Environmentally friendly refrigerators and air conditioners will soon become widely accessible in Ghana. This will be made possible through the Green On-wage (GO) financial mechanism implemented under the ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners program in collaboration with Ecobank Ghana.
The ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative (ECOFRIDGES) is a joint programme by the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (U4E) and the Governments of Ghana and Senegal. The program is being implemented through the Energy Commission in collaboration with regional and local partners to accelerate the 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. UNEP U4E brings together leading experts from international organisations, 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 BASE.
Through the no-risk high-potential ECOFRIDGES Green On-Wage financial mechanism, Ecobank Ghana and partner local financial institutions aim to unlock USD5 million in financing to support the purchase of well over 10,000 energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling products to replace old existing equipment by 2022. The mechanism also includes complementary components, notably the proper collection and disposal of used appliances, product testing, policy considerations, and promotion and awareness campaigns.
ECOFRIDGES has been well-received by the Ghanaian financial sector. The project team is delighted to announce that a second partner financial institution – Ecobank Ghana – is joining ECOFRIDGES Green On-wage (GO) financial mechanism. Ecobank Ghana aims to support adoption of energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerators and air conditioners in Ghana. The programme is expected to become commercially available in Ghana in the coming months.
Ecobank Ghana will offer a credit product through the GO mechanism starting before the end of 2020 to finance the up-front cost of a qualifying appliance purchased by eligible customers from participating vendors. The vendors will deliver the new domestic refrigerator or room air conditioner and facilitate the collection and disposal of old products that being replaced. Customers are incentivised to turn-in used but operational cooling equipment through a voucher valid for use at vendor stores.
Speaking on this project, Brian Holuj, ECOFRIDGES Project Manager, U4E said; “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”
On his part, the Executive Director of Finance for Ecobank Ghana, Dr. Edward Botchway said that; “For us at Ecobank, we take climate action seriously, that is why we are proud to be the first commercial bank in SubSaharan Africa and the first entity in Ghana to be accredited to the Green Climate Fund. We are excited to be part of this partnership to support the united global response to climate change”.
Now more than ever, energy-efficient, and climate-friendly refrigerators 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.
The ECOFRIDGES Initiative Program is made possible by funding from Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program and inkind contributions from Ghana’s Energy Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.