LBNL and USAID Power Tunisia Partner to Cut Emissions in Tunisia’s Hotel Sector

Energy consumed by Tunisian hotels accounts for one quarter of the final energy consumed in the Tunisian services sector and is growing by 5.5% annually. On March 7th, LBNL and Power Tunisia organized a workshop and gained concurrence from ANME and the Tourist Hotel Federation (FTH) to jointly implement a Tunisia Net Zero Energy (NZE) Hotels Challenge. As a result of the Challenge, FTH members (which account for 450 hotels nationally) will receive training and technical assistance from LBNL and USAID Power Tunisia to cut energy consumption and GHG emissions by at least 10% annually and advance toward NZE. 

So what? Cutting GHG emissions in the Tunisian hotel sector will help the country to meet its climate goals to reduce total carbon intensity in the energy sector by 46% by 2030.

Tunisia Energy Transition Financing

As part of the USAID-Berkeley Lab-ANME collaboration and taking advantage of the visit carried out by the LBNL team in Tunisia (March 4-8, 2024), a workshop on the design of a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was organized by both parties with the participation of the main Tunisian stakeholders concerned (the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Energy, the Banking and Financial Council – CBF, local public and private banks , the Tunisian Association of Capital Investors – ATIC and the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company – STEG). 

So what? The participation and the interest of these stakeholders contributes to the design and development of a RLF model and roadmap adapted to the needs and specificities of the Tunisian context. The continuation of this collaboration contributes to accelerate energy efficiency financing to support the Tunisia energy transition and achieve its decarbonization objectives.

“Cooling Summit” in Ecuador addresses impacts of cooling electricity consumption

As part of continuing engagement conducted by LBNL and USAID through the Energy Efficiency Development program (EE4D) to advance energy efficiency in Ecuador, a Cooling Summit was convened on November 15, 2023, to address the environmental and economic impacts associated with growing electricity use by air conditioners (AC) in the country. The event was organized in partnership with Ecuador’s Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries (MPCEIP) and brought together government officials, industry representatives and members of the research community to highlight environmental and economic impacts caused by current and projected electricity consumption by AC use in Ecuador and globally. The agenda included a presentation by the Ministry of Energy and Mines on energy efficiency policies related to cooling and a presentation by LBNL on the regulatory proposal it developed as part of technical assistance to update the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for air conditioners. A round table with HVAC industry leaders provided useful insights on the market dynamics for air conditioners in Ecuador. The Cooling Summit created the opportunity to revise the status of the regulatory process for the update of the AC MEPS and to generate a discussion between key stakeholders to develop a broader agenda of collaboration around efficient cooling.



USAID and Berkeley Lab Advance Energy Efficiency Standard Revision for Air Conditioners in Ecuador

An update of the current minimum energy performance standard for air conditioners in Ecuador could achieve an avoidance of generation capacity of 240 MWs by 2035 and 460 MWs by 2045, according to a report developed by Berkeley Lab with support of USAID’s Energy Efficiency for Development program (EE4D).  The results of the analysis were presented at a “Cooling Summit” held in Quito on November 15 th , 2023, event organized by USAID, Berkeley Lab and Ecuador’s Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries (MPCEIP) and attended by representatives of government agencies, HVAC industry and the cooling research community.  The report provides a technical assessment supporting the revision and update of the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for air conditioners in Ecuador, which was set in 2013.  The methodology used in the report includes the scenario analysis of five different MEPS levels, the estimation of the current AC ownership rate and the projection of the AC stock in Ecuador to 2050. In the context of the electricity crisis caused by the reduction of hydropower during the dry season, the technical assistance provided by EE4D advances energy efficiency as part of the strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the power sector in Ecuador.


Efficient Building Challenge in Mexico City supported by USAID/Mexico and LBNL achieves energy savings and emission reductions

LBNL and USAID/Mexico delivered technical assistance to the 2022-2023 Mexico City Efficient Building Challenge, an initiative aimed at reducing energy use and GHG emissions in public and private buildings. The project, led by WRI Mexico and the Mexico City Secretariat of the Environment (SEDEMA), achieved the reduction of energy usage and GHG emissions by 6% in five months among participating companies across Mexico.

The technical assistance delivered by LBNL with USAID/Mexico is part of the Energy Efficiency for Development program (EE4D) and consisted in the use of the BETTER toolkit to assess energy usage in private buildings and recommend low- or no-cost energy efficiency measures that result in economic and environmental benefits. Representatives of the private companies that participated in the Challenge, which seeks to cut energy use and emissions by 10% annually, avoiding emission of 825 Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO 2 e) each year, recognized the impact of BETTER and committed to continuing implementation of energy efficiency interventions.

As part of the closing event of the Challenge, LBNL launched the BETTER | Mexico toolkit, which adds a building energy database specific to Mexico and customized building electricity and fossil energy consumption statistics to deliver accurate and precise benchmarking and net zero retrofit analysis of buildings in Mexico. The development of BETTER | Mexico, a web-based application that is available in Spanish and English, is supported by USAID/Mexico and was made possible by input and building data provided by partners in the public and private sectors.

Watch this video to hear testimonials by Challenge participants (in Spanish).


Watch: Virtual Launch of Uganda’s Efficient Productive Use of Energy Chapter

Uganda’s Efficient Productive Use of Energy Chapter was recently launched in a virtual event.

Watch the webinar here.

The Demand Side Management (DSM) Project, a collaboration between USAID and Berkeley Lab in South Africa (SA), addressed the load shedding crisis in SA by emphasizing energy efficiency strategies

The Demand Side Management (DSM) Project, a collaboration between USAID and Berkeley Lab in South Africa (SA), addressed the load shedding crisis in SA by emphasizing energy efficiency strategies in the Energy Efficiency Business Intelligence webinar. Project experts, Theo Covary, Dr. Yu-Chieh (Jessie) Yen, and Prof. Ken Nixon, focused on DSM, highlighting significant reductions in power demand and energy consumption in the water heating sector which contributes 20% to the winter peak energy demand in the country. With 701 unique attendees, including stakeholders from municipalities, private sector, and regulatory/government sectors, including the Office of the President, these expert seminar series increase comprehension of how DSM programs swiftly and sustainably save energy.

So what? Properly planned DSM strategies in the water heating sector can aid South Africa’s national and local governments in managing the ongoing crisis.

Watch the webinar here.

USAID Launches Women Entrepreneurs Chapter on Efficient Clean Energy Use in Uganda

Today, as part of the US government’s Power Africa initiative, USAID launched a Women’s Local Chapter on Efficient Productive Use of Electricity (EPUE) in Uganda that brings together women entrepreneurs who rely on energy for production and advises them to leverage clean energy for producing, processing, and adding value to goods and services. The Chapter will serve as a networking, capacity building, and information repository for members using EPUE technologies.

During the launch, USAID announced the provision of microgrants to seven women-owned businesses in Uganda to help them upgrade their equipment to energy-efficient models that increase their productivity. The microgrants will cover 50 percent of the cost of purchasing modern equipment like sewing machines, institutional electric ovens, ice cream machines, tailoring and embroidery machines, electric cookers, microwaves, juice extraction machines, deep freezers, and refrigerators. USAID awarded the grants under its Energy Empowers East Africa (EEEA) activity, led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and implemented by the Clean Energy Enthusiasts. This activity promotes energy efficiency, access, and inclusion for women-led projects in Uganda. Stephane de la Rue du Can, research scientist at Berkeley Lab, said, “The grants demonstrate USAID’s commitment to the economic empowerment of women by increasing the women’s capacity to benefit from electricity by using EPUE equipment.”

Suriana Kekimuri, program participant, a widow based in Kamwenge District, said that the freezer she received consumes less electricity and therefore saves her money. “It will increase my sales from fresh juice and porridge by more than 300 percent. I will be able to take care of my (two) children from this income.”

The Women’s Local Chapter on EPUE was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Clean Energy Enthusiasts, which is Energy Empowers East Africa program’s local implementer, and Uganda Women in Trade and Manufacturing, a local women’s trade organization. Through this chapter, Clean Energy Enthusiasts will raise awareness and train many of the association’s 2,300 members to access energy and deploy new technologies in their businesses.

For more information, please contact: Cindy Nkwanzi (

Download the press release

Visit the EEEA/EPUE website

About Energy Empowers East Africa

Energy Empowers East Africa (EEEA) is a USAID-funded project focusing on increasing the EPUE among women-led and women-owned businesses in Uganda. EEEA is implemented by Berkeley Lab with support from Clean Energy Enthusiasts, as the Ugandan implementer.

About Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory managed by the University of California. The EEEA project is part of the Energy Efficiency for Development (EE4D) initiative that provides technical resources and expertise to support USAID partner countries in advancing energy efficiency strategies and achieving more resilient and sustainable economic development. Based on a solid partnership between USAID and Berkeley Lab, EE4D helps with policy, planning, and deployment support for energy-efficient development and smart technologies uptake across the world.

About Clean Energy Enthusiasts

Clean Energy Enthusiasts (CEE) is a Ugandan energy advisory firm that provides management, capacity building and transaction advisory services to clients on rural electrification, energy access (both on-grid and off-grid), energy business modeling, efficient and productive use of energy, access to finance, and investment facilitation.

About Uganda Women in Trade and Manufacturing

Uganda Women in Trade and Manufacturing (UWTM) is an association that equips businesswomen with relevant, cutting-edge business development skills, capacity building, awareness and networking opportunities and supports financial inclusion. The Association’s priority sectors include but are not limited to value addition, manufacturing, cottage industries, retailers, wholesalers, and other traders.

Energy Efficiency and Productive Use of Electricity in Women Businesses in Uganda

Energy Empower East Africa is a woman-focused demand-side program that seeks to unlock the benefits of modern energy access for women, highlighting the crucial role of women in driving Productive Use of Electricity (PUE) initiatives.

During program implementation, EEEA identified critical gaps and constraints that inhibit women from leveraging on energy efficient and productive use technologies.

To address this, EEEA entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding with the local association Uganda Women in Trade and Manufacture (UWTM) to establish a dedicated EE and PUE chapter for women entrepreneurs. This local chapter will provide access to essential services such as:

  • training,
  • networking,
  • business support,
  • financial inclusion,
  • capacity building,
  • business development services, 
  • regular interactions and information sharing on EE, PUE and energy management.

Presently, approximately 60 women have expressed interest in joining the association, with the application process currently underway. As part of their efforts, the Berkeley Lab team and USAID conducted a site visit to a maize milling business, gaining valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges surrounding the efficient and productive use of electricity in such ventures. Self-help groups and networks can act as a bridge between women entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, and can also work as platforms that promote solidarity among women, bringing them together on:

  • issues of financing,
  • business development support,
  • policy advocacy,
  • access to markets,
  • networking,
  • health,
  • nutrition,
  • gender parity and gender justice,
  • and efficient and productive equipment to grow their businesses. 


Energy Empowers East Africa: Kampala Workshop, 27th July

USAID and LBNL co-organized a national workshop with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda in Kampala on July 27th as part of the Energy Empowers East Africa (EEEA) program. The workshop focused on Productive Use of Electricity (PUE), Energy Efficiency, and Gender Equality, addressing critical energy challenges and opportunities at a country level. More than 85 stakeholders participated, including representatives from ministries, private sector entities, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, and local communities. Participants actively explored potential pathways to enhance the efficient and productive use of energy in Uganda, with the goal of increasing efficient energy usage to stimulate economic growth and improve livelihoods.

The workshop was held at a pivotal time for Uganda, as it revised the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill. The knowledge exchange and collaboration inspired the development of actionable next steps to optimize the benefits of electricity utilization in productive sectors and laid the ground for the development of a national PUE strategy to effectively leverage both on grid and off grid electricity resources in innovative ways.