officer, “ECOFRIDGES Sénégal positions Senegal as a leading country in the implementation of innovative business models that help households reduce their energy consumption and improve their economy with the adoption of efficient refrigeration systems and ACs. Organizations such as AEME, DEEC, Senelec and La Banque Agricole are demonstrating great leadership and commitment to address the country’s climate challenges. It also reflects the capacity of the public and private sectors in Senegal to work together to address the challenges for the benefit of Senegal’s economy. U4E UNEP and BASE are very honoured to be able to collaborate with these entities and be part of this great initiative.”
The AEME, coordinator of the implementation of the project alongside DEEC and the other partners recalls its mission to implement the national policy of the state of Senegal in terms of energy conservation through which ECOFRIDGES will contribute. It goes on to say, “Energy conservation is the number one source of energy.”
Senelec added that it is important to note that the national electricity and gas company has always had at the heart of its strategy the control of energy and energy efficiency, which are the two important levers for the optimization of supply. Hence the implementation of programmes for the rationalization of self-consumption at Senelec sites (administrative buildings and power stations). Better yet, Senelec has never stopped raising awareness about the use of the least energy efficient devices to enable customers to control their consumption.
The Chief Executive Officer of La Banque Agricole, Mr Malick Ndiaye, stated that “La Banque Agricole is committed to promoting project financing and/or climate change mitigation and support for low-carbon activities.”