KAMPALA – Equity Bank Uganda has launched Equi-Green loan to enable their customers acquire clean energy technologies for lighting, cooking, and practicing climate smart agriculture.
With support from the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company (UECCC), Equi Green loan was launched on Wednesday in Kiboga district with the goal of enabling poor and middle-income households to access clean energy for lighting, cooking and practicing climate smart agriculture.
Equity customers will be able to buy improved cook stoves, solar lighting systems, biomass systems, irrigation systems and water storage tanks through affordable, simplified loan products starting from as low as 200,000 Ugx payable in 6 or 12 months. The clean energy loan is available at all Equity Bank branches and a customer can pick up the product at the nearest Equi Green loan appointed agent.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa revealed that today, renewable energy is key to unlocking economic transformation, with more than 87% of the electricity generated from resources such as hydro power, solar and biomass, and 90% of cooking energy demand contributed by solid biomass.
She says even with such heavy reliance on renewable energy, Uganda has not fully exploited this resource.
According to her, currently, the country’s electrification rate is estimated at 57% of which, 19% is on grid and 38% is off grid mainly through solar home systems.
She noted that the government plans to address this challenge by increasing awareness of the benefits of clean energy for cooking, lighting, and practicing climate smart agriculture.
“In addition, the Government is facilitating access to clean energy through partnership with private sector players such as Equity Bank. The Equi-Green Loan Product that I am launching today, will make available affordable financing to purchase innovative clean energy technologies that directly impact’s people’s health, incomes, and the environment as a whole.”
Specioza Kimera Ndagire, the Managing Director of UECCC said, “The aim of the Product is to enable Ugandans access electricity in off grid areas by addressing the affordability barrier arising from the up-front cost of solar systems.
This is in line with the National Development Plan (NDPIII) Sustainable Energy Program objectives of increasing access and utilization of electricity, increasing adoption and use of clean energy and promotion of utilization of energy efficient practices and technologies.”
“Our new partnership with Equity Bank Uganda will enable us reach more people through their countrywide customer network,” she added.
Equity Bank Managing Director, Mr. Samuel Kirubi said the Bank will facilitate access to clean energy through affordable financing to purchase innovative clean energy technologies that impact people and the environment.
“Tapping into the power of the sun and the environment to provide lighting, electronic charging systems and cooking solutions makes a real difference in how communities sustain themselves. Families can re-allocate funds saved from the adoption of renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and improved cook stoves to other basic needs such as education or healthcare.”
The renewable technology systems that can be acquired under this product include solar home systems such as lighting, electronic charging, Televisions, and clean cooking systems for schools and homes. Also, water tanks, and irrigation systems.
The Equi-Green loan is implemented under the Equity Bank Energy and Environment Pillar launched in November 2021.
Equity Bank Uganda, under its Energy and Environment pillar will continue to play a leading role in climate change mitigation and adaption interventions aimed at reducing emissions and creating resilience in communities, institutions, and industries. The Bank has made available funding in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, water, climate smart agriculture, circular economy and waste management, green buildings, transportation and afforestation.
In addition to funding, Equity will also address these challenges by increasing awareness of the benefits of a greener economy and encouraging SME’s to adopt cleaner production processes and operations that protect the planet.
The overall impact of the Equi-Green Loan Product at the Bank will lead to;
Access to clean, affordable and reliable energy that is sustainable.
Reduction in household and institutional expenditure on energy consumption in heating, cooking and lighting therefore reallocating of income to other needs.
Decline in deforestation that cushions society from climate risks.
Improved health due to less exposure to indoor air pollution and a safer environment.
Improved performance among school going children due to better lighting to complete assignments and study at home.
Access to technology and information as a result of solar charging solutions for mobile phones, computers and laptops.
Better utilization of time especially for women and children with the elimination of the need to fetch firewood or travel far to buy kerosene and charcoal, and
Improved overall wellbeing and vitality of communities and preservation of the natural resources.