WHATS NEW :


Covid-19 Economic Relief Fund For The Off-Grid Solar And Cook Stove Sector

  • BACKGROUND


    Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in partnership with GIZ Energising Development (EnDev) Uganda is starting a project to support the off-grid solar and cook stove sectors to survive the COVID-19 crisis and increase resilience. GIZ was commissioned by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and engaged Private Sector Foundation Uganda to implement this project. The Fund will run from November 2020 – March 2021

     

     

  • PROJECT GOALS AND STRATEGY


    Overall Objective:

    To support the cooking energy and off-grid solar sector to survive the COVID-19 crisis and increase their resilience to external shocks.

    Specific Objective:

    To offer targeted support packages to cooking energy and off-grid solar sector companies as well as sector associations/training entities that bridge COVID-19 related gaps in company survival as well as make relevant investments to increase resilience for future shocks.

    Project Strategy:

    The project strategy is to temporarily cover the costs of households to maintain their solar PAYGO systems, to temporarily cover the solar and ICS companies’ operating costs to maintain their activity and to implement trainings, while also allowing for strategic investments that increase the resilience and future growth potential of the companies.

    The strategy will be achieved through provision of grant money for three areas of financing:

    • COVID-19 Relief – to mitigate loss of energy access in Ugandan households and the losses of energy access companies in times of COVID-19 by temporarily covering unpaid installments for PAYG customers and covering solar and ICS companies’ expenditures based on their expressed needs;
    • Boost Resilience – to give ICS and solar companies the opportunity and funding to do investments into their company for production and distribution infrastructure as well as other areas. This will make possible upgrading their mid- to long-term resilience in a view to build back better
    • Training Upgrade – to develop the training offer from sector associations and other training entities in the energy sector for the participation of energy company staff. These trainings will have to comply with the SOP of the GoU or be virtual altogether.

     

     

  • PROJECT BENEFICIARIES


    The projected is intended to benefit the following categories:

    • Solar Companies
    • Biomass Cookstove companies
    • Associations & Training entities

     

  • FUND MANAGER & PARTNERS


    Private Sector Foundation Uganda

    Funded by:

     

  • CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

  • APPLICATION GUIDELINES

    1. BACKGROUND

    Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in partnership with GIZ Energising Development (EnDev) Uganda is starting a project to support the off-grid solar and cook stove sectors to survive the COVID-19 crisis and increase resilience. GIZ was commissioned by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and engaged Private Sector Foundation Uganda to implement this project.

    The COVID Economic Relief Fund aims at providing bridging support to Solar and Cookstove companies as well as PAYGO customers a) to help maintain current levels of access to energy, b) to support companies to survive the crisis and c) to build resilience for future challenges. The Fund will run from November 2020 – March 2021.

    The COVID-19 Economic Relief Fund is open to all off-grid solar and cookstove companies operating in Uganda

    1. DESCRIPTION OF THE COVID-19 ECONOMIC RELIEF FUND INCENTIVES

    The funding offers support in the following 3 windows:

    Description of the Fund Windows:

    • COVID – 19 Relief – To mitigate loss of energy access in Ugandan households and the losses of energy access companies in times of COVID – 19 by temporarily covering granting payment holidays for PAYGO customers and covering companies’ expenditures.
    • Boost Resilience – To give companies the opportunity and funding to do investments into their company infrastructure for production and distribution as well as other areas that supports upgrading their mid – to long – term resilience
    • Training Upgrade – To pay Associations and other training entities in the energy sector fees for the participation of energy company staff. These trainings will have to comply with the SOP of the GOU or be virtual altogether.
    1. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
    • General eligibility (applicable for all categories)
    • Registered in Uganda since at least one year
    • Demonstrated financial capacity, preferably through presenting audited financial statements for at least one year, or – if these are not available - presentation of one year's original bank statement stamped by the issuing bank or tax clearance
    • Solar companies/Eligibility criteria
    • A manufacturer and distributor of its own solar products
    • A third-party solar product distributor
    • Must be a member with USEA

    Minimum requirements for technologies sold by the solar companies:

    • Tier one or above in line with the multi-tier access framework for electrification
    • Products with at least one-year warranty and after-sales service approach
    • Lithium-based battery technology or alternatively deep-cycle, long life lead-acid batteries
    • Be sold or installed to end-consumers on a commercial basis.
    • Biomass Cook Stove Companies / Eligibility criteria
    • A producer or distributor of own improved cook stove (ICS) products
    • A third-party ICS distributor
    • Membership in a sector association like UNREEA, UNACC and BEETA is of advantage

    Minimum requirements for technologies sold by the cook stove companies:

    • At least class 3 compliant regarding thermal efficiency under Uganda National Stove Standard (US 761:2019, Biomass Cookstove Requirements)
    • OR stove(s) to be promoted have at least 35% fuel efficiency compared to the base line stove (3-stone fire) under the harmonized testing protocol based on independent results from an accredited institution
    • Warranty of at least 1 year and a projected life expectancy of at least 2 years.
    • Be sold or installed to end-consumers on a commercial basis.
    • Associations and Training Entities
    • Representing body of solar off-grid companies or cook stove companies
    • Training Entity with proven track record in trainings for cook stove and/or solar companies

    Minimum requirements

    • Ready-designed trainings / training modules / coaching schemes or similar
    • Ready for implementation

    Eligibility of services and products to be financed

    Companies and associations / training entities can apply for funding for the following item categories. Others can be suggested by the participants in their proposal but will be revised by the Fund Manager according to fund targets.

     

     

    Proposals of companies may include:

     

     

     

    1.       COVID-19 Relief: Support for COVID-19 related operational challenges to companies

     

     

    Staff costs (salaries)

    Ensuring staff capacity is not lost

    Reimbursement of 70% of all staff’s salaries based on baseline data from February 2020 against provision of salary slips. Monthly salaries for a maximum of 5 months (October - February) will be eligible

     

    Communication support (data bundles, hardware, software)

    Enabling continued customers support

    Full reimbursement, for both formal staff as well as commission-based sales agents

     

    Covering monthly solar installments (for PAYG companies’ clients) against evidence

    Safeguarding energy access

     

     

    PPE equipment (temperature guns, gloves, face masks, hand sanitizers etc.)

    Ensuring customer & staff safety

    Full reimbursement of actual costs (based on staff lists, number of offices and hubs etc.)

    2.       Boost Resilience: Investment into the resilience and growth of companies

     

     

    Investment into production/ distribution infrastructure (production machinery, equipment, hubs, etc.)

    Enabling future expansion in energy access/quality

    Full reimbursement of proposed investment costs. A justification for the investment needs to be based on a detailed history and description of the applicant’s production process, investment need and expected production/sales increase, including a justification why and how the requested investment will improve the production quantity and/or quality

     

    Marketing (branding, promotional materials, radio messaging etc.)

    Improving outreach to customers and increasing sales

    Full reimbursement of actual costs

     

    Digitalization of activities (virtual sales activities, online sales portals etc.)

    Improving resilience for potential second wave & improving business models

    Full reimbursement of actual costs

     

    Product testing at certified testing institutes

    Addressing product quality issues in the market

    Full reimbursement of actual costs

     

    Inventory stock-up

    Ensure readiness for future expansion plans

    Partial reimbursement (up to 30%) – this can include either import/acquisition of final products or acquisition of raw materials

     

    Training, coaching and assessments

    Invest into improvement of competencies of staff

    PSFU to recommend the respective training provider.

    Full reimbursement of actual costs

     

    Proposals of associations / training entities may include:

     

     

     

    3.       Training Upgrade: Support to sector associations / training entities to provide targeted training measures to the off-grid solar and cook stove companies

     

     

    Implementation of training and coaching measures [1]

    Increase capacity of energy companies’ staff

    Full reimbursement of participations fees.

     

    Development of training and coaching measures

    Ensure availability of targeted training measures for energy companies

    Full reimbursement of actual costs

     

                 

     

    1. APPLICATION PROCESS

    The application process and guidelines shall be made available to the public through newspaper adverts, the PSFU website, and the Sun Connect newsletter. PSFU will also circulate the call for applications through Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA) and contacting known Solar and cook stove companies by email. PSFU will also host an information webinar on the 19th of November 2020 at 10:00am – 12:30pm

    1. HOW TO APPLY
    • The application form and guidelines are available on the PSFU website at psfuganda.org
    • All interested enterprises shall complete the application form and submit their applications electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. cc: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Please include both email addresses when submitting your application)
    1. APPLICATION DEADLINE

    Interested Enterprises are required to submit their applications by 30th November 2020, 16:00 Hours. Late submissions will not be accepted.

    Note: An Official Launch & Information Webinar will be held on 19th November 2020 from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM for interested companies to receive an overview of the Fund and related windows, Application Criteria and Form, as well as other relevant information.

     

    For clarification purposes only, the Fund Manager’s address is:

    Executive Director

    Attention: The Fund Officer, COVID-19 Relief Fund

    Organisation: Private Sector Foundation Uganda

    Street Address: Plot 43, Nakasero Road

    City: Kampala

    ZIP Code: P.O. Box 7683

    Country: Uganda

    Telephone:   +256 312 263 850

    Electronic mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. CC:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (Please include both email addresses when submitting your application)

    Requests for clarification should be received by the PSFU no later than: Five days before submission deadline (i.e. 30th November 2020)

     

  • FOR PROJECT INQUIRIES


    Please contact:

    Brenda Biteete, Fund Officer COVID-19 Economic Relief Fund

    Private Sector Foundation Uganda

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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