Model Quality and Performance Guidelines for Off-Grid Refrigerating Appliances
These “Model Quality and Performance Guidelines for Off-Grid Refrigerating Appliances” (Guidelines)
complement United for Efficiency’s (U4E) “Model Regulation Guidelines for Refrigerating Appliances,”
which apply to grid-connected products, and other supporting resources1. This voluntary guidance is
intended to inform market transformation efforts in developing and emerging economies that support the
adoption of new off-grid refrigerating appliances with recommended parameters for quality assurance,
energy efficiency, and use of refrigerants and foam-blowing agents with a lower global warming potential
(GWP) than typical legacy refrigerants.
Refrigerating appliances are among the most desirable but expensive appliances that small enterprises
and households aspire to own, once electricity becomes available and incomes rise beyond subsistence.
While research indicates a large market opportunity for off-grid refrigerating appliances, observed market
penetration is still very low, with annual sales estimated at roughly 12,000 to 32,000 units, compared to
around 200 million grid-connected units worldwide. This is due to many barriers including a lack of
affordable products and access to financing; the high cost of energy supply; the difficulty of last-mile
transport; user hesitancy due to concerns about product failure; and a lack of after-sales service and
maintenance, among others.