The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved a USD 2,853,000 for a joint UN-HABITAT / UNEP project to promote energy efficiency in the East African building sector.
Nairobi, Kenya. Photo © Julius Mwelu
Energy used in buildings accounts for a significant percentage of national energy consumption. It is in fact estimated that over 40 per cent of the total national electricity generated in developing countries is used in urban buildings alone, consuming more energy than the transport and industry sectors.
The project was initiated by UN-HABITAT in collaboration with its sister agency UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the governments of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The idea is to mainstream energy efficiency measures into housing policies, building codes, and building practices in East Africa, both to save energy and cut back greenhouse gas pollution.
The demand for electricity is increasing more rapidly than the supply and generation capacity in all countries in question. Increasingly higher energy prices coincide with a tremendous inefficiency in the use of energy, particularly in the housing sector.
This tendency has led to energy becoming the limiting factor for sustainable development and economic growth in the recent years. Energy efficiency in buildings is a largely new topic for practitioners and most importantly for consumers and end users.
The total duration of the project is four years, starting from 2011 to 2015. The project will be executed by UN-HABITAT in association with the National Ministries of Housing in the five partner countries.