Activist wants duty exemption on electric appliances – Capital Radio Malawi
14 April, 2024

Activist wants duty exemption on electric appliances

Cooking using firewood is being discouraged

An environmental advocate suggests that exempting duties on electrical cooking appliances could play a pivotal role in ensuring that all households connected to the national power grid have access to these appliances, thereby reducing reliance on charcoal for cooking.

Peter Sandula, a programs manager at the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) emphasized on the importance of transitioning to cleaner energy sources in Malawi, where charcoal is widely used.

“Electricity is a very clean sources of energy but also very cheap. It is however sad that most households do not use it because the electric appliances are expensive.

“We know that chitetezo mbaula is not very clean but at least uses very little firewood. But because most of the clean energy sources are expensive and even very rare to find like gas and solar appliances,” he stressed.

He emphasized the necessity of awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of electricity over charcoal and wood for cooking, particularly among households not yet connected to the grid.

The ministry of energy is reportedly in talks with the ministry of finance to implement a duty waiver on electronic cooking appliances, aiming to encourage the adoption of electric cooking systems across the population.

Joseph Kalowekamo, director of energy services at the ministry of energy, revealed this development during the launch of the e-cooking roadmap in Lilongwe, which advocates transitioning from biomass energy to electricity, deemed both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Kalowekamo highlighted a common misconception among Malawians that electricity is expensive compared to biomass energy, despite assessments showing it to be more affordable.

He stressed the need for households to shift from biomass to electricity, proposing tax reductions or waivers to make electric appliances more accessible.

“This initiative aims to offer incentives for households connected to the national grid to embrace electric cooking and heating,” Kalowekamo stated.

Malawi has experienced adverse climate events, including Cyclone Freddy in 2023 and a recent heatwave in 2024, underscoring the urgency of transitioning to sustainable energy practices.

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