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Environmentally friendly refrigerators and air conditioners will be more widely accessible and affordable in Ghana through a new Green On-wage financing scheme.
The ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative (ECOFRIDGES) is a joint project by the Governments of Ghana and Senegal, the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (UNEP U4E) initiative and the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE). In collaboration with regional and local partners, ECOFRIDGES aims to accelerate adoption of energy-efficient and climate-friendly domestic refrigerators and room air conditioners, saving consumers money on their electricity bills, relieving demand on the power sector, and mitigating impacts on the environment. A cornerstone of ECOFRIDGES activities in Ghana is a Green On-Wage (GO) financial mechanism to help make these cooling products more affordable.
Through ECOFRIDGES GO, local financial institutions aim by 2023 to unlock at least USD 11 million in financing in Ghana to support the purchase of over 15,000 more sustainable cooling appliances and entice the replacement of old existing equipment. The project includes the proper collection and disposal of used appliances, product testing, policy considerations, capacity building, and promotion and awareness campaigns. It sets strict energy performance requirements and limits on the refrigerants of participating products to keep a lid on greenhouse gas emissions.
Kofi Agyarko, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Director of the Energy Commission, noted, “This programme positions Ghana as an African leader in advancing sustainable development, helping assure a better quality of life for our people while advancing the climate goals of the Paris Agreement and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol”
The project team is delighted to announce the launch of ECOFRIDGES GO following an in-depth market assessment and numerous consultations with stakeholders. Eligible salaried employees can access a 0% interest loan that is “on-wage” in that the repayment is deducted from their paycheck each month during the repayment period. The loan finances the purchase of a qualifying refrigerator or air-conditioner. Partner banks offering the loans include CalBank Plc, Ecobank Ghana Limited, or Letshego Ghana Savings and Loans Plc.
Participating vendors include Ederick Limited, Electroland Ghana Limited, Hisense, Nesstra Ghana Limited and Services Merchandize Limited. The vendors will deliver the new appliance to the customer. They also facilitate the collection and recycling of used, operational products from participating customers who wish to exchange one in return for a voucher valid for future use at the store.
Brian Holuj, ECOFRIDGES Project Manager at U4E indicated that, “ECOFRIDGES GO is a game changer for consumers, businesses and the planet. It addresses the key hurdle to making sustainable cooling competitive with average products that may be inexpensive to buy but waste a lot of energy and cost much more to operate.”
According to Daniel Magallon, CEO of BASE, “Innovative financing instruments such as ECOFRIDGES GO have the potential to disrupt the market and facilitate households’ access to affordable, efficient refrigerators and ACs systems and benefiting from the low energy consumption and low electricity bills. This initiative is an important coalition between the government, leading financial institutions and energy-efficient cooling technology providers, combining efforts for a more sustainable Ghana.”
Shilpa Patel, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program’s Mission Investing Director, added, “We are very pleased to support ECOFRIDGES GO for climate-friendly cooling, and delighted it is coming to fruition in Ghana. Ghana’s example will inspire others and help the international community in our collective responsibilities to the Paris Agreement, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Efficient products make cooling more accessible, and in turn, keep more indoor spaces comfortable and foods fresh and nutritious, helping to cope with the consequences and restrictions of Covid-19.
ECOFRIDGES is made possible by funding from the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program and in-kind contributions from Ghana’s Energy Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and project partners.