UK-based Azuri Technologies is set to launch its PayGo solar systems in Kenya next week. The PayGo solar systems, ideal for rural off-grid communities, will be formally launched at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Muthaiga on Tuesday December 6, 2016.
Azuri has used mobile technology to turn a development challenge into a business challenge through its Azuri solar home systems, which allow users to pay for solar power on a pay-as-you-go basis, just like they do for their phones and kerosene. This provides clean, safe renewable power to families at about half the cost of the kerosene it replaces, without the need for any government subsidies or tariffs.
“Azuri’s entry-level PayGo solar home system provides 8 hours of clean lighting each day and the opportunity to charge mobile phones at home. After paying a small one-off installation fee for their Azuri system, the user then uses an integrated mobile money service to top-up their unit. Importantly, this top-up is priced to cost less than their current weekly spend on kerosene and phone charging, so customers start making savings straight away,” states the firm on its website.
A customer purchases credit through a mobile money service either once a week or once a month, and tops up their unit from a T-Code received via text message. This keeps the Azuri system fully functional and with credit, ,thereby preventing the unit from shutting off. Over the course of typically 18 months, the purchase of top-ups allows the system to be paid off and the customer can choose to either unlock their Azuri system forever or upgrade to a larger model.
Azuri has its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, with staff based in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania and presence in 11 countries across sub Saharan Africa.
The firm’s directors’ rooster has major names in the tech and telecom’s arena. These include Alan Harper (formerly with MTN and Vodafone), Simon Bransfield-Garth (who previously worked with ACTS and Symbian), Jamie Vollbracht (had senior roles at SolarCentury and GE) and Peter Reinartz (formerly with Telkom Kenya-Orange, Eaton Towers and Balozi Communications).