In response to the energy crisis of 1983/84, the Government of Ghana initiated an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program to demonstrate the potential for energy conservation in industrial and commercial enterprises. Several programs were launched over the next 13 years, but received less than adequate attention. In 1997 the government began to implement energy sector reform with passage of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act (Act 538) and the Energy Commission Act (Act 541). The key functions of tariff setting, energy sector regulation, policy formulation, and efficiency promotion were re-assigned from the Ministry of Energy to other institutions.

Previously, public sector energy policy had focused on public ownership of the main electricity generation and distribution utility, with little if any consideration given to actual energy use by the public sector. However, the Ministry of Energy building (formerly Ministry of Mines and Energy) has since been used in at least two demonstration projects, the latest of which yielded energy savings of nearly 27,000 kWh and maximum demand savings of 351 kVA. (GhanaMoE.pdf - ~2 MB)

As part of that case study, the Ministry organized workshops for its staff and managers of other government ministries to educate them on simple but effective housekeeping measures that can eliminate waste and reduce electricity consumption. Policy advocates are now promoting public sector energy efficiency, to include not only government buildings but also publicly owned industries and utilities, notably the Ghana Water Company. To date, no formal program has been established although several are being proposed, drawing on US and international experience.