Microfinance and energy efficiency in Peru – The case of Fondesurco

Financing access to energy efficient products to enable low-income people in rural areas to improve their lives

In Peru, approximately four million people in rural areas do not have access to electricity. This reality has pushed poor households to use traditional, costly and highly polluting biomass fuels as their main source of energy.

In this context, increasing access to more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies became an opportunity to save money while meeting poor people’s energy needs and minimizing the negative impact on the environment.

MFIs are well placed to supply green financial products, since they understand the needs of their clients and are able to deliver the equipment required in remote rural areas.

The MFI Fondesurco operates in some of the poorest areas of Peru. Clients are low-income people who develop economic activities in trade and agriculture in small communities. 86% of their clients live in rural areas.

In 2011, solar water heaters and energy efficient ovens were added to their range of products.Both combine environmental benefits such as reduced emission of greenhouse gases with economic advantages for clients obtained by the reduction of wood consumption, gas or electricity, while improving hygienic conditions and the health of the entire family.

They benefit to both, families and individuals, but also to the micro-enterprise sector. Solar water heaters for example allow small hostels to increase room rates while reducing energy costs. The energy efficient ovens support small restaurants in the diversification of their products.

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