ERA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda Prisons Service for the Charcoal to Power Project
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On 23rd March 2022, the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Uganda Prisons Service (UPS), aimed at formalizing a partnership between the two institutions to promote and implement a pilot project to enable Uganda Prisons Service facilities transit from using Biomass for cooking to using Electricity for cooking.
This is under ERA's initiative code-named the "Charcoal to Power" Project, aimed at reducing Carbon emissions through increased per capita consumption of Electricity compared to Biomass. The initiative also aims to grow demand for Electricity through Increased use of Electricity for cooking in households, institutions and commercial establishments.
While signing the MoU, the ERA Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako noted that the signing of the MoU aims to introduce efficient and clean cooking technologies for the facilities of the Uganda Prisons Service, namely, the Luzira Upper Prison, the Women's Prison, and the Maximum Prison; and will be rolled out to other Prisons facilities across the country.
Eng. Waako revealed that a special Tariff had been designed for the Charcoal-to-Power project. Accordingly, the Prisons facilities and other institutions that would embrace the initiative would pay Ush 451.4 per Unit of Electricity consumed, compared to the standard Tariff (currently at Ush 747.5 per Unit - subject to change every quarter in line with movements of the Macro-Economic parameters).
She further noted that the project presented notable benefits, including reducing pollution associated with cooking using Biomass, improved health by eliminating inhalation of smoke during the cooking process that is dangerous to lives, and reduction in deforestation.
ACGP - SD Akena Samuel of the Uganda Prisons Service welcomed the partnership, noting that UPS would tremendously reduce the expenditure on cooking, as cooking using Electricity has been proven to be cheaper than cooking using firewood. He noted that UPS consumed 30,000 tons of firewood annually at the cost of Uganda Shillings 1.6 billion, which he said would reduce if UPS cooked using Electricity. He appreciated ERA for coming up with such an initiative, noting that the initiative would help UPS reduce the cooking expenditure and help save the environment alongside improving the health of those working in the kitchen facilities at the Prisons.
Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Authority, while Mr. Emiku Samuel, the Under-Secretary Ministry of Internal Affairs, in charge of Prisons, signed on behalf of the Uganda Prisons Service.
ABOUT THE CHARCOAL TO POWER PROJECT
The Charcoal-to-Power Project is an initiative of the Electricity Regulatory Authority aimed at improving the health status of Ugandans by reducing Carbon emissions through increased per capita consumption of Electricity. It is also aimed at growing demand for Electricity through Increased use of Electricity for cooking in households, institutions and commercial establishments.
Under the project, ERA targets to convert 50,000 households, 500 institutions (including hospitals, prisons, institutions of learning), and commercial enterprises from the use of Biomass as the primary source of energy for cooking or heating to the use of Electricity.