Low Energy Inclusive Appliances

The Low-Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programme is Efficiency for Access’ flagship initiative. It is an innovative research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) programme. It seeks to improve the efficiency, performance, availability, and affordability of a range of household, community, and productive use electrical appliances and solar-powered technologies.

These technologies are particularly suited to off- and weak-grid settings, especially in Sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asian regions.

By improving clean energy access, the LEIA programme also aims to address the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a stronger off- and weak-grid appliance market with sustainable jobs, workforce and strengthened supply chain.

At the heart of the LEIA programme’s ambitions is contributing towards Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7, affordable and clean energy) and Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG13, climate action).

The LEIA programme is funded by UK aid, from the UK government via the Transforming Energy Access platform and the IKEA Foundation. It is delivered through six principal workstreams:

Strategic Partnerships and Policy

This workstream strategically shapes the direction of the programme, supports establishment of crucial policies, and cultivates vital partnerships, ensuring a synchronised effort towards the programme’s overarching goals. With an expanding ambition, this workstream aims to solidify the LEIA programme’s role as a thought leader and a key influencer in the energy access sector.

Research and Development Fund

This workstream actively accelerates progress by providing comprehensive support to innovators identified through calls for funding, nurturing their ideas and driving the development of efficient, affordable solutions. Through a multi-faceted approach encompassing financial backing, strategic partnerships, and knowledge dissemination, this workstream ensures a dynamic ecosystem for pioneering advancements.  Learn more about the R&D Fund and dive into some of our Completed Projects.


The Research workstream serves as a valuable resource for appliance companies, programme implementers, donors, and the broader energy access sector. Through targeted research and strategic partnerships, this workstream delivers actionable insights that inform product designs, go-to-market strategies, and enhance impacts for end users.

Take a look through some of our Research publications.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Dedicated to elevating sector capacity in testing and quality assurance, this workstream focuses on generating standardised product performance data to empower market stakeholders in making informed choices. By enhancing product recognition and design improvements through LEIA’s initiatives, this workstream contributes to a robust energy access ecosystem.

Visit our Verasol programme page for more.

Workforce & Skills Development

This workstream aims to contribute to the sustainable and inclusive growth of Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) appliance businesses and markets by investing in skills and workforce development. This includes our Efficiency for Access Design Challenge, which aims to empower teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access, encourage new ideas and innovation in the off-grid appliances sector, and improves relationships between universities, researchers and industry partners.

Strategic Communications

Interwoven across all workstreams and deeply integrated into the LEIA programme’s public efforts and stakeholder engagement, this workstream aims to amplify the adoption of the program’s tools and resources, translating programmatic research and market insights into compelling and accessible communication materials. This also serves to raise the profiles of companies and entrepreneurs working in the off- and weak-grid sector.

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