Promoting women’s employment opportunities and improving the capacity of women-led MSMEs are key to the economic and social development of women, especially in male-dominated sectors such as building and construction, and 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 until, in 2021, she noticed an online posting about the opportunity to join the brigade of the EU funded Switch Off Air Pollution (SOAP) project implemented from 2018-2022. This project was designed to scale-up inclusive, contextualised, affordable, and financially viable Energy Efficient (EE) solutions in 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. Main aims were to decrease intensity, cost, GHG emissions and maximise health, economic and social benefits for the population of Ulaanbaatar city.
Over four years of project implementation, 1,546 households in Ulaanbaatar implemented 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 (learn more about the Impact of the project).
At first, Tseyeeregzen decided to join the project due to her growing interest in insulation and insulating her own summer house. Later on, as she participated in the training programme and learned more about insulation technologies, she developed a true desire to become an energy advisor.
Building the capacity of brigade leaders, energy advisors, and MSMEs in the construction sector through theoretical and practical training sessions was a flagship activity of the SOAP project. Brigades have been trained 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 enabled her to develop new skills and knowledge about this sector, but also given her an additional source of income working in an industry typically dominated by men. “While 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,” to break the barriers in the construction sector and championing energy efficiency, said Tseyeeregzen.
Whenever I am conducting technical assessments, I see many common mistakes people make when insulating their homes. Using my experience and knowledge to help others understand where heat loss occurs and encouraging them to insulate their homes with the correct technologies and materials is very rewarding, she added. Many customers expressed appreciation after the insulation was done, explaining 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 completion of SOAP (Phase I), Tseyeeregzen continues to be engaged with the second phase of the EU funded SWITCH-Asia Switch Off Air Pollution in Mongolia Cities (2022-2026), led by Geres Mongolia. In cooperation with the Building Energy Efficiency Center, Mongolian National Construction Association, Mongolian Green Finance Corporation, and the Mongolian Women’s Fund, SOAP II will train 160 MSMEs, encourage 5,900 households to implement energy-efficient insulation solutions, and decrease CO2 emissions by 17,700 tons.
Tseyeeregzen is a strong believer 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 concluded.
This article was adapted from the original news published by Самбууням.М
[email protected], MONTSAME, Mongolian National News Agency
The original news is available here.
Photo credits © SWITCH-Asia Switch off Air Pollution
SOAP II Contact details
Facebook page: Дулаан шийдэл төсөл