Clean Energy

Global Challenge, Global Solutions: M-KOPA

M-KOPA provides pay-as-you-go en­ergy ser­vices to off-grid cus­tom­ers by com­bin­ing mi­cro­pay­ment and mo­bile tech­no­logy to en­able leas­ing of solar power sys­tems.

“Global Challenge, Global Solutions” is a series hosted on Climasphere highlighting inspiring, innovative, and creative global solutions to the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the next major climate conference, COP22. These solutions have been provided by members of the Earth To Marrakech coalition, a group of more than 50 media organizations, civil society groups, and businesses from around the world who are raising their voices in a collective call to move from words to action on climate change. Let’s send a message, from Earth To Marrakech: The solutions to climate change are out there, and they’re inspiring. 

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Energy to Off-Grid Households


M-KO­PA’s fin­an­cing model makes the com­pany’s solar home sys­tems af­ford­able for rural African house­holds. Each sys­tem is bought with an ini­tial de­posit of $35, fol­lowed by 365 daily pay­ments of $0.5, less than the customer’s daily spending on kerosene. The sys­tem comes with a bat­tery, a phone char­ger, and a SIM card; when a pay­ment is made via mo­bile phone, a sig­nal is sent to ac­tiv­ate the bat­tery and power is provided.

After pay­ment com­ple­tion, the cus­tomer owns the solar sys­tem out­right. Cus­tom­ers with good pay­ment be­ha­vior are then offered a range of up­grades on their $0.5 per day pay­ment plan. These up­grades range from ad­di­tional lights, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient cook stoves, smart phones, and solar TVs, adding ad­di­tional rev­en­ues for M-KOPA. To date, the com­pany has connected more than 340,000 homes in East Africa to solar power, with more than 500 new homes ad­ded daily and aim­ing to reach one mil­lion homes by the end of 2017.

More than 620 mil­lion people, or two-thirds of the pop­u­la­tion in Sub-Saha­ran Africa, are without ac­cess to an elec­tri­city grid.1 By com­bin­ing mi­cro­pay­ment and mo­bile tech­no­lo­gies, M-KOPA is rap­idly grow­ing in its quest to provide re­new­able en­ergy to cus­tom­ers for whom clean, af­ford­able elec­tri­city was pre­vi­ously in­ac­cess­ible.capture


A com­pany study found the solu­tion re­places 160,000 liters of ker­osene daily, re­du­cing CO2 by 225,000 tons since the be­gin­ning of sales in 2012.
Ac­cord­ing to M-KOPA, 92% of cus­tom­ers re­port the solu­tion has im­proved their chil­dren’s abil­ity to study and im­proved health con­di­tions due to the re­moval of ker­osene lamps.
The com­pany es­tim­ates pro­jec­ted cus­tomer sav­ings of $248 mil­lion over four years based on an av­er­age of 125 hours of light­ing per house­hold per month, with 97% of cus­tom­ers already re­port­ing to have re­duced en­ergy costs.
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