Empowering Women in the Energy Efficiency SectorSociety
Ulaanbaatar, March 8, 2023 /MONTSAME/. Promoting women’s employment opportunities and improving the capacity of women-led MSMEs is key to the economic and social development of women, especially in male-dominated sectors such as the insulation and energy efficiency industry.
After completing her training as a heating and ventilation engineer, Tseyeeregzen worked for 18 years in the construction industry before she noticed an online posting about the brigade recruitment opportunity for the Switch Off Air Pollution (SOAP) project in 2021, funded by the European Union. She decided to join the project as she had a growing interest in insulation and insulating her own summer house. However, as she participated in the training and learned more about insulation technologies, Tseyeeregzen developed a true desire to become an energy advisor.
She is one of 73 brigade leaders and energy advisors trained under the SOAP project implemented from 2018 to 2022 with funding from the European Union’s Switch-Asia II Programme to improve the energy efficiency of detached houses in the ger areas of Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, where air pollution has become a leading concern for authorities and the general public alike. Over four years, the project has encouraged 1,546 households across the capital to implement energy-efficient solutions, reduced CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 3,556 tons, and informed over 16 thousand individuals about do-it-yourself insulation methods through the Simple Solutions campaign.
Building the capacity of brigade leaders, energy advisors, and MSMEs in the construction sector through theoretical and practical training sessions is a key activity of the SOAP project. Brigades engaged with the project receive comprehensive training on energy efficiency, insulation technologies, marketing and sales, business development, occupational health and safety, gender protection, and waste management.
Tseyeeregzen reports that participating in the training has not only allowed her to develop her skills and knowledge but has also given her an additional source of income working in an industry typically dominated by men. “Although there are few female brigade leaders, I see it as a challenge to develop myself and my career and pave the way for other women.”
“Whenever I am conducting technical assessments, I see many common mistakes people make when insulating their homes,” said Tseyeeregzen. “Using my experience and knowledge to help people understand where heat loss occurs and encouraging them to insulate their homes with the correct technologies and materials is very rewarding.” She noted that many customers thanked her after the insulation, expressing that their homes are noticeably warmer and more comfortable.
Not only has Tseyeeregzen helped many households throughout the insulation process, but she has also insulated her own summer house, decreasing the number of heating times from three per day to one and cutting heating-related costs in half. “I hope people can see that insulation has many benefits - to the environment, indoor air quality and comfort, and household finances,” she said. “We can use the money saved on energy expenditure for our family and children.”
Following the culmination of the SOAP Project, Tseyeeregzen continues to be engaged with the second phase of the project - Switch Off Air Pollution in Mongolia Cities (2022-2026) - led by Geres Mongolia and funded by the European Union’s Switch-Asia II Programme. The SOAP 2 project will train 160 MSMEs, encourage 5,900 households to implement energy-efficient insulation solutions, and decrease CO2 emissions by 17,700 tons and is implemented in cooperation with the Building Energy Efficiency Center, Mongolian National Construction Association, Mongolian Green Finance Corporation, and the Mongolian Women’s Fund.
Tseyeeregzen believes that improving energy efficiency is key to combating air pollution and creating a healthier community, and her story is a portrait of how building the capacity of women-led MSMEs can economically empower women. “I believe it is our role to ensure that our children grow up in a healthy and clean environment. So, I’m proud to be part of this project and contribute to reducing air pollution,” she said.
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