Women are leading the off-grid solar energy revolution in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
That’s according to decentralised solar equipment producer Fenix, which says although women only buy around a fifth of its kits, they often recommend the product to more new clients and spread the world about the electricity resource more than men do.
In 2016, Fenix got about 60% of its sales through personal referrals – women can each be expected to refer four new customers, compared to three on average for men.
The company added once contracts are signed, it is usually women who pay the bills – it suggests this is because females are largely responsible for procuring and using fuels for cooking and so are more affected by a lack of access to energy.
More than 80% of households in Africa don’t have reliable access to electricity and those that do often have to use dirty, polluting fuels.
Fenix’s lease-to-own solar home system aims to fix this issue by providing lighting, phone charging, TV and radio services for as little as 14p a day.
ELN spoke to a Partner from EY, who said decentralised energy was rapidly becoming competitive with grid power.