Maximising the benefits of access to energy
Project: Electricity Access Impact Maximisation (E-AIM)
Commissioned by: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) Republic of Uganda
Financier: KfW Entwicklungsbank
Overall term: 2015 to 2017
With support from the European Union and KfW Entwicklungsbank, the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development are currently implementing a comprehensive programme of grid extension and densification in the country’s West Nile region. Besides the construction of small hydropower stations, over 400 km of new distribution lines are to be added to the region’s self-contained grid. This is intended to service around 6,000 additional households, 250 small and medium-sized enterprises and 60 social institutions.
To support the grid expansion and densification activities in West Nile, GIZ is conducting the Electricity Access Impact Maximisation Campaign (E-AIM) on behalf of the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. The campaign consists of technical cooperation to complement the EU-financed grid extension activities of KfW.
The positive impacts expected to accrue from the provision of electricity to households, small and medium enterprises and social institutions have been maximised. The extended grid is economically viable for the local operator.
The campaign concentrates on support measures aimed at consumers, such as awareness raising and public information activities explaining to people when and how they can make a formal application for an electricity connection, as well as the costs involved in regular and subsidised connections. The campaign also educates consumers about the efficiency and safety aspects of electricity use.
To encourage a greater number of schools and health centres to get a grid connection, E-AIM includes a support programme for social institutions, which reduces their in-house wiring expenses and connection costs. At the same time, it offers refresher training for local electricians with a focus on safe in-house wiring at the consumer level, according to the certification criteria of the national electricity regulator, ERA.
In local trading centres for small-scale enterprises, E-AIM organises courses in which entrepreneurs can learn about the productive uses of electricity, and understand important aspects of efficiency and commercial viability. This is complemented by basic training courses on business planning and management, which increase the sustainability of these enterprises. These training measures are carried out with the involvement of Ugandan consultants.
Finally, the campaign includes support for the local electricity provider WENRECo in further developing and improving its customer care system. This will enable it react more appropriately and efficiently to inquiries, complaints and suggestions from its customers.