Leapfrogging Zambia’s market to energy-efficient refrigerators and distribution transformers


This Technology Transfer Advances Zambia's

  • Nationally Determined Contribution to result in an estimated total emission reduction of 38,000 GgCO2eq which translates to 47% (internationally supported efforts) against 2010 as a base year.


According to the World Bank, under one-fifth of households (19%) in Zambia have access to electricity, with rural electrification as low at 3%, with electricity used primarily for lighting, biomass is readily available for another end uses. The adoption of energy efficient technologies beyond lighting has consequently been low in Zambia to date, where the focus in the residential sector is on first expanding access to electricity. Opportunities for the adoption of efficient products has been limited due to a range of reasons that include high levels of poverty and cultural factors, particularly in rural areas.

Due to high levels of poverty in Zambia and the Southern African region in general, the equipment markets are extremely price sensitive, with few consumers able to afford the first cost of equipment at all, let alone the incrementally higher cost of most energy-efficient product options.

Zambia benefitted from CTCN Technical Assistance along with other 9 Southern African countries: CTCN developed detailed country assessments for the five priority products (i.e. lighting, refrigerators, air conditioners, electric motors and distribution transformers). This assistance was required in order to more accurately define the current situation and the future objectives for climate-related policy actions.

CTCN Support

  • Validate the data collected by the CTCN from stakeholders (e.g. manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, utilities) on the existing initiatives and use of refrigerators and distribution transformers. Undertake detailed market assessments and feasibility of implementation of technologies with the highest efficiency
  • Develop a technology roadmap and action plan for promoting and adoption of efficient appliance in the country.
  • Propose draft minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and labeling for refrigerators (building off the United for Efficiency Model Regulations) and procurement specifications for distribution transformers
  • Assist decision makers and stakeholders to put the draft MEPS for refrigerators and procurement specifications for distribution transformers into practice
  • Gather information on financing lines and business models for financing energy-efficient refrigerators and/or distribution transformers
  • Develop proposal for financial/market based mechanism on energy-efficient refrigerators and/or distribution transformers

Expected Impact

The project will provide gender and other co-benefits, such as energy-efficient and higher quality refrigerators allowing users to save funds for other economic opportunities, reducing food waste from spoiled foods and providing increased economic opportunities by increasing the ability to store food instead of frequent trips to the market. In addition, distribution transformers and other energy-efficient products will result in reduced demand on the electricity grid provide more stable electricity distribution and economic opportunities for the entire population.


Date of submission
Geographical scope
Energy efficiency

Project details

Cross-sectoral enabler
Economics and financial decision-making
Governance and planning
Final type of assistance
Recommendations for law, policy and regulations
Request NDE
Ministry of Technology and Science
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals

Key documents