Dr Ofosu Ahenkorah, in cap, inspects an energy efficient refrigerator at the launch of the pilot scheme

Dr Ofosu Ahenkorah, in cap, inspects an energy efficient refrigerator at the launch of the pilot scheme

The Energy Commission expects to sell 50,000 units of refrigerators this year to save an estimated 35 million units of electricity for consumers.

In line with this, the Commission has rolled out its nationwide project to promote appliance energy efficiency and transform the refrigerating appliance market in Ghana.

Dr Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, in a speech on Wednesday to launch the nationwide project in Accra, noted: ?The rebate is an opportunity for customers to get the best deal on new refrigerators on the Ghanaian market. The prices under the scheme have been drastically reduced for a limited period and Government is providing funds to make the acquisition of refrigerators affordable.?

New refrigerating appliances under this scheme could be purchased from as low as GH?180 to GH?800 after the discount is applied, the discounts offered on the refrigerators depend on the energy efficiency star rating on the refrigerator, he said.

Refrigerators marked 2?stars attract a discount of GHS150 while a refrigerator with 3-stars and above attract a whopping GHS200.

?We expect this scheme to follow the success story of the energy efficient light bulbs ? the CFLs. The implementation of this initiative resulted in electricity demand savings of over 124 MW and energy costs savings of over 33 million dollars per annum.?

All energy-draining refrigerators from the rebate scheme are sent to the City Waste Company Limited for proper disposal.

The company has imported specialized equipment just for recovering the banned CFC refrigerants which is still running in refrigerators in most homes. These refrigerants are 2400 times more destructive than the carbon dioxide emissions and are also the major cause for the Ozone Layer Depletion.

The Executive Secretary said that discussions have started between the Energy Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, CWMCL and Scrap Dealers Association on how to sanitize the scraping of refrigerators to avoid burning of cables and crude methods employed in the scraping process.

?When all the useful contents have been removed from the refrigerators, the frame is simply dumped anywhere and these sometimes find their way into the Odaw River. We expect that this project will pave the way and show the proper methods for recycling these refrigerators.

With the scheme rolled out nationwide, participating shops in the regional capitals will now offer the rebate scheme.

Melcom and ROWI, both general appliance shops, have joined the scheme while Appliance Masters and Somovision will continue to run the rebates on their refrigerators.

Participation in the scheme by these shops is voluntary and these companies had to go through a rigorous selection process.

?Participating shops are expected to fully comply with the labeling requirements and carry the stickers on all refrigerators they offer for sale.?

ECOBANK is a major partner in the scheme. The bank is offering flexible and attractive consumer loans to cover payment of the top-up after the discount is applied on the fridges and freezers.

On 19th September 2012, the Energy Commission launched the pilot refrigerator rebate and exchange scheme in Accra and its environs.

A total of 2,100 refrigerators were exchanged under the pilot scheme.

A typical household consumes 3,000 kWh of electricity a year and thus spends close to GHS540 annually.

An efficient refrigerator can drain close to 1,200 kWh or 40 percent of total household energy, costing GH?216.

On the other hand, the new refrigerators we are promoting can consume less than 5 kWh per year and can reduce the refrigerator?s contribution to household consumption to just 16 percent and as such reducing annual electricity bills due to refrigeration from GH?216 to GH?90. An efficient refrigerating appliance can last between 10 and 15 years.

 By Samuel Boadi

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