About two months after M-KOPA Solar won an international award for its innovation that lights up homes using renewable energy at very low costs, the company has announced that its entry into neighbouring Uganda has been successful with over 20,000 homes benefiting from the affordable solution in just 15 months.
With a target to add 50,000 more homes by the end of 2015 in its expansion to cover the whole country, M-KOPA, birthed in Kenya in 2012 and already providing solar power to over 150,000 homes, made its entry into Uganda through pilot operations in mid-2013 and is now determined to power more off-grid homes.
The solution allows people in rural areas who are not able to access electricity and who live on very low income, to afford the high quality solar power through its one year payment plan that is cheaper than every day purchases for kerosene to power lamps and charging services for their phones.
M-KOPA III, which is the latest solar system from the company is available to Ugandans for purchase at a deposit fee of UGX 99,000 ($30) and daily payments of UGX 1400 (less than $1) over a one-year period or the next 365 days. After completion of the daily payments, the customer fully owns the system with no further charges and the deposit is fully refundable.
Payments for the systems is available through the mobile money platforms for MTN and Airtel, with M-KOPA setting up a toll free call centre that operates throughout the week to aid any customers needing assistance.
“We are very proud of the M-KOPA III solar home system and our success to date in Uganda. Together we are helping Ugandans get rid of kerosene, improve their standard of living and save money all at once,” says Jesse Moore, MD and Co-Founder at M-KOPA.
The latest M-KOPA III is available with an 8W solar panel, a high quality lithium battery, two LED solar lights with switches, a solar rechargeable LED torch, a solar rechargeable radio and a mobile phone charger as well as the possibility of upgrading it to include two additional solar lights that are sold separately.
The solution has also created jobs in the regions, with Uganda saying it has provided jobs to 200 sales agents who are distributed across the country and plans to add more people to its team in the course of this year, hopefully changing their lives.
“We are proud to have 20,000 customers already but also know we are only beginning to make our positive impact in Uganda – the best is yet to come,” adds Moore.
Ugandans wanting to make an appointment with a sales representative can call the number 0800122333, but all customers are automatically connected to one of the 15 service centres available in the country once they are on the M-KOPA plan.