Environmentally-friendly refrigerators and ACs will soon become widely accessible in Ghana through the Green On-wage (GO) financial mechanism through the ECOFRIDGES program in partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited.

ECOFRIDGES is a joint program by the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative and the Government of Ghana through the Energy Commission in collaboration with regional and local partners to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerators and room air conditioners. A cornerstone of ECOFRIDGES is a financial mechanism to ensure these cooling products are affordable. BASE – a Swiss foundation specialized in developing innovative, actionable financial strategies and market-driven solutions to unlock investment in sustainable energy and to tackle climate change - is leading the development and implementation of this scheme.

Through the no-risk, high-potential ECOFRIDGES Green On-Wage (GO) financial mechanism, Fidelity Bank Ghana- a leading commercial bank in Ghana, and partner local financial institutions aim to unlock US$ 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 complimentary components, notably the proper collection and disposal of used appliances, product testing, policy considerations, and promotion and awareness campaigns.

ECOFRIDGES GO will soon become commercially available in Ghana. BASE signed an MoU with Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited as the first local financial institution partner. ECOFRIDGES GO is based on an employee loan product repaid over time through salary deductions.

Fidelity Bank in collaboration with BASE aims to develop a credit product designed to finance the up-front cost of the appliance purchased by qualified customers, from partner vendors selling certified cooling systems. The vendors will deliver the new domestic refrigerator or room air conditioner, facilitate the collection and recycling of old products from consumers. Customers are incentivized to turn-in used but operational cooling equipment through a voucher valid for use at vendors’ branches.

“BASE is looking forward to working with first-mover Fidelity Bank and welcoming other partner financial institutions in the development and roll-out of ECOFRIDGES GO in Ghana to support Ghanaian households replacing their old and inefficient domestic cooling systems with high-efficiency and environmentally friendly refrigerators and ACs through accessible and low-risk financing,” said Aurélien Pillet, Sustainable Energy Finance Specialist of BASE.

“Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited is excited to collaborate with the BASE as the first financial institution in Ghana to promote the implementation of ECOFRIDGES GO in Ghana, under its Green Environment Initiatives. As an environmentally responsible

bank, our aim is to promote energy-efficient solutions to help a lot more Ghanaians save money on their utility bills and ease pressure on the electricity grid while lessening the impact on the environment.” – said Nana Esi Idun - Arkhurst, Divisional Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana.

Now more than ever, energy-efficient and climate-friendly domestic refrigerators can help families cope with the consequences and restrictions generated by Covid-19. 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 in-kind contributions from Ghana’s Energy Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.

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