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Energy Saving Trust opens Request for Proposals for off-grid refrigeration research

Energy Saving Trust launches a Request for Proposals for LEIA research on examining the fiscal environment for incentivising local assembly and manufacturing options for off-grid appliances in Africa and India.

UPDATE: We have issued an addendum as of Thursday 2 September, that seeks to extend the deadline, reduce scope of work and provides clarification on points in the original request for proposals. This addendum is available here.

The deadline for application has now been revised to 5 pm BST, Sunday 19 September 2021.


As co-secretariat of Efficiency for Access, Energy Saving Trust has launched a request for proposals for ‘Examining the fiscal environment for incentivising local assembly and manufacturing options for off-grid appliances’, a project commissioned through the Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programme. This research project will provide guidance to off-grid refrigerator companies on whether they can reduce importation and taxation costs through component(s) or appliance unit import strategy, or improve supply chain resilience during shocks like COVID-19, through local assembly or manufacturing.

The research project will be funded by UK aid and IKEA Foundation, and the deadline for submission is 5 pm BST, Sunday 19 September 2021.

Off-grid refrigeration companies often rely on unstable supply chains and pay high importation taxes to procure the necessary component(s) or products. There are potential benefits to local assembly/manufacture of off-grid refrigerators, which include:

  • Reduced importation taxation
  • Making quality products more affordable
  • Improving supply chain resilience
  • Maximising government revenue
  • Generation of additional economic activity in the local assembly/manufacturing scenarios
  • The potential to create hubs for clean energy manufacturing, and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals

The work will be delivered with the help of an external consultant, contracted specifically for this project. The consultant should have strong experience on topics such as off-grid refrigeration, local appliance assembly or manufacturing and importation strategies with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The consultant should have working knowledge of the off-grid solar product market, broad technical knowledge of fiscal issues and/or different importation, assembly and manufacturing models used in rural regions in developing countries. This research should be informed by analysis of the current state of play with regards to assembly/manufacturing of refrigerators, across key refrigerator technologies and sizes.

To submit a proposal, or share with someone who would be a suitable candidate, you can find the full details here.

The deadline for application is 5 pm BST, Sunday 19 September 2021. Proposals must be emailed to Richa Goyal at Richa.Goyal@est.org.uk.