Government agencies in Ghana are poised to drive a major switch to efficient and climate-friendly cooling thanks to new sustainable public procurement (SPP) protocols introduced with technical assistance from UNEP U4E.
On 2 September 2022, representatives of Ghana’s Energy Commission, led by Hubert Zan and Edwin Kwasi, and UNEP-U4E delivered training on SPP to government officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS). The training focused on air conditioning.
SPP is a process whereby public sector organisations meet their needs for goods and services in a way that achieves the best value for money on a whole life basis for the organisation and society. Three dimensions – environmental, social, and economic – form the pillars of an SPP programme
SPP in Ghana builds upon previous programmes, such as ECOFRIDGES GO, a financing mechanism co-developed by the Energy Commission, UNEP-U4E and the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE). ECOFRIDGES GO promoted the introduction of sustainable cooling solutions in Ghana, which were not widely available in the country in the past. The SPP technical assistance provided to Ghana Energy Commission was made possible by funding from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affaires (DEFRA) of the United Kingdom.
Space cooling in Ghana is rapidly expanding due to a growing middle-class population, increasing ambient temperatures, and increasing population. In Ghana, about 2.2 million installed room air-conditioners are currently in use, each one consuming between 3,000 – 5,400 kWh per year. due to their poor energy efficiency ratings. SPP can be used to leverage the purchasing power of government to drive improvements in the energy efficiency of air conditioners on the market and accelerate the transition towards more sustainable cooling solutions.
Mr Kofi Agyarko, Energy Commission’s Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directorate, affirmed: “In the era of sustainable public procurement, initial purchase price is no longer the important determinant, but rather the product lifecycle cost to both the user and the environment. SPP is one of the surest ways of accelerating penetration of environmentally friendly appliances, ridding the market of obsolete technologies and supporting sustainable development.”
One of the main goals of this training was to help procurement officers improve their understanding of the economic benefit of sustainable cooling solutions. Participants learned about the different types of air conditioning systems available in Ghana, the technical criteria that may be used in public tenders and were presented with tools that facilitate an economic analysis of the various options.
Victor Minguez, UNEP-U4E’s technical expert, said: “The training provided a great opportunity for procurement officials to see that sustainable cooling equipment is not only good for the environment and the society, but also makes economic sense for the government.”
Further training sessions are currently being organized by the Energy Commission for officials in public and commercial sector institutions in Ghana. The training is intended to provide technical specifications for the purchase of sustainable cooling appliances, and assess their lifecycle cost.
To learn more about SPP, UNEP-U4E’s Toolkit and other support materials and the training that UNEP-U4E has provided, click here.
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 Richard Opoku, Isaac Adjei Edwin, Kofi A. Agyarko, Energy efficiency and cost saving opportunities in public and commercial buildings in developing countries – The case of air-conditioners in Ghana, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 230, 2019, Pages 937-944, ISSN 0959-6526, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.05.067.