Solar for 1200 Families in Copperbelt

Fund solar lighting and mobile phone charging for over 6,500 people

Project summary

This is the second project in the SunnyMoney-SunFunder partnership to bring solar lighting and cell phone charging to rural communities in Zambia.  

SunnyMoney will use this $20,000 loan to purchase and sell 1,232 solar-powered lights to families in the Copperbelt district of Zambia, impacting over 6,776 people’s lives. The sales will take place through SunnyMoney’s solar schools campaign, which sells affordable solar lights to students and their families. Students use their solar lights to study by and to charge mobile phones. This extends their study hours without the use of expensive kerosene lanterns, which can burn up 20% of a family’s income or more, and emit harmful emissions. Working through school allows SunnyMoney to overcome the trust barrier typically faced when introducing a new technology like solar lights. 


SunnyMoney business overview

SolarAid’s operational model creates a sustainable market for solar products that revolves around a network of associated local dealers under the SunnyMoney brand. SunnyMoney local representatives remain available after sales to answer customers questions, provide maintenance, and stock solar lights (to meet growing demand once neighbors of early customers see the product in action). This ensures that people have a point to access new products, and a place to get lights repaired or replaced through warranties.

Read stories about SunnyMoney's operations in Zambia.


Project impact

SolarAid set its goal to eliminate kerosene lanterns because they are a dangerous and expensive source of light. Kerosene contributes to more deaths globally than malaria, while solar lanterns provide safe, higher quality light. In addition, the cost of kerosene and candles for lighting can absorb 20% or more of household income. With solar lanterns, the money saved on fuel costs is instead available for food, healthcare and education. As a result of this project, the owners of new solar lanterns in the Copperbelt district will experience significant savings in their energy costs, better light quality to study by, healthier indoor air to breathe, and easier mobile phone charging. Academic performance and retention of teachers in “solar schools” have also been shown to improve.

Can you imagine going a day without your smart phone because you couldn’t charge it? Another benefit of the SunKing Pro lanterns is the mobile phone charging capability. Solar charging ensures that agricultural families can use mobile money and access information that improves their businesses. They can even charge phones for others as a service and earn additional income.  

The project impact will be monitored and reported on, and the estimated annual impact is expected to be:

*Once a family has invested in their solar light, they free up a large chunk of their weekly income, which can be spent on other necessities such as food, health and education.


Project technology

SunnyMoney will distribute two types of products in this project:

1. S1 by d.lightThe d.light S1 provides up to 4 hours of light on a full day's charge and uses highly efficient LEDs. It provides focused lighting that can be easily oriented in any direction, and is ideal for studying or working.

Photo Credit: Steve Woodward

2. SunKing Pro by Greenlight Planet. Provides 15 hours of light on a single day's charge so that a whole family can cook, walk and study by its bright light without fear of losing power. It is two times brighter than a typical kerosene lantern and includes a mobile phone charging port, digital meter, roof-mountable solar panel, aluminum frame, and 5-meter cord.


100% Funded

By 128 People

$0 to go

out of $20,000 Target

This project is fully funded!


SunnyMoney is a social enterprise that sells quality solar lights in Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, reducing reliance on expensive, poor quality fuels such as kerosene and disposable, short life batteries.

SunnyMoney is a subsidiary of SolarAid, a UK-based organization that intends to eliminate the kerosene lamp from Africa by distributing affordable solar energy products that improve users’ lives and health. Founded in 2006 by solar industry experts, SolarAid and its partners have sold almost 150,000 lights operating in Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania with expansions planned in the coming years.


Term: 12 months

Payment dates: Quarterly

Interest rate: Principal repayment only

Impact points: Equivalent to 3.5% annual interest

Repayment Date Status
1 May 2013 Repaid
2 August�2013 Repaid
3 November 2013 Repaid
4 February 2014 Repaid



The solar technology will be deployed in Copperbelt, which is situated on the border of DRC and Zambia, north of Lusaka. Although Copperbelt is a relative centre of wealth through the mining industry, the riches aren’t translated for everyday rural Zambians. Over 55% percent of people in this region lack access to electricity, and instead use kerosene, candles, diesel and open fire.

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