Switch On Ntungamo

Help SolarNow expand financing to this district with 85 more solar home systems with a complementary crowd loan

Impact

 

  • A $50,000 loan will help SolarNow sell 85 solar home systems that are 50W in capacity each. 55 will be sold to rural households and 30 will be sold to small businesses.
     
  • Each 50W system powers 6 lights, cellphone charging and radio for the 10 year lifetime of the system.

The projected impact from the solar home systems:

This $50,000 crowd loan to SolarNow is complemented by a $200,000 private investment from SunFunder's Solar Empowerment Fund.

Summary

 

80% of Uganda’s population lack access to electricity, which puts a total of 4 million households off the grid. These households currently spend $4 a week on kerosene, battery charging, drycell batteries, and candles for lighting needs and even more on phone charging services. Of the off-grid households, 1.3 million have disposable incomes that allow them to purchase better quality lighting. These are the ones who will first leapfrog the electricity grid and pave the way for others to join them in switching to solar from kerosene.

There are three reasons why SolarNow solar home systems make switching from kerosene to solar easier than ever:

  1. They are affordable. SolarNow customers only need to pay 20% of the system upfront, while the remaining 80% can be paid throughout a monthly installment pay plan for 18 months. This eases the cost burden for customers—whose default rate has been less than 1%—while stopping kerosene use immediately. 
     
  2. They are hassle-free. Every SolarNow product comes with full installation by trained technicians, user training, and two year free maintenance, removing customers' worries about not knowing how to use the system properly and product faultiness.
     
  3. They are flexible. SolarNow products range from 50W to 500W and are modular, so customers can easily and gradually upgrade their solar home systems over time. Product upgrades include accessories such as radio and television to meet rising and more aspirational energy demands.

With over 43 branches in the country, SolarNow customers also know exactly where to go to get support. The franchises identify and educate prospective customers while being responsible for customers' credit assessment as well as the installation and after-sales service. SolarNow also operates its own Customer Care Team to make sure all their customers are satisfied with their products. 

 

Technology

 

All SolarNow products, including the 50W solar home systems in this project, come with full installation, user training and a two-year free maintenance agreement. All product components have manufacturers' warranty ranging from 2 to 20 years. 

100% Funded

By 804 People

$0 to go

out of $50,000 Target

This project is fully funded!

SOLAR PARTNER

SolarNow provides affordable, high quality solar home systems to off-grid households and businesses in Uganda. Their solar home systems range 50 to 500 watts and because they’re modular they can be upgraded over time. Through their network of franchises and by offering a 18-month payment plan to their customers, SolarNow makes solar accessible and affordable for rural, low-income households. Since 2011, SolarNow has sold over 4,000 solar home systems through 43 branches, creating more than 125 jobs.

REPAYMENT INFO

Loan term: 18 months

Repayment schedule: principal repaid at the end of the loan term, but interest in the form of Impact Points repaid every 3 months

Interest rate: principal repayment only

Impact points: equivalent to 3.5% of interest

Repayment Date Status
1 September 2014 Interest repaid
2 December 2014 Interest repaid
3 March 2015 Pending
4 June 2015 Pending
5 September 2015 Pending
6 December 2015 Pending

LOCATION

Ntungamo is a district in the southwest of Uganda, about 330 km from the capital Kampala. It is estimated that in 2010, the population of the district was approximately 481,400 (94,230 households), about 95% of which live in rural areas. Around 30% of people in the district live below the poverty line. The majority are subsistence farmers and have no access to electricity, with electrification rate in rural Ugandan areas estimated at below 4%.