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.


EE4D Wins USAID’s 2023 Energy Sector Photo Contest in Energy Efficiency Category

EE4D’s photo documentation of the Energy Empowers East Africa program has been selected as winner in USAID’s 2023 Energy Sector Photo Contest! The winning photo in the Energy Efficiency category showcases how modern, clean and efficient electric equipment supports women in all business settings to increase productivity and generate income. Measuring and monitoring your equipment is essential to manage energy use, costs, footprint and productivity. In all energy access programs, we need to remember that electrification needs women, and women need electrification.

View the winners here.

USAID and Berkeley Lab Expand Collaboration with the Government of Ecuador on Energy Efficiency

While Ecuador aims to reduce cumulative energy consumption equivalent to 150,907 gigawatt hours by 2035, a lack of public awareness on energy efficiency opportunities in buildings is impeding progress. To address these barriers, on April 28th, 2023, with support from USAID, Berkeley Lab participated in the seminar “Talks about Energy Efficiency in Industry, Construction, and Sustainable Public Procurement,” organized by the Ecuadorian Accreditation Service (SAE). Berkeley Lab delivered a presentation on application of the BETTER retrofit analysis tool in Mexico and Tunisia to improve energy efficiency and advance toward net zero energy in their buildings sectors. The event included the participation of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Production, Investment, Foreign Trade and Fisheries, among other government agencies, research institutions, and industry entities. Berkeley Lab participation in the seminar opened the possibility of leveraging the BETTER tool in Ecuador to support reaching the country’s energy consumption reduction target and reinforced engagement with key partners to advance the ongoing USAID-Berkeley Lab project to update the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for room air conditioners.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in East Africa With Energy Efficiency

International development project enables Ugandan women to grow small businesses with energy-efficient electrical equipment – and fight climate change at the same time. Women who run small businesses in Uganda can build energy efficiency into their business plans thanks to a new project led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Clean Energy Enthusiasts (CEE), an energy advisory company based in Uganda.

Read the article by Theresa Duque of Berkeley Lab here.

Uganda – Matchmaking Event to facilitate Access to Finance for Efficient and Productive Use of Electricity in Women-run Businesses

The Energy Empowers East Africa program organized a matchmaking event on March 16th in Uganda, Mbarara District where women entrepreneur connected with financial institutions and local vendors of electric appliances. This event is a continuation of the program’s efforts to promote gender inclusion in electrification programs throughout East Africa. In Uganda, the program has been providing training on business development skills, knowledge building on energy efficiency, and productive use of electricity, and access to financing to women-run micro and small businesses. The matchmaking event provided a platform for these women to showcase their business plans developed during the training phase, network with financial institutions, and access the capital needed to invest in efficient and productive electric equipment. By increasing access to energy services and capital, women entrepreneurs get empowered to expand their businesses, promoting thus inclusive economic growth in East Africa. This event has the potential to drive sustainable economic growth and promote gender equality in the region.

Boosting Women-Owned Small Businesses’ Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency

Shamim Jaffar, a business owner in rural Uganda, had never learned how appliances like her refrigerator use electricity. “I had no idea what the temperature dial switch does,” she explained.

Read the article by Christine Chumbler, Climate Links here.

Boosting Women-Owned Small Businesses’ Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency

Shamim Jaffar, a business owner in rural Uganda, had never learned how appliances like her refrigerator use electricity. “I had no idea what the temperature dial switch does,” she explained. “I didn’t expect that opening the fridge [for long periods] could have such an impact on its electricity consumption,” agreed Irene Tumusiime. “As a retail shop owner, I am constantly opening my fridge to serve cold drinks to customers.”

Read the article U.S. Agency for International Development on Medium here.

USAID and LBNL expand engagement with the government and HVAC industry in Ecuador to advance energy efficiency (EE) standard for air conditioners.

Electricity consumption for cooling in the residential sector in Ecuador represents up to 27% of total energy use in coastal areas and is projected to grow significantly as the ownership rate of air conditioning units is expected to increase in the next few years.  As part of USAID’s Energy Efficiency for Development program (EE4D), LBNL is working on a proposal to update the current minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for room ACs to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions associated with this end use. Last week, with support from USAID/Ecuador and Tetra Tech, an LBNL team held meetings in Quito and Guayaquil with key government officials and HVAC industry leaders to present the project and get valuable inputs for the development of the proposed update. The activity was a follow-on to LBNL’s participation in the mission conducted by USAID’s Energia Sostenible para Ecuador (ESE) project on September 2022. As the Government of Ecuador is currently reviewing technical standards for different products to improve competitiveness and adhere to international regulatory best practices, expanded engagement by USAID and LBNL with key actors in the regulatory space will help in highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of an updated MEPS for ACs.

LBNL collaborates in SURE webinar exploring energy efficiency opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa

USAID’S Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program convened a webinar on October 27th, 2022 with participation by TetraTech, CLASP and LBNL to identify potential energy efficiency interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), region that is experiencing a rapid population growth and increased energy demand in the sectors of transportation, cooling, buildings and agriculture.

During its participation, LBNL highlighted the building blocks of energy efficiency (standards and retrofits, market priming and financing and policy planning) and provided an example of a successful technical assistance project in South Africa, where significant energy savings were achieved by supporting a standards and labeling program targeting key appliances.

The webinar was attended by more than a hundred representatives from consulting and development organizations in SSA and provided useful inputs to SURE for the development and implementation of impactful energy efficiency interventions in the region.

Training on Efficient and Productive Use of Energy and Business Development delivered to Women Entrepreneurs in Uganda

Certificate award ceremony of a 3-Day EEEA Training Workshop in Bushenyi, Uganda – Nov 14th to Nov 18th, 2022. LBNL works with a local partner, Clean Energy Enthusiasts (CEE), to run the EEEA program.

The USAID’s Energy Empowers East Africa (EEEA) program, whose objective is to advance the role of women entrepreneurs as agents of change through productive use of electricity (PUE) and the use of energy efficient appliances, concluded its 6th week of trainings in Bushenyi, Uganda. The training series, to be delivered in a total of 8 districts in Uganda, covers instruction on energy use, business planning and financial management, in addition to one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions with participation of local utilities, local banks and government agencies. The trainings will culminate in the presentation of 16 business plans to financiers at a matchmaking event to be held during the first week of February 2023. EEEA is partnering with local consultant Clean Energy Enthusiasts (CEE) to deliver the training and is also collaborating with USAID’s Feed the Future’s Strategic Investment Activity (SIA) to build a pipeline of investment opportunities on PUE inclusive of women. The event, to be co-organized with SIA, will bring together PUE equipment vendors, financing organizations, women entrepreneurs, government of Uganda officials from the Ministries of Gender and Energy, women and entrepreneurial support programs, Berkeley Lab and USAID/Uganda.

The EEEA training series represents a one-of-a-kind effort to encourage women entrepreneurs working in different economic sectors in rural and peri-urban regions of Uganda to use efficient and productive electric equipment to unlock the benefits of energy access and expand their businesses. It also contributes to including women in SIA’s pipeline of investment opportunities in the region.