Energy Minister Launches Pilot Refrigerator Rebate and Exchange Scheme


A pilot Refrigerator Rebate and Exchange Scheme, to be used as an innovative tool to transform the Refrigerating Appliance Market in Ghana, was, yesterday, launched in Accra. The launch took place on the theme “Promoting of Appliance Energy Efficiency and Transformation of Refrigerating Appliance Market in Ghana”.

The purpose of the Refrigerator Rebate and Exchange Scheme is to support consumers to purchase efficient refrigerators when they turn in their old inefficient refrigerators in working condition to the scheme. In other words, under the project, consumers who turn in their old refrigerating appliances will be supported financially to pay part of the cost of a new refrigerator.

Under the programme, a scrap yard will be established to dismantle refrigerators that will be turned in as part of the rebate scheme and recover all the ozone-depleting substances and foam insulation will be properly destroyed.

Some fifty thousand energy-efficient refrigerators are expected to be sold under the programme over the next three years of the project implementation, resulting in a massive saving of 216MWh of electricity, which is more than half of the electricity that will be produced by the Bui dam when completed.

The Scheme is an aspect of the Refrigerator Energy-Efficiency Project which is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Energy Commission (EC).

The primary objective of the project is to improve the energy-efficiency of appliances marketed and used in Ghana through the introduction of a combination of regulatory tools such as the minimum Energy Performance Standards and Information Labels (S&L) and innovative tools.

In a speech read on his behalf to declare the Scheme launched, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister for Energy, disclosed that the UNDP, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund of Canada were supporting the implementation of the project with an amount of US$2 million over the three-year project period.

Dr Oteng-Adjei said for its part, the Government of Ghana was committing one million Ghana Cedis (GH¢1m) a year for the next three years to stimulate the purchase of new refrigerators at designated shops throughout the country.

He said under the project, Ecobank, a selected participating bank, would also provide consumer loans to provide assistance to customers who could still not afford to top up to buy the brand new energy-efficient refrigerators.

In an address, the UNDP Country Director, Mr Kamil Kamaluddeen noted that the rebate scheme constituted a breakthrough energy initiative in Africa and that Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to fully embark on the initiative.

Mr Kamaluddeen said the success of the scheme would require the collaboration of several stakeholders on the market as well as the creation and sustainment of partnerships.

He said the project was embarking on concrete and tangible interventions upstream and downstream while in terms of institutional/regulatory framework, an appropriate legislation had been enacted to establish the minimum energy-efficient standards for refrigerators and ban the importation of used refrigerating appliances.

This, Mr Kamaluddeen said, was a critical step to allow the entry into the national market of certified efficient refrigerators which will be facilitated by a test facility.

For his part, Dr Alfred Ofosu-Ahenkorah, Executive of the Energy Commission said Ghana could not continue to generate more energy and waste a significant part of it.

The Refrigerator Rebate and Exchange Programme, Dr Ahenkorah said, was, therefore, part of an integrated approach to promote energy efficiency.

According to a study conducted in 2006 by the Institute of Industrial Research of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), refrigerating appliances in Ghana consumed on the average 1,200 KWh per unit per annum, an amount that is three times the world average of 500 KWh per unit per annum.

Other studies also reveal that the majority of refrigerators sold on the Ghanaian market are not made for the tropical climate, hence the high energy consumption rates.

It is estimated that there are about two million inefficient refrigerating appliances throughout the country, the economic cost of which is not only enormous but also environmentally unfriendly, hence the need to transform the refrigerating appliance market in Ghana by replacing inefficient used refrigeration appliances with more efficient and environmentally ones.


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)
Date: Thursday, 20th September, 2012

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