11 Dec The Coldest Capital in the World
Households in the poorest districts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia are taking charge of their energy usage.
Having to endure temperatures an average winter temperature of -20C for up to 8 months of the year can be costly. Many households typically spend 40% of their winter income on coal and wood, simply to stay warm.
Savvy homeowners are taking advantage of a program offered by their local microfinance institution, XacBank. At a XacBank product center, these households can learn about energy efficient products such as home insulation and efficient heating stoves. They can take a microfinance loan and also benefit from carbon funding and government subsidies to ensure that the product is affordable. Most households save money the first month they transition to clean energy.
More than this, these households enjoy warmer homes and cleaner air. Respiratory disease, cancer and birth defects are at epidemic proportions in Ulaanbaatar due to smoke from coal burning. Households that convince their whole neighborhood to shift experience cleaner air both in the household and outside.