EEG-funded research leads to policy change in Uganda

The EEG-funded project on improving energy efficiency among SMEs in Uganda, being led by University College London (UCL), has achieved policy change, in line with EEG’s aim to promote the use of evidence in policy decisions.

Energy efficiency is an integral part of the national strategy in Uganda. The National Development Plan, Energy Policy, Climate Change Policy and the SE4ALL Action Agenda outline commitments to promote energy efficiency mechanisms. One of the many targets set out by the Government is to reduce industries’ electricity consumption by 15-25% by 2025. However, despite these high-level commitments, Uganda is far from reaching this target.

Enterprises are confronted with a host of challenges that contribute to a poor uptake of energy efficiency technologies. The UCL project team adopted a multi-stakeholder deliberative approach to address some of the barriers and transaction costs industries face, focusing on the iron and steel industry and the cement industry (the most energy-intensive industries in Uganda). The project employed an energy-economic modelling tool as a platform to bring representatives from government agencies and the iron and steel and cement industries together for considered deliberation on the barriers, non-financial costs and opportunities surrounding energy efficiency adoption.

The project outputs include two EEG papers (forthcoming) and policy briefs (forthcoming), training on the modelling platform and a number of workshops. Following a validation workshop in November 2021, the team received a letter of affirmation in December 2021 from the Permanent Secretary of Uganda’s powerful Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. It recognised the project’s contribution, and, importantly, the Permanent Secretary noted that the findings have “informed the decisions to include Iron and Steel and Cement in the Sustainable Public Procurement National Action Plan with the objective of using the Government’s buying power to influence best practices in the industries.”