In line with its target of connecting a million customers to its solar power systems by 2018, local pay-as-you-go off grid energy provider, M-Kopa Solar, has announced connecting 250,000 homes across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The firm’s managing director and co-founder, Mr Jesse Moore, said: “Last September, we celebrated 100,000 customers, and a year later we are already at a quarter-million. With hundreds of great customers coming on board every day, we are helping East Africa leapfrog over the grid to enjoy cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable solar power.”
Kenya is emerging as a hot spot for off-grid solar power. A 2014 M-Kopa Solar and InterMedia study showed that 14 per cent of the surveyed population use solar as their primary lighting and charging source.
“I am so excited to take home a solar system that will give me much more value than kerosene, and with M-KOPA’s daily payment plan it is affordable for me. I purchased this system for my rural home where there is no access to electricity,” said Alex Nduati, an Athi river resident who became the plan’s 250,000th customer when he purchased an M-KOPA III solar home system, according to Daily Nation.
M-Kopa is one of the fastest-growing power providers in the region, connecting power to over 500 new homes each day.
The battery-powered 8W home system has three lights, a phone-charging facility and a chargeable radio.
The savings generated by using off grid solar over kerosene are said to be substantial for individual households and the broader East African economy.
Each M-Kopa Solar home is calculated to save $750, compared to using kerosene over a four-year period. This means that the combined projected savings by the 250,000 households using the system is $187 million.
M-Kopa Solar, which has its headquarters in Nairobi, now has a network of over 1,500 direct sales agents and 100 customer service centres across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.