Microsoft’s purchase of EKOenergy-labelled energy attribute certificates helps support off-grid communities in Kenya

Since last year, Microsoft has purchased EKOenergy-labelled energy attribute certificates (EACs) for a portion of its electricity consumption. Its choice of EKOenergy-labelled EACs has enabled the technology company to make a positive impact not only on the climate but also on off-grid communities in developing countries.

We are honoured to have Microsoft among the growing number of EKOenergy users.

The EKOenergy ecolabel is a tool to create additional impact

In addition to helping consumers of all sizes source EACs from environmentally friendly installations, the EKOenergy label also promotes the global energy transition. One of the ways EKOenergy supports transitioning to renewable energy is through the installations we finance to fight energy poverty.

As set in EKOenergy’s criteria, for each EKOenergy EAC that a company purchases, the company makes a contribution to EKOenergy’s Climate Fund for financing new renewable energy installations. Mostly these are humanitarian projects for off-grid communities that make use of solar power to bring a diverse range of benefits. All selected projects address multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals and are implemented by or in close cooperation with local organisations.

Empowering off-grid fishing communities in Kenya

One of the selected projects this year, enabled by Microsoft’s purchase of EKOenergy-labelled EACs, will bring solar power to fishing communities on an island on Lake Victoria in Kenya. This will enable them to purify water and make ice for cold storage. Access to affordable and safe drinking water will help combat water-borne diseases such as typhoid, which is an ongoing problem in the region. The availability of ice at an affordable rate will ensure better preservation of fish catches and increase the profit margin of subsistence fishers. The UK-based organisation NGO Renewable World and their Kenyan partner, a social enterprise, will implement the project in partnership with community stakeholders.

Using a market-systems approach, this project will be financially sustainable, making it a highly replicable concept for other off-grid fishing communities. The revenue generated from drinking water and ice sales will pay for the labour required to run the system and manage the business, and is also expected to contribute to associated overheads and a repair and maintenance fund.

For more information about our achievements thanks to EKOenergy users and sellers, see the Our Results page on our website.

Published: 27 June 2023