Closing the access gap to affordable, high-quality solar products via a retail distribution network
FIRST YEAR OF INVESTMENT
Over 63 million Pakistanis live without access to the national energy grid. Kerosene is a major monthly expense for those in off-grid villages. Not only is kerosene expensive, it is also highly damaging to health and the environment. The increasing cost and reduced reliability of on-grid electricity and declining prices of solar solutions has increased interest in solar technologies. The key challenges in adoption are the upfront cost of solar, the low quality of equipment available, and the lack of an appropriate after-sales support infrastructure. As a result, most customers today are weary of investing in solar solutions given the lack of effective after-sales support and warranties.
SRE Solutions provides access to affordable, high quality solar products through its unique retail distribution network. The upfront payment and monthly installment for the micro-credit product brings solar solutions within an affordable range for these off-grid households. SRE reaches out to its off-grid market directly by employing local entrepreneurs, allowing them to maintain high quality customer care. The company offers replacement warranties for 1.5 years, which is not generally provided by the competition, as well as strong after-sales services to customers.
SRE intends to serve close to 40,000 households, impacting over a quarter of one million lives over the next five years. The savings from solar solutions enable households to spend more money on education, health and other basic needs of the family. In addition, it will help generate employment, as ~800 villagers will be hired and trained to serve as sales associates. Acumen’s investment will enable the company to scale operations and undertake important pilots with micro-finance institutions.