The "Netflix" Electricity Solution: EGG Energy

EGG-energy | Tanzania

$100,000 | Stage 1: Proof of Concept | Energy

The problem: Three out of four people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity 

EGG-Energy reducing dependence on kerosene

Three out of four people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, and more than 80 percent of Tanzania’s 43 million people are off the power grid. Those without grid access spend an annual $790 million on imported kerosene for lighting, AA batteries for basic electricity needs, and charging services for their cell phones.

The solution: The "Netflix" electricity model

EGG-energy is a private venture that brings affordable, reliable and clean energy to the people not connected to the power grid. In rural and peri-urban areas, EGG-energy trains local entrepreneurs to charge small, lead-acid batteries through solar charging stations. The entrepreneur then rents out these batteries to individual and institutional customers. Additionally, EGG technicians install the electrical and lighting systems that are powered by the rented batteries in the customers’ homes and businesses. With support from DIV, EGG-energy will test its model of franchising modular solar hubs to local entrepreneurs to charge home batteries and provide battery swapping services within their communities.  EGG-energy selects and trains local entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business line by operating a small solar charging station, dimensioned to charge home batteries for 15 customers and 20 cell phones per week. Once the entrepreneur has secured a down payment from 15 customers, EGG-electricians visit the neighborhood to install clients’ home lighting systems. Customers subscribe to the battery charge and swap service for $4.60/month in semester or annual subscriptions.

The potential: Cost-effectiveness, impacts, and implications

Spending around $5 per month for their EGG battery rental, EGG-energy customers save 35 percent per year on energy, while local entrepreneurs benefit from a profitable business. The pricing scheme allows profit sharing between the end user (35% annual savings on their energy expenditures), local entrepreneurs (6-year average profit of 24%) and EGG-energy (internal rate of return of 27% over six years).  During the Stage 1 project, EGG-energy will set up 100 solar charging stations and connect 1,500 households and small business over the next year.

Read about EGG-Energy’s young innovator in USAID’s FrontLines magazine, and take a peak at EGG-energy’s awards and recognitions.

Last updated: August 24, 2015

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