Bargain on new Energy Commission launched new initiative


The Energy Commission of Ghana is spearheading an initiative to replace about 2million second-hand refrigerators said to be in the system with new energy-efficient ones.

The Commission estimates that aside preventing the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the elimination of inefficient refrigerators will save Ghana some US$72million per annum by 2020.

For a start, it has launched a pilot project to encourage residents of Accra and Tema to hand over their second-hand refrigerators at designated sales outlets and take home brand new energy-efficient ones at subsidised prices.

The old fridges will be dismantled and scrapped in an environmentally-appropriate manner, the Energy Commission said.

The project is in collaboration with the Global Environmetal Facility and the United Nations Development Programme.

Briefing journalists in Accra, the Project Coordinator, Eric Kumi Antwi-Agyei, said Somovision Electronics and Appliances Masters (Beko) have been chosen to supply the subsidised refrigerators.

The prices of the new refrigerators range between GH¢370 and GH¢1,000 and depending on the size and the energy efficiency level of the type an individual chooses, a discount of between GH¢150 and GH¢200 applies.

The Commission says it has also entered into an agreement with Ecobank to provide credit facilities for individuals who are unable to make up the difference.

The new refrigerators have embossed on them star markings that determine their energy-efficiency level, with five stars being the most efficient.  Other information on the embossment include the annual consumption level and the model.

"You can save up to GH¢200 on electricity per year by purchasing an energy-efficient refrigerator.  One highly-efficient refrigerator consumes the same energy as a 100-watt light bulb," the Commission said.

The pilot project, estimated to cost GH¢500,000 began yesterday, September 19, and is expected to run till the end of the year after which it will be rolled out nationwide.  For the next three years, the Commission hopes to replace some 50,000 high-energy consuming and environmentally destructive refrigerators which are in use in Ghanaian homes.

When this is done successfully, the Commission believes it will attract the neeeded investment to replace the significant numbers that will remain in use, Mr. Antwi-Agyei said.

In 2006, Mr. Antwi-Agyei said, research conducted by the Industrial Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research indicated that on the average second hand refrigerators in Ghanaian homes consumed up to 1200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.  This was at a time when the average in America and Europe was 467kWh and 500kWh respectively, he said.

Beginning January 2013, Ghana will put into force a ban on the importation of second-hand refrigerators which have flooded the Ghanaian market.

As Europe and America move towards more energy efficient appliances, the old inefficient ones are been pushed to Africa, Mr. Antwi-Agyei said.  There is therefore the need for Ghana to act and stop their importation into the country, he added.

One of the core functions of Ghana's Energy Commission is to promote energy efficiency.  The Commission says since it encouraged the country to use energy-efficient lamps, consumers saved about GH¢31 annually, while "a whopping amount of US$33million is been saved annually by the country."

Source: Business & Financial Times
Date: Thursday, 20th September, 2012

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