Environmentally-friendly refrigerators and ACs will soon become widely accessible in Ghana through the Green On-wage (GO) financial mechanism under the ECOFRIDGES program with CalBank PLC.
The ECOWAS Refrigerators and Air Conditioners Initiative (ECOFRIDGES) is a joint program by the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (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. 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, a Swiss non-profit that is pursuing innovative financial mechanisms around the world with U4E and other partners.
Through the no-risk high-potential ECOFRIDGES Green On-Wage (GO) financial mechanism, CalBank and partner local financial institutions aim to unlock USD 5 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 CalBank is joining ECOFRIDGES Green On-wage (GO) financial mechanism amongst other partner financial institutions. CalBank aims to support the adoption of energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerators and air conditioners in Ghana. ECOFRIDGES GO is expected to become commercially available in Ghana in the coming months.
CalBank will offer a credit product through the GO mechanism 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.
ECOFRIDGES GO will help consumers readily access cooling products that are cheaper to own and operate over their lifetime 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. Philip Owiredu, MD of CalBank intimated that “CalBank believes that as individuals procure domestic items to make life comfortable, they need to do so cognizant of the effects those items have on the environment. Our RESPONSIBILITY value requires that we do right by our actions even as we do business profitably. We shall ensure the implementation of this agreement benefits our clients as we assist them in procuring new cooling products. CalBank is a socially responsible organization and will continue to contribute to technology that improves society and the environment.”
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 in Ghana 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.
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