The European Union and UNDP contribute to reducing electricity bills in vulnerable households by replacing old appliances
November 23, 2023
The "Rabla for Household Appliances" programme aims to replace old household equipment, was officially launched in the Republic of Moldova beginning with the first two rounds—one for LED bulbs and one for large equipment.
The programme helps vulnerable households to reduce their electricity costs by replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient equipment in line with the Government's efforts to increase energy efficiency in the residential sector.
"About half of the energy consumption in the Republic of Moldova belongs to households, and household appliances have an important share in consumption. By replacing energy-intensive appliances, we help vulnerable families to reduce their energy bills, at the same time increasing the comfort of their homes," said Victor Parlicov, Minister of Energy.
The launch of the programme, with a total budget estimated at US$5.8 million, was possible with European Union financing through the "Addressing the impacts of the energy crisis in the Republic of Moldova" programme, implemented by UNDP Moldova.
"We are launching this programme today with the objective that one day all Moldovan consumers will be able to upgrade their household appliances into new ones that consume less energy. While such move will generate more savings to each one of you, it will also contribute to your country’s efforts to combat climate change, as less energy consumption translates to fewer carbon emissions," said Jānis Mažeiks, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.
In its initial stage, the "Rabla for Household Appliances" programme is implemented by UNDP Moldova in partnership with the Agency for Energy Efficiency (AEE), which made vouchers available to approximately 50,000 families to buy LED lamps, and an additional 6,000 families to buy large equipment.
"I would like to express our appreciation to the valuable partners who played a crucial role in making this programme possible. We extend our gratitude to the European Union for supporting energy-vulnerable households and for their vital assistance in realising our vision for a more sustainable energy future in Moldova. Savings at the household level are pivotal in conserving Moldova's essential energy resources. By replacing old household equipment with modern, energy-efficient models, we're taking a much-needed step in reducing energy usage and ensuring the most vulnerable Moldovans are the first to benefit from sustainable solutions," said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
The programme offers financial support, through vouchers, of up to 80% of the cost of a refrigerator, electric stove, or washing machine. At the same time, in order to redeem the voucher, the beneficiary will have to pay the 20% contribution and hand over a used electrical appliance of the same type in exchange. The products may be picked up for recycling by the appliance stores upon delivery of the new equipment, and the contribution will go to the special account of the AEE which will be capitalized to offer more vouchers to an extended number of families, thus making it possible to increase the number of beneficiaries.
"When developing the given programme, we put a special emphasis on digitalization and ensuring equal opportunities for all energy-vulnerable families, regardless of age or access to information technologies. The preliminary results confirmed expectations, thus from the first days of launch, 82-year-old beneficiaries were also identified who easily redeemed the voucher without having to stand in line somewhere or go to some institution to submit certain applications in order to benefit from a voucher," said Ion Muntean, Director of the Agency for Energy Efficiency.
It is believed that, with the implementation of this programme, vulnerable consumers will benefit from lower electricity bills due to the use of more economical and energy-efficient equipment and light bulbs.
"These vouchers help us a lot to renew old household appliances, which we do not have the financial possibility to change. It would mean saving money for a long time, which is not easy for a family with six children and a disabled grandfather. We chose a refrigerator—we have the old one from our parents—and it might not be so energy efficient anymore. We first went to one of the stores indicated in the voucher to inform ourselves ahead of time,” said Mariana Mariț, a beneficiary who used a voucher for large equipment during the program's launch ceremony.
Vouchers are awarded to consumers registered in 2022 on the compensatii.gov.md platform, who have been identified as having a very high energy vulnerability category. Only eligible beneficiaries will be notified in stages via SMS messages, e-mail or phone about the availability of vouchers in their personal accounts on the compensatii.gov.md online platform. Families who register themselves for compensations this year will be eligible for a future vouchers programme to be implemented in 2024 by the National Center for Sustainable Energy, created through reorganization of AEE.
Details about the programme can be consulted on the ecovoucher.md website. Should applicants need support in redeeming the voucher, the Support Center at the Agency for Energy Efficiency may be contacted on 0 8005 5005.
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