German Firm Takes On M-Kopa With Sh50-A-Day Solar Systems

A German-based energy company is set to launch a Sh50-a-day solar power installation service, stepping up competition for rival firms that have unveiled similar products in the past one month.

Mobisol customers will pay an estimated total of Sh54,000 over 36 months. PHOTO | FILE

Mobisol customers will pay an estimated total of Sh54,000 over 36 months. PHOTO | FILE

Mobisol said in a Friday statement it will launch its Kenyan operations Monday, taking on the Safaricom-backed M-Kopa that has been in the business for about three years.

Under its model, Mobisol customers will pay an estimated total of Sh54,000 over 36 months in small bits of Sh50 a day sent to the company through mobile cash.

The company says its solar systems have capacity to generate up to 80 watts of power.

“All solar systems are inclusive of a SIM card that will be sending data to us, and this will allow us to monitor their payment status,” said the Mobisol Corporate Development Manager Klaus Maier in an interview.

He said the solar home system will provide electricity to power bright LED lights, radios, mobile phones, TVs and fridges.

The solar systems have an extended warranty, free of charge installation and a three-year free maintenance package backed by remote monitoring and comprehensive IT solutions.

Mobisol has a presence in Rwanda and Tanzania where to date it has served electricity needs for over 35,000 households and businesses.

“The plan is to connect up to 10 million people in East Africa in the next four years,” said Mr Maier.

The company’s entry into the Kenyan market comes barely a week after Equity Bank partnered with Indian-based solar energy firm Orb Energy in a similar pay-as-you-go solar installation deal.

Under the agreement, Equity will advance loans at discounted rates of as low as eight per cent to buyers of solar equipment from Orb Energy.

Early this month, pay-per-use solar energy provider M-Kopa introduced a delivery scheme for customers who have successfully completed the payment plan for their solar home systems.

Under the programme, the customers with responsible payment history qualify to get delivery of cooking stoves, smartphone and water tanks to their households after purchase.

Telecommunications giant Safaricom recently signed an extended partnership with M-Kopa to supply one million off-grid households in the country with solar-powered digital flat screen television sets by 2017.

The deal comes packaged with a 16-inch TV, a radio, solar panel, aerial, two head lights and a torch.

A deposit of Sh7,999 is mandatory for customers who buy the M-Kopa kit. Payment is done through mobile money service M-Pesa and a subsequent Sh125 daily for a year.

Mobisol solar systems come in varying sizes from 80 to 200 watts to match the needs of different households.

Besides its partners in the East African Governments, the company is working with the European Union and other development organisations.

The company is keen on fostering economic growth, educational opportunities and climate change mitigation by empowering households, businesses, schools and public institutions in East Africa and Asia.

– Business Daily