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Energy Audits

Smart meters. © Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

Smart meters. © Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures


1 • How might we provide residential and commercial consumers, as well as public administrations, with sufficient and affordable energy audits?

2 • How might we bridge the gap between technicians and the general public?

3 • How might we train a sufficient number of energy auditors?


Energy bills pose a significant burden on the budget of Ghanaian households. An energy audit is the first step in the consumer journey towards an energy efficient home and lower energy bills. Energy audits help identify and prioritize the most pressing energy inefficiencies and propose practical solutions. Today, energy audits are conducted by trained technicians via walk-throughs and are too costly for the average Ghanaian citizen. Moreover, the lack of trained technicians in Accra is an additional roadblock in providing greater access to energy audits. According to recent data from the Ghanaian Ministry of Energy and National Energy policy, waste in the end-use of electricity is estimated to be 30%. Energy auditing solutions provide an opportunity to combat these significant demand-side energy inefficiencies present in Accra.

What are we looking for?

In order to make energy audits more accessible to the general public, we are looking for hardware and/or software solutions that lower the cost of energy audits

We are looking for solutions which raise awareness of energy audits and help consumers understand what their next step should be.

We are looking for effective and innovative ways to train technicians for energy audits.







Interior of a power plant.  © Curt Carnemark / World Bank


1 • How might we provide tools that would allow consumers to monitor their energy use more efficiently?

2 • How might we build solutions for utilities to impact consumption?

3 • How might we provide incentives to customers to change their consumption behavior?


Dumsor or load-shedding has become part of the everyday life of Accra residents. Under the current timetable, residential customers have up to 24 hours of power outage for every 12 hours of power. These outages are due to an inadequate flow between electricity supply and demand. Moreover the current 3,000MWh supplied by the grid to residential customers falls dramatically short of the estimated 5,000MWh annual residential sector demand (including suppressed demand, according to the Energy Outlook for Ghana 2014). While energy producers are working on increasing supply to the grid in the medium and long term, demand-side management could soften the pain of dumsor by reducing the gap between supply and demand.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for hardware and/or software solutions that could automatically reduce the consumption of residential and commercial consumers, or public administrations, when energy supply is too low. Moreover we are looking for solutions that would allow electricity demand to adjust to variations in supply due to the introduction of intermittent electricity generated with the help of solar, wind or biomass gasification.

Other areas to explore include innovative business models and social media campaigns to incentive customers to reduce their consumption when the equilibrium between energy supply and demand is at risk.







Ghana Stock Exchange. Accra. © Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

Ghana Stock Exchange. Accra. © Jonathan Ernst/World Bank


1 • How might we create an energy and buildings data repository common to all public institutions?

2 • How might we open data sets which are only accessible upon request today?

3 • How might we collect and make use of energy and building sector data from utilities and the private sector?


Startups and entrepreneurs need access to reusable energy data in order to craft innovative energy efficiency solutions. Government agencies collect large amounts of data but the inconsistent formatting and the lack of universal access and data centralization renders it ineffective.

Several initiatives by Ghanaian administrations have attempted or are attempting to centralize energy information but more actions should be taken to increase the breadth of data collected and available, or to make data easily understandable for key stakeholder groups as well as the general public.

Open data initiatives in countries across the world have unlocked numerous value creation opportunities for private and public actors, enabling them, for example, to introduce more data-driven decision making and increase efficiency. In the energy sector, open data could unlock an estimated one trillion dollars in economic value worldwide according to a report by McKinsey published in 2013. Public administrations are usually the first beneficiaries and most frequent users of data made available through open data platforms.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for software solutions to make data more easily understood through tools such as data visualization.

We are looking for solutions to collect reliable energy data on the ground. For instance, in 2013, the Energy Commission launched a pilot Toll Free Short Code service which allows the general public to report on outages and poor voltage levels by sending text (SMS) messages. The service currently only covers the Greater Accra East region. What other innovative methods could we use to collect local energy data in a reliable way?








Ghana Stock Exchange. Accra. © Jonathan Ernst / World Bank

Ghana Stock Exchange. Accra. © Jonathan Ernst / World Bank


1 • How can we develop financing models that leverage the current financial behavior of customers?

2 • How might we change customer financial behavior through education?

3 • How might we reduce risk for lenders by ensuring repayment of loans?

4 • How might we leverage unconventional sources of financing?


While Residential Renewable Energy solutions have generated numerous financing models, innovative residential energy efficiency financing models have yet to emerge. Typically, energy efficiency projects are financed by consumer loans with average interest rates close to 30%. Moreover, many promising projects just never find adequate funding. The example of M-Kopa, which provides a solar-on-demand solution, is a success story that should inspire new third-party energy efficiency projects financing models.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for solutions that tackle the disconnect between the financial behavior of customers and current financing and repayment structures. Such solutions could educate customers or develop financial models that take into account customer behavior (rather than trying to change it).

We are looking for startups which leverage alternative sources of funding such as crowd-funding, micro-lending or impact investment funds.

We are looking for startups looking to lower the risk exposure of lenders by crafting solutions to reduce loan failure rate which could be a way to increase the availability of loans and reduce interest rates.







Kumasi Market. © Jonathan Ernst / World Bank

Kumasi Market. © Jonathan Ernst / World Bank


1 • How might we reduce the need for air conditioning with innovative passive cooling and ventilation architecture?

2 • How might we support energy efficiency in commercial, residential and public buildings through enhanced building insulation at a lower cost?

3 • How might we educate residential consumers about micro-insulation techniques?


Air conditioning is one of the largest energy consuming electric appliance in Accra. Energy standards for air conditioners have been put in place in 2007 but poor building insulation allows cool air to leak out of the building.

New architectural techniques which reduce the need for air conditioning have yet to be widely implemented. Solar passive design for instance has been shown to reduce the need for AC in commercial buildings by up to 80%.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for materials and techniques increasing air tightness of new constructions.

We are looking for retrofitting solutions in order to improve the insulation of existing buildings.

We are looking for startups promoting and enabling the implementation of solar passive design principles.







CFL light bulb. © Michael M. Way

CFL light bulb. © Michael M. Way


1 • How might we better measure the energy efficiency of household appliances ?

2 • How might we enable more efficient use and monitoring of household appliances to save energy?

3 • How might we develop effective communication strategies to disseminate information on efficient appliances?


According to the Energy Commission, 30% of total electricity generated in Ghana goes to waste as a result of the use of inefficient appliances. One of the goals of the National Energy Policy is to “discontinue the local production, importation and use of inefficient electricity consuming equipment and appliances”.

Ghana has already successfully implemented several appliance efficiency campaigns. The ban on filament light bulbs saw the penetration rate of CFL go from 20% in 2007 to 79% in 2009. From 2012 to 2014, the Refrigerator Energy Efficiency Project allowed several thousand households to exchange their inefficient refrigerator for an efficient one, yielding savings of 140 GH₵ to 280 GH₵ a year.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for hardware and software solutions to inform consumers on the energy consumption of their appliances and to promote the benefits of switching to efficient appliances.

We are looking for creative methods of to promote energy efficient appliances in the general public.

Other areas to be considered include new business models that reduce the need for individual ownership of appliances in favor of shared appliances.







Data sets for the challenges are already available on