Overview:

Dubbed Equi Green, the scheme seeks to ensure that poor and middle-income households can access clean energy for lighting, cooking and practicing climate smart agriculture.

Equity Bank Uganda has launched a loan scheme for individuals or companies that seek to invest in clean energy technologies for lighting, cooking, and agriculture. 

Dubbed Equi Green, the scheme seeks to ensure that poor and middle-income households can access clean energy for lighting, cooking and practicing climate smart agriculture

The loan was launched with support from the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company (UECCC).

Samuel Kirubi, the managing director of Equity Bank Uganda, said: “Over the years, we have innovated to drive financial inclusion and our customers can access a wide range of financial services including loans. It therefore brings me great pleasure to introduce our newest loan product”

“At Equity, we pledge to increase awareness of the benefits of clean energy for cooking, lighting and smart agriculture. In addition, we facilitate access to clean energy through affordable financing to purchase innovative clean energy technologies,” he added.

Specioza Kimera Ndagire, Managing Director, Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company, said: “As UECCC, we have developed and implemented innovative and scalable financing solutions for catalysing lending for clean energy, with demonstrable actual impact.”

“We have to date facilitated eighteen (18) Financial Institutions to take on energy lending as part of their day-to-day lending business, with stand-alone clean energy Loan Products. Equity Bank is one of them,” she added.

Under the scheme, Equity customers can 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 Shs200,000 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.

The launch was done in Kiboga Town on Wednesday as Equity Bank opened a new branch there and the event was presided over by Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa.

Ms Nankabirwa commended Equity Bank for partnering with UECCC to provide financial support to the people through facilitating access to clean energy thereby helping to avert the negative effects of climate change.

Samuel Kirubi, the managing director of Equity Bank Uganda, speaks at the event in Kiboga.

She said that clean and sustainable energy has emerged as a focal point in developing countries and Uganda is no exception. 

“This is due to the mounting pressure to preserve the environment by increasing access to renewable energy and energy efficiency,” she said.

Nankabirwa said the Government is aware that utilization of biomass and fossil-based fuels leads to the deterioration in people’s health and productivity while having undesired and sometimes non-reversible damage to the natural environment. 

“My Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is cognizant of this fact and the important role clean energy plays in development.”

“Priorities for the medium term have been defined in view of the NDP III program objective for sustainable energy development programme under the Ministry as, to increase access to utilization of electricity, to increase electricity Generation, to increase adoption and use of clean energy; and to promote utilization of energy efficient practices and technologies,” she added.

The Minister says 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, arguing that even with such heavy reliance on renewable energy, Uganda has not fully exploited this resource. 

She revealed that 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, saying 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.