Skip to main content.
Enviropaedia Sponsors and Supporters

Programme for Basic Energy & Conservation


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)

PO Box 13732
South Africa

Tel: 011 339 6633
Fax: 011 339 6634
Contact: Erika Schutze: Public Relations & Project Monitoring and Evaluation

The ProBEC (Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation) is a SADC project implemented by the German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ). It is the only SADC project that focuses on energy security and supply for low-income households.

ProBEC promotes improved energy solutions through market development and policy support. ProBEC aims to ensure that low-income population groups satisfy their energy requirements in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. It targets thermal energy needs of rural and urban households, as well as small business and institutions using biomass energy (woodfuel, agricultural residues) for thermal processes.

The results of ProBEC interventions undertaken thus far have shown that with a comprehensive package of solutions, it is feasible to attain multiple, long-lasting, environmental, economic, and social benefits. Families and small businesses benefit financially from savings, health is improved through minimised indoor air pollution, nationally there are savings of foreign exchange for energy imports, and globally, the use of biofuels instead of fossil fuels, reduces net emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as optimising timber and non-timber forest products.

Interventions focus on the demand side and include the use of energy efficient devices, profitable production and marketing of these devices, efficient woodfuel use and kitchen management, and substitution with renewable energy sources.

ProBEC is currently active in Lesotho; Malawi; Mozambique; Tanzania; South Africa; Zambia, and is developing new programmes for Swaziland, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo; Angola, Madagascar and Namibia.

There are three components to ProBEC interventions:

  • efficient use of energy devices
  • giving policy advice,
  • research into biofuel.

“Efficient use of energy devices for thermal purposes”

The use of efficient appliances and the implementation of energy saving techniques and practices can improve access to sustainable energy sources.

ProBEC adopts two strategies to encourage thermal efficiency: extension workers train artisanal producers to make the energy efficient devices. In the formal sector, ProBEC trains producers to make stoves while also stimulating the demand for these products through awareness raising activities.

ProBEC also supports businesses to manufacture and sell efficient institutional stoves (stoves used in schools, prisons, tea estate canteens and staff housing), assisting with impact studies, marketing, monitoring, as well as the training of cooks and users.

ProBEC teaches kitchen management to introduce energy savings techniques.

ProBEC also offers a stove testing and research service.


At a national level, ProBEC engages in a number of policy supportive actions: assisting the formulation and enforcement of regulatory frameworks; supporting the development of basic energy strategies and operational plans with a pro-poor focus; and improving coordination amongst key stakeholders. The instrument for doing this is the establishment of a National Advisory Group in each country, consisting of government, NGO, private sector and others in the energy field.

“Research into Biofuels”

ProBEC is exploring the prospects for sustainable biofuels and provides the SADC Secretariat with information on how to implement biofuels projects that uphold international standards, social responsibility and environmental sustainability criteria.

Additional Contacts:

David Hancock
Programme Co-ordinator