Efficient and safe - this is how a single mother in Barda describes the benefits of solar energy

June 5, 2023


Zergune Gasimova, a 49-year-old woman, lives with her family of 4 people in basic-needs deficient residential building in two-bedroom apartment in Barda. Zergune is a single mother of two sons and a daughter, and always strives to provide the best life for her children. Being a housewifeshe also takes care of her niece. The income of the family barely covers food and daily expenses. High utility bills due to the use of electric energy for heating old, unrepaired building were additional burdens for the family. The family had to endure the harsh winters with inadequate heating. 

"It is not a pleasant feeling for a mother to do housework all day long with hands in cold water, to see her children returning from school to unheated house, not finding hot water to wash their hands and to bathe," - says Zergune.

As a mother, Zergune was very worried about using a wood stove or a gas cylinder in a building that was not well-ventilated, endangering the children. But these tools were the means to meet the family's needs for heating and cooking.

Their life changed in March 2022, when the UNDP CO in Azerbaijan and the Japanese Embassy to Azerbaijan launched a project entitled “Energy Efficiency in Public and Apartment Buildings outside of Capital area in Azerbaijan.”

As a resident of the building selected for the project, Zergune was excited to learn that energy efficiency measures will be conducted in their building with the installation of a centralized heating system, hot water provision, usage of solar panels for the lighting of the public area in front of the building and within it. 

The implementation of the project brought many positive changes to Zergune's family. With the new heating system, she no longer had to worry about the safety hazards of using wooden stoves and expensive electric heaters. The centralized heating system provided warmth and comfort to every resident of the building, making winters much more bearable.

Moreover, the solar power system installed as a part of the “Energy Efficiency in Public and Apartment Buildings outside of Capital area in Azerbaijan” project not only provided sustainable energy for the building's lighting but also contributed to the global CO2 emission reduction.

Prior to the installation of the solar power system, the building's lighting was dependent on traditional energy sources, which were subject to frequent power outages. This posed a safety risk for the residents, especially during the winter months when visibility was low.

With the installation of the new energy efficient system, Zergune and other residents of the building enjoy a more comfortable life, while paying much less for utilities.  Therefore, they are grateful to the Japanese Embassy to Azerbaijan and UNDP CO in Azerbaijan for their support and efforts in improving their lives. Zergune's story is a testament to the transformative impact of joint actions and partnerships  taken by  countries, international organizations and local authorities in improving the quality of lives of people, while simultaneously pursuing global causes.