- Sustainable Power
Africa Power is unique in its ability to offer all the benefits of electricity plus the appliances which use electricity on a scalable PAYG basis to all customers, no matter their income level.
Africa Power provides an affordable (pro-poor, profitable) plan for all our domestic customers to attain the benefits and range of appliances which come with full electrification, over time and on an affordable plan. We call this plan our Empowerment Ladder, to learn more, click on the relevant link further down this page.
We offer a tiered level of power systems matched to a range of appliances. We provide the power system and end use appliances, (lights, cell phone chargers, radios, TV’s, cool boxes) and install the system into the home. As each tier of system is paid off, customers are invited to upgrade their system, continuing to pay a weekly PAYG fee initially set to be substantially lower than a typical household pays for kerosene and candles for lighting and third-party commercial cell phone charging costs.
In each village where we operate, there is an agent, who will install a level one Solar Home System – SHS- (3 lights and two cell phone charger) in your house. You pre-pay the first weekly PAYG instalment being about 50-65% of the cost of kerosene and candles. After 18 months or so, you own the system outright and can enjoy “free lighting and charging”, but become responsible for maintenance including the battery replacement every 2-3 years. Or the village agent can visit your house upgrade your system providing additional lights; radios; study lamps; outdoor security lights, etc, together with a larger power system and you continue to pay the weekly PAYG fee until this level is paid off when you can upgrade again say to a small colour TV.
Our customers often live hand-to-mouth. In bad weeks, they perhaps cannot afford kerosene and candles and so live in the dark. We recognise this lifestyle, and allow missed payments too. At the end of the week, the system automatically shuts down until further payment is received. We bake this impact into our repayment (and company) economics. Good payers upgrade faster and “bad payers” take longer to complete their payments. Default rates (excluding missed payments) are thus low and re-possession rare. As long as customers are on a PAYG scheme (or take out a reduced maintenance “contract) Africa Power maintains and refurbishes all the SHS’s including all battery replacements.
Villagers have a range of income levels. Wealthier customer can opt to start at a higher level on the empowerment ladder and upgrade faster. Higher PAYG fees and a deposit are required. We also offer a low cost solar lantern with a cell phone charging facility at about half the cost of the SHS and which is paid off in about a year. This targets the very lowest incomes, and provides customers a zero risk way of becoming comfortable with the technology, but is not upgradeable. The provision of a very basic offering is an effective marketing tool to demonstrate the value of the level one empowerment ladder offering.