Business News of 2014-07-02

Discount on fridge exchange scheme increased

As part of heightened efforts on energy conservation, government has increased the discount on refrigerators bought by consumers who turn in their old, energy-consuming ones.

For a two-star fridge, the discount has been increased from GH?150 to GH?200 while for fridges ranging from three to five stars, the discount has been increased from GH?200 to GH?300, the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah announced.

The star-rating on new fridges in the country indicates their energy efficiency levels, with five-stars being the most efficient.

“We are encouraged by the response of the general public to the programme,” the minister said. “It is my hope that the general public will take advantage of the increase in discount rate and turn in their old refrigerators for new ones. I am very delighted to learn that the Association of Importers of Used Refrigerators has now resolved to deal in new energy-efficient refrigerators. I wish to inform them that government will support them to promote and market the new energy-efficient refrigerators.”

Energy conservation, the Minister added, offers the country a powerful tool for achieving a sustainable energy future.

“Improvement in energy efficiency can reduce the need for investment in energy infrastructure. It can cut fuel cost, increase competitiveness and improve consumer welfare,” he said.

While launching the ‘Save a watt’ campaign, the Minister announced that as much as 70 megawatts of electricity have been saved since consumers were encouraged to turn off their deep freezers when they can. He commended the Energy Commission for its efforts at energy conservation, adding that while it is important to increase power generation it is also imperative that consumers use the commodity wisely.

According the Commission, refrigeration accounts for more than 54% of electricity consumption in the household sector.

A typical Ghanaian household is said to consume 3,000 kilowatts of electricity a year, on which it spends GH?540 for that period.

An inefficient refrigerator alone can drain more than half the amount, while the new refrigerators consume less than 500 kilowatts per year and can reduce the refrigerator’s share of household consumption to 16%. Aside fromtheir relatively higher consumption levels, refrigerators are about the only appliance many households leave on for 24 hours, seven days a week.

The situation is made worse when the majority of households use energy-inefficient second-hand refrigerating appliances.

The Energy Commission has been seeking market transformation by promoting the use of energy-efficient appliances, with its latest effort being on getting Ghanaians to desist from using second-hand refrigerators. Through a rebate scheme, the Commission is urging consumers to turn in their second-hand fridges for new ones. Under the scheme, some 4,000 refrigerators have been exchanged so far.

Indeed, to fast-track the scheme, the Commission is considering giving a discount to new buyers alongside those who are exchanging their used fridges for new ones.

The move is based on the rationale that first-time buyers are also tempted to go for second-hand fridges if they find new ones to be beyond their means.

Source: B&FT
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