UNDP supports national efforts to conserve energy in Ghana

The Energy Commission in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), PHILIPS as well as Dutch & Co has formally launched a campaign to conserve energy in Ghana.

The campaign, dubbed “Cut and Save Energy, targets public sector institutions, particularly the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create awareness on good practices for energy conservation and energy efficiency at their respective workplaces.

The campaign comes on the heels of an energy audit conducted by the Energy Commission of Ghana in April this year, which showed that in 19 out of 25 MDAs, air-conditioners, lighting systems and refrigerators consume in excess of nine million KWh of energy each year, which translates into about GH ₵ 5.5 million per annum.

 “This situation places a heavy burden on the national grid and budget”, noted Dr. Kwame Ampofo, the Board Chairman of the Energy Commission. It was for this reason that government directed all MDAs as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to pay their own electricity bills from budgetary allocations and have pre-paid meters installed to check power consumption and reduce the financial burden on power service providers.

Under the “Cut and Save Energy” campaign, the Energy Commission with support from UNDP will conduct a roadshow across the country to interact with the general public and train Energy Managers – energy focal points of the various MDAs – who will serve as gatekeepers for energy conservation in their respective institutions.

Inaugurating the Energy Managers, Dr. Ampofo, tasked the officers to work hard to change attitudes and promote a new culture of energy conservation at their respective institutions. He intimated that a “Challenge Fund” would launch in 2016, under the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) facility, to enable the Energy Managers to access funds up to 50% of their energy efficiency retrofit implementation cost.

On behalf of the Energy Commission, the Board Chairman expressed profound gratitude to the UNDP for willing and reliable support for the energy conservation campaign and other related initiatives towards making energy available to all.

Mr. Paolo Dalla Stella, UNDP Sustainable Development Analyst, applauded the Energy Commission for the good initiatives and leadership for energy conservation efforts in the country, noting that through this, Ghana has become exemplary in energy efficiency market transformation programmes in Africa. He challenged the public sector to lead by example and demonstrate to the public that attitudinal change for energy conservation is possible.

“The energy crisis currently facing the nation clearly shows that we need to take energy conservation seriously, managing the energy available to us and cutting off bad practices and behaviors that waste energy”, says Nana Asare Afriyie, Executive Director of the Energy Foundation.

The “Cut and Save Energy” campaign leverages on other UNDP-supported initiatives undertaken by the Energy Commission such as the Refrigerator Energy Efficiency Project. The project, which aimed at transforming the refrigerating appliance market in Ghana, introduced a standard and labelling regime, enforced a ban on importation of used refrigerators, and introduced a rebate scheme to provide incentives to consumers to turn in their old refrigerators for new efficient ones.