UK based venture capital backed off-grid power provider Bboxx has announced a Ksh 2 billion investment to connect additional 150, 000 residents of Siaya, Kakamega, Kisumu, Vihiga and Bungoma with home solar systems as part of the ongoing effort to boost uptake of the clean energy.
The company has already powered 9,000 households in Kenya and by the end of December, the project will enable residents of the 5 counties will enjoy up to 50 kilowatt hours (KWH) of electricity.
Electricity supplies in rural areas, particularly in the Kenyan lake region has remained low, despite the government’s ambitious target to increase connectivity to the national grid to at least 65 per cent by 2022.
Moses Ogola, Bboxx’s managing director, blamed the low uptake on the comparatively high cost of grid access among low income earners in rural areas.
“The Ksh590 a month for our basic welcome starter package, is way less compared to the cost of kerosene and phone charging costs incurred by those not connected to the grid.
“With the majority relying on biomass, there has been a massive need for sustainable energy access with emphasis on environmentally friendly energy sources to supplement the national grid. Solar energy is one such option and that is why we are making it a priority.
“The investment will also accelerate the provision of our licensed products and services in other markets, including the creation of three franchises in the West African countries of Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.”
– Bboxx managing director, Moses Ogola
Bboxx designs, manufactures, distributes and finances solar systems off grid electricity to homesteads across Africa, charging a monthly instalment to cover the cost of installing, repairing and replacing the components. This is different to their competitors who have instead focused on the solar equipment acquirement and not on the after sales services.