ISEES through its Sustainable Energy Business Development Program has introduced “Clean Energy Savings Scheme” to support households, low income earners, associations and groups to access renewable energy and environmental solutions (products).
End-users interested in securing solar lanterns, solar home systems, clean cookstoves or energy efficient LED bulbs etc but are not able to afford are encouraged to begin periodic savings through a scheme that will help end-users to develop the culture of savings to access energy efficient products. This will in-turn reduce their energy expenditure and increase their disposable incomes.
Access to modern, efficient and affordable energy products and services is a precondition for development. Household cooking in Ghana is mainly carried out by women who in general, work very hard; using mainly traditional cookstoves and solid biomass – fuelwood and charcoal, under health-threatening difficult conditions such as exposure to heat and smoke; to feed their households or for small scale agro-processing activities that earn them marginal incomes. ISEES is committed to combating deforestation and indoor air pollution; increasing incomes for women involved in household cooking and agro-processing, and improving health conditions for women and children by significantly reducing exposure to smoke and heat. This is achieved by promotion of improved cookstoves, solar lanterns and energy efficient LED Bulbs. Also gasifier stoves which use agricultural residues such as palm kernel shells, coconut shells and husk, sawdust pellets etc.). ISEES is also committed to providing affordable lighting solutions to off-grid communities. Through the increased assess to solar lanterns, there is improvement in education of children in off-grid communities, reduced in-door air pollution from kerosene wick lamps and reduced expenditure from the use of battery powered torch lights. A reduction in energy expenditure results in increase in incomes, thereby providing better spending options for women in these communities.
Ghana has experienced the implementation of several solar energy-for-off-grid-communities projects. So far, most of these projects are not market-based and have been depending to a large extent on subsidies to reduce end-user costs and make technologies accessible to low-income households and SMEs. Though effective, subsidies are not a sustainable long-term solution. These projects can be replicated only when additional subsidy funds are obtained. This makes it difficult for such projects to achieve their objectives and targets.
Switching to solar energy and adoption of improved cookstoves will be challenging for Ghanaians; however, people would clearly benefit in the long term. Solar lanterns provide much better quality and constant lighting, and their operation is easy and convenient. Also, adoption of improved cookstoves will significantly reduce health risks associated with traditional cooking, as well as improve livelihoods by reducing expenditure on fuels for cooking.
ISEES, in bringing quality lighting, and improved cooking solutions to Bottom of the Pyramid households; makes it affordable for members of partner organisations and MFIs. ISEES is developing partnership with MFIs in various districts and regions to support end-user financing for improved cookstoves.