Creating insulation market in the coldest capital city in the world

2020-10-22 10:04:57

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Quality certified insulation market is being created in Mongolia by the European Union’s Switch Off Air Pollution project. In the past, Mongolian people went to black market to buy insulation materials, mostly non-certified materials and do it themselves without following the Building Code Standards which in return ends up being not very efficient, often becoming a waste of resources. And this has been the common practice of “insulation” for Mongolians until now.

However, Switch Off Air Pollution project is trying to replace that common practices definition by certified insulation by putting together a market, where it links the customers or the ger area dwellers living in detached houses, with: good certified suppliers; project specialized energy advisors, MSMEs or craftsmen, financial institutions working with green loans; and certified energy auditors that warranty the quality of the work performance.


The project is forming a market mechanism with a demand and supply chain. It does not only benefit the public, but it also aims to guarantee fair and attractive revenue to all the actors involved to ensure sustainability. Based on the needs and financial availability of the customers, the project offers different insulation options.  If insulated fully by the project, the house can be 70% energy efficient decreasing heat loss in the house by the same amount. The engineering behind this innovative service began with an well-structured baseline study to understand the market incentive and continuous research and adaptation based on arising needs.


The insulation market system works as follows:

House will be assessed by the energy advisors, who then will give insulation price offer depending on tailor-made options for the person’s house. The household can choose to pay by themselves or apply for Xac bank  green loan at 8% of interest. If the person is eligible for the loan, the contract will be signed to indicate the beginning of the insulation work. Materials will be supplied and craftsmen will do it within a week. Once the insulation work is done, energy advisor will do the quality check and energy auditor will compute the energy audit. The person is eligible for green loan if they can prove their income by their social insurance book or tax record.


In order to simplify the process, families can go to to enter their house measurements and receive preliminary cost calculation of desired insulation and place on order for technical assessment by the energy advisors.


Up until now,  there was little knowledge among the ger district residents that insulation plays a key role in energy efficiency thus leading to air pollution reduction.  Therefore, the project is aiming to raise awareness on the energy efficiency and cost saving that properly done insulation can bring to households and disseminate knowledge to the people. Not only does the project raises awareness on the importance of good quality insulation, it also sees the lack of good quality insulation adding to the air pollution problems in Ulaanbaatar and hence it properly insulates houses to decrease the coal consumption in order to decrease air pollution in the short and medium term.


Accordingly, technical procedures including Technical Assessment and Quality implementation check form developed by the Switch Off Air Pollution project, were included in the newly amended Construction Codes and Standards on Building Envelope Thermal Insulation of Mongolia, that will come into force on January 1, 2021. 


Switch Off Air Pollution is a pilot project with an aim to involve more actors in the future to develop the certified insulation market in the coldest capital city in the world.


About Switch Off Air Pollution:

Co-financed by the European Union under the Switch Asia programme, with additional support from Abbe Pierre Foundation, Czech Development Agency and the French Development Agency; the Switch Off Air Pollution project is being implemented by Geres Mongolia, in collaboration with Building Energy Efficiency Center of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology,  Mongolian National Construction Association and People in Need INGO during the 2018-2021 period.

Project website -, and mobile application - Dulaalga on iOS and Android

About Geres Mongolia:

Geres is an international NGO with expertise in energy and development, with over 40 years of experience in Europe, Africa, and Asia improving living conditions of the people and fighting against the impacts of climate change.


Source: Geres Mongolia