Energy for households
Throughout the developing world, millions of people rely on inefficent and hazardous kerosene lamps and candles to light their homes, which produce harmful indoor air pollutants. The majority of people still cook and heat water using harmful and inefficient open fires. Environmentally unfriendly batteries are used in radios and people often have to travel for miles to charge their mobile phone.
We work with companies to develop distribution channels for solar lights, efficient cookstoves and cleaner biomass fuels. We also support businesses that have pioneered some of the most innovative financing mechanisms and distribution strategies for solar home systems and solar kits.
An example is Azuri, which tested their innovative Pay-As-You-Go solar power model in Rwanda, providing clean, affordable electricity to isolated communities.
Business models like these have the potential to unlock vast segments of the market. Leapfrog technologies such as mobile payment and rent-to-buy are helping in the transition to “energy as a service”. The Tanzania-based venture Off.Grid:Electric uses a 'fee-for-service' model based on mobile money to provide solar-powered electricity to customers, who typically use kerosene lamps to light their homes. ‘Mobile money’ – a mechanism where customers pay via mobile phones – is increasingly used as a method of payment in East Africa. Off.Grid:Electric has taken advantage of this infrastructure to build a scalable business model. We have provided advisory services to the company to facilitate their expansion into additional East African markets.