Environmentally friendly refrigerators and air conditioners will soon be widely accessible in Ghana through Green On-wage financing implemented by the ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative in collaboration with Letshego and other banks.
The ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative (ECOFRIDGES) is a joint program by the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (UNEP U4E) initiative and the Governments of Ghana and Senegal through the Energy Commission in collaboration with regional and local partners to accelerate adoption of energy-efficient and climate-friendly domestic refrigerators and room air conditioners in the residential sector. A cornerstone of ECOFRIDGES is a financial mechanism to ensure these cooling products are affordable.
Through the innovative ECOFRIDGES Green On-Wage (GO) financial mechanism, local financial institutions aim to unlock USD 5 million in financing to support the purchase of well over 10,000 cooling appliances to replace old existing equipment by 2022. The mechanism includes the proper collection and disposal of used appliances, product testing, policy considerations, capacity building, and promotion and awareness campaigns.
ECOFRIDGES GO has been well-received by the Ghanaian financial sector. The project team is delighted to announce that Letshego is joining other financial institutions to provide financing through ECOFRIDGES GO. Letshego is one of the leading Savings and Loans companies in Ghana, and it brings excellent experience and ambition to drive the transition to more sustainable products. The scheme is expected to become commercially available in Ghana next month.
Letshego will offer a credit to finance the up-front cost of a qualifying appliance purchased by eligible customers from participating vendors. Approved vendors will deliver new domestic refrigerators and room air conditioners and facilitate the collection and disposal of old products that are being replaced. Customers can receive a voucher to turn-in used but operational cooling equipment that is valid for future use at vendor stores.
ECOFRIDGES GO will help consumers readily access cooling products that are cheaper to own and operate over their lifetimes than models using outdated technology. It offers a triple win – benefitting consumers, reducing strain on Ghana’s electrical grid, and mitigating key environmental impacts. Brian Holuj, ECOFRIDGES Project Manager, U4E.
Mr. Arnold Parker, CEO of Letshego Savings & Loans said, “As a business we are continually seeking ways to improve the lives of Ghanaians through simple, appropriate and accessible financial solutions. The ECOFRIDGES solution will impact the lives of many Ghanaians as it ensures savings on electricity bills to households. Our interest to partner on delivering this solution to Ghanaians underpins our vision to impact lives and the environment as a whole.”
Now more than ever, sustainable cooling solutions can help families cope with the consequences and restrictions generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Efficient and clean cooling systems help households to save money on their electricity bills, in addition to the well-recognized benefits of refrigeration in extending the shelf life and quality of food. Access to cooling is a basic need and ECOFRIDGES GO is a great opportunity to cost-effectively address this challenge.
UNEP U4E brings together leading experts from international organisations, the private sector, and civil society groups to provide tailored technical assistance to participating governments and stakeholders. The development of the financial mechanism is led by the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), a Swiss non-profit that is pursuing innovative financial mechanisms around the world with U4E and other partners. ECOFRIDGES 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.