In partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the Rexel Foundation hosts a webinar on appliance efficiency in resource-constrained settings


01 April 2016

On February 17th, the Rexel Foundation co-hosted a webinar on energy efficiency for energy access.

Organized in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center and the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, this session was focused on the importance of appliance efficiency in resource-constrained settings and will be completed by two other webinars in the course of 2016.

Speakers in this webinar showcased their respective organizations’ experience on energy efficiency:

  • Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director, Energy and Climate, Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation
  • Pascale Giet, Senior Vice-President Communication, Sustainability & Social Impact of the Rexel Group and Vice-Chairman of the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future
  • Franck Legardeur, Energy Efficiency Marketing Director of the Rexel Group
  • Matthew Jordan, Senior Manager of Clean Energy Access at CLASP
  • Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs for Philips Lighting

1.1 billion people around the world have no access to electricity – Richenda Van Leeuwen

Over 1.1 billion people around the world still don’t have access to electricity. This issue lies at the heart of the UN-led Sustainable Energy for all (SE4All) initiative, which aims at achieving three goals: double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, the share of renewables in the global energy mix and provide energy access to everyone by 2030.

Appliance efficiency is a crucial component in energy service delivery to maximize cost effectiveness and utility in resource-constrained environments like the medical field for example. The role of appliance efficiency in medical settings can either be the main services requiring reliable energy (refrigeration, light for operating rooms…) or the energy efficient medical appliances currently in use such as direct-drive vaccine fridges, fetal Doppler, battery-operated blood glucose monitors and LED-it microscopes for tuberculosis diagnosis.

The importance of appliance efficiency in the energy transition – Pascale Giet

The mission of the Rexel Foundation is to improve access to energy efficiency for all. To do so, the Foundation is supporting three kinds of programs, first the community projects led by non-profit organizations to improve life of disadvantaged populations throughout the world. Second, the social innovation projects led by social enterprises to promote new social business models in the field of energy and finally the studies and grants to improve knowledge of energy efficiency issues.

In three years, the Rexel Foundation has launched 48 initiatives in 15 countries with more than 50 partners. The collaborative approach is one of the key drivers of its actions. Thus, the Rexel Foundation has co-conducted, in collaboration with Osram and Hager, two studies on lighting and LED in a context of fuel poverty. It has also participated in the publication of a guide of best practices to set up efficiently some community projects with some illustrations of Electricians without borders action. In addition, the Rexel Foundation is currently supporting a research program of the University of Colorado that deals with the thermal comfort of users through a mobile phone application and the Foundation is supporting Electricians without borders with its relocation and rehabilitation initiative in several villages in the valley around Laprak, hit by an earthquake in April 2015, through the distribution of lighting kits and the installation of public lighting points. In 2016, the Rexel Foundation has planned different initiatives, especially in the United States.

Energy efficiency is critical in resource-constrained settings. According to the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency is seen as “the world’s first fuel” that acts on two axes: allowing better energy sharing and potentially representing 49% CO2 reductions to 2050. In addition, appliance efficiency enables to deliver more services with the same energy input or the same services with less energy input. This is a key focus area. The choice is in the hands of the users and it generates quick return on investment (ROI) even if it requires relatively low capital. A lot of prospects can be explored in order to improve appliance energy efficiency such as implementing cost and regulatory measures to encourage the sale of energy efficient appliances or raising awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency among installers and consumers.

Super-efficient off-grid appliance to offer affordable modern energy services – Matthew Jordan

The underserved off-grid communities are typically among the world’s poorest and must rely on fuels like diesel for their daily energy needs. New technologies (solar portable lanterns and pico-lighting systems) allow energy systems and mini-grids that provide off-grid communities with access to clean, reliable energy, and socioeconomic benefits.
Super-efficient off-grid appliance can unlock a wider range of energy services for these communities, providing access to modern communications. Super-efficient off-grid appliances also create and sustain demand for off-grid energy systems by offering affordable modern energy services while minimizing the need for expensive new investments in energy supply.

The Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) works to support self-sustaining commercial markets for clean energy access products and services. Global LEAP does this through efforts focused on off-grid product quality assurance, promotion of demand-side super-efficiency. Global LEAP works to catalyze markets through support for quality assurance frameworks, which build consumer and investor confidence. Global LEAP works to facilitate collaboration among donors in the off-grid lighting and energy access space.

The energy transition needs to accelerate – Harry Verhaar

Energy efficiency is necessary to accelerate renovation of existing infrastructure, primarily in developed countries. Energy Efficiency is also crucial for equitable socio-economic development, making it necessary to leapfrog to the most efficient and clean tech solutions for emerging and developing countries. For example, Philips Lighting will become carbon neutral by 2020.


Find out more:

The replay of the webinar "Energy efficiency for energy access: appliance efficiency in resource-constrained settings" on the Clean Energy Solutions Center website

Our infographics on appliance energy efficiency in resource-constrained settings

Our point of view on the importance of appliance energy efficiency in emerging countries

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