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Kenya Room Air Conditioner Market Assessment and Policy Options Analysis

The demand for comfort cooling is growing in Sub-Saharan Africa as a result of increasing energy access, economic growth, and higher temperatures due to climate change. In Kenya, the room air conditioner (RAC) market has grown to an estimated 24,000 - 43,000 units annually. Currently, most RAC units are sold to commercial entities like office buildings and hotels as opposed to residential consumers. Fixed speed, single split RACs dominate the Kenyan market, with 64% market share, while inverter RACs make up the rest of the market. With respect to refrigerants, 27% of RACs still use the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R-22 as a refrigerant, but most RACs are using the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) R-410A (69%) and R-32 (4%). The energy efficiency levels of RACs in the Kenyan market are relatively low; however, the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and labelling categories for RACs were recently reviewed, and the Kenya Bureau of Standards increased the MEPS to an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 3.1 W/W to promote a significant market transformation towards higher efficiency products. RAC units with much higher efficiency are currently available in the international market at comparable prices, and new MEPS levels would incentivize importers to introduce more efficient RAC units to the Kenyan market.

Kenya Room Air Conditioner Market Assessment and Policy Options Analysis provides the technical evidence to support the revision of Kenya’s MEPS for RACs.

CLASP, in collaboration with RenCon Associates, a local partner, conducted a comprehensive characterization of the RAC market in Kenya. RenCon collected product data for 103 models from 15 distributors/dealers and retail stores in four cities – Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. To complement the field data, they conducted in-person interviews with supply chain actors and reviewed secondary literature to gather data on the energy sector, RAC market size, sales, and usage. CLASP analyzed the data and estimated potential energy savings and avoided emissions at the national level, and lifecycle cost savings for end-users under three MEPS scenarios: business-as-usual MEPS, the increased MEPS proposed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards, and MEPS set 20% above the proposed MEPS to represent the potential best available technology on the market.

The report assesses the key characteristics of the room AC market in Kenya, the Kenyan power sector, and the legal and regulatory framework for implementing energy efficiency policies. CLASP uses current market conditions and market forecasts to model the impacts of multiple policy revision scenarios and provide policy recommendations.

Kenya Room Air Conditioner Market Assessment and Policy Options Analysis is funded by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP). As a grantee of K-CEP, CLASP supports activities to raise efficiency standards, improve testing efforts, provide training and other capacity building activities targeted to local needs, and implement national market transformation initiatives in Kenya. K-CEP is a philanthropic initiative to support the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol by focusing on the energy efficiency of cooling to increase and accelerate the climate and development benefits of phasing down HFCs.

Want to learn more about this report? On July 18, 2019 CLASP hosted the Air Conditioner Markets & Energy Efficiency Policy Opportunities webinar. CLASP, K-CEP, and our partners discussed the findings of the Room Air Conditioner Market Assessment and Policy Options Analysis reports for Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Additionally, the World Bank presented on their cooling technology transfer program in Southeast Asia. Watch a recording of the webinar.

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