HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaOff-grid energy access: Affordable payment solutions to clean power

Off-grid energy access: Affordable payment solutions to clean power

Pic credit: Angaza design
US-based firm is delivering clean power to off-grid communities through affordable solutions. Pic credit: Angaza design

Last week, US-based firm, Angaza, announced the closing of a $4 million Series A financing. The round was led by a large United States-based family office and included New York-based The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund (TSEF) amongst others.

The power solutions company is working towards deploying affordable clean power solutions to the world’s 1.2 billion off-grid consumers through its Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) software.

Angaza CEO Lesley Marincola said:  “We’re thrilled that these new funds will allow us to reach more manufacturers and distributors around the globe, which will ultimately enable the 1.2 billion people living off-grid to access clean energy devices.”

Clean power solutions model

Manufacturers of solar home systems require upfront payment, which is not a feasible option for the bulk of consumers living off-grid who are only able to pay small amounts at a time.

Currently there are 1.2 billion people living globally without access to conventional electricity, a number that can be reduced should a viable payment solution emerge.

This business-to-business model, which provides manufacturers of clean energy devices, the option to select from a flexible suite of embedded technologies to make their entire product line PAYG-ready, the solutions company said in a statement.

Data transfer technology

The clean power technology is embedded with data transfer technology, a system that allows the consumer to top up electricity when the power runs out, like the commonly known prepaid meter that you find in many households across the globe.

The company said that by implementing this option, the purchasing power of these previously non-consumers then becomes unlocked.

Expanding access to affordable power

With operations in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Pakistan, India, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia, the $4 million will be used to accelerate the company’s technology and partnership development, with the goal of reaching more than one million energy consumers by the end of 2016.

Deploying affordable clean power systems

Taking into consideration the market’s ability to purchase in small amounts, Kenya-based  ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy service provider, M-KOPA Solar, connected 20,000 Ugandan households earlier this year to clean power systems through its affordable payment plan.

M-KOPA customers can buy the M-KOPA III kit for a deposit of UGX 90,000 (ZAR390) plus 365 daily payments of UGX 1400 (ZAR5). The company claims the price is cheaper than the daily kerosene needed to power lights and to charge phones.

“After a year of daily payments, customers own their systems outright with no further billing. The deposit is fully refundable and customers can receive real-time customer support from M-KOPA’s toll free call centre,” M-KOPA said in a company statement.

According to Anthony Weremaka, general manager of M-KOPA Uganda: “In Uganda M-KOPA is now connecting over 500 new homes to solar each week, and even bigger growth lies ahead.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.


Comments are closed.