Low Income Energy Retrofits - South Africa

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Low Income Energy Retrofits - South Africa

from 10.00

Through the Credible Carbon Program,  projects fund solar water heaters, compact fluorescent lighting, solar cookers, better fuels and electricity generation for several low income household communities in South Africa including Welbedacht (KwaZulu-Natal) , Kuyasa (Khayelitsha), and Cato Manor (Umuthi Mayche). These alternative energy supplies are more cost-effective, reduce grid-electricity consumption in the face of an unreliable, dirty energy supply, and decrease emission of greenhouse gases, while also improving the quality of life for residents.

Feedback has been very positive. Resident Mbali Ntuli commented: "The biggest difference is when there is no electricity I can still have warm water." Other residents appreciate the money saved on electricity bills. One young boy mentioned that he loves his solar hot water heater because he no longer has to get up at 4am to collect wood for the fire. Conversion kits are sold at 50% of their cost to interested households, who make their payments via microfinancing with a monthly repayment schedule. Funding from carbon credits and other sources (including USAID) makes up the difference, and pays for ongoing equipment. 

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According to the world health organization, roughly 3 billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels in open fires and leaky stoves. This produces high levels of indoor air pollution with a range of health-damaging pollutants - up to 100 times higher than acceptable levels. Exposure is particularly high among women and young children, who spend the most time near the stoves.

Fuel gathering consumes considerable time for women and children, limiting other activities and taking children away from school. Non-renewable harvesting of biomass also contributes to deforestation (and climate change.) More efficient cook stoves relieve pressure on forests, while reducing health issues, and freeing up time spend gathering fuel, by drastically reducing fuel needs. But cook stove usage is very localized, and new technology must meet the needs of the users and be culturally appropriate, or it will fail to be used over the long term.

There are a number of initiatives that use VCS, Gold Standard, and other carbon credits to support the manufacturing, distribution, and training programs necessary for the growth of the efficient cookstove sector. This developing world "low tech - clean tech" approach has significant benefits to both people and the planet. Through the global cook stove fund, we support a portfolio of these initiatives.