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Report 16 June 2023

The road to zero interest: the potential role of concessional consumer financing in energy access

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Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in International.

Concessional consumer financing (CCF) is a public funding mechanism used to address affordability by offering zero or low-interest loans, often over extended repayment periods.  

CCF has proved highly effective in a wide range of countries and contexts. For example, we have successfully implemented CCF to overcome high upfront costs in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.  

However, CCF hasn’t been widely used to address affordability in the Global South. Drawing upon our experience in the Global North, we realised we could make an important contribution to the debate around how to achieve universal, sustainable energy access.  

This report identifies a range of CCF delivery models that could be adopted in energy access settings, and it positions CCF as a potential new tool in the box of public funding interventions.  

We evaluated different CCF models that provide affordable access to finance for people on low incomes who want to buy energy efficient products. The CCF models explored in the report include financing through: 

  • energy service providers, including utilities, mini-grid developers and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) companies. 
  • third parties, including development banks, microfinance institutions and non-profit organisations. 

This report is for governments, aid agencies, foundations and programme implementers interested in exploring how CCF can be used to overcome affordability constraints and help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7).

Last updated: 16 June 2023