ACUMEN ENTREPRENEURS BUILD SOLUTIONS TO THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES FACING THE POOR
Making clean energy services affordable to low-income customers in Tanzania through a pay-as-you-go model using mobile banking
In Tanzania, only 7 percent of the country’s 39 million rural residents have access to electricity, making it one of the lowest electrification rates in East Africa. Most energy resources available to poor communities are expensive and polluting. In the absence of a connection to the national grid, Tanzanians currently spend close to 1 billion dollars per year on alternative lighting powered by traditional fuels.
Solar lanterns are affordable, but provide little light. Solar home systems are often outside of the financial reach of the poor.
Devergy is filling a gap in the market to provide affordable and reliable high-intensity clean energy services to off-grid rural populations.
Unlike other energy services, Devergy’s innovative business model employs smart metering, which leverages a “pay-as-you-go” model using mobile banking to align power usage with spending habits.
Credit can be purchased for the same value as mobile phone credit, and the cost for the customer is lower than the cost of kerosene lighting, phone charging, or dry-cell batteries.
Households impacted by Devergy have the ability to purchase electricity-matching access based on individual energy needs. Smart metering allows households to save money, improve health and increase net incomes, as well as small businesses to operate for longer hours.
In addition to monitoring usage, Devergy’s smart metering reduces energy theft, allows customers to share their energy load with neighbors, and reduces the needs for the company to collect outstanding payments from overdue accounts.