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From the Field
The United Nations declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, or IYL 2015 for short. Its goal is to raise global awareness about how light-based technologies can promote sustainable development and provide solutions to prevalent development challenges in variety of sectors, including energy, health, and education. At EGG-energy, we are excited to see the global community shine its light (literally!) on the impact of lighting.
What exactly is the power of light? We thought we’d let some of our solar customers tell you in their own words.
“I have plans to start to raise pigs and chickens thanks to the system. The light would help me to keep the livestock safe” Mohammed, small business owner
“EGG helps me a lot to save time, the shop to buy kerosene was far away in the city. And with the extra money from cost savings, I can pay for my children’s school fees (TZS 40,000 per year per child).” Halidi, small business owner
“Now my children can study at night. They spend most of their time studying and they are more motivated to work thanks to the light; they get better grades now, too.” -Terence, farmer
“There are so many children coming here [to our house], following the lights. We gather to tell stories and share ideas.” Mohammad, farmer
“Thanks to the extra study time given by the solar lights, the teachers have even commented that my children’s grades have improved.” Juma, farmer
“The children were afraid to go the toilets at night, but now they can go. They feared for their security.” Mwajuma, small business owner
by Cécile Compte, Anne-Charlotte Gimenez, and Alexandra Nuq, Planète d’Entrepreneurs
Our team from the French NGO Planète d’Entrepreneurs recently spent six weeks with EGG-energy to assess its social impact on its beneficiaries. This study was commissioned by GDF SUEZ Rassembleurs d’Energies, one of EGG-energy’s investors, who we warmly thank for making this mission possible. Since 2009, Plane?te d’Entrepreneurs has been helping social entrepreneurs assessing their social impact and promoting their innovative model in France and developing countries by training and involving French students in the field.
The objectives of the mission were to collect data among customers on their lifestyle, behavior, and usage since they switched to an EGG-energy system.
The main part of the mission was in Dar es Salaam, except for one week we spent in Tanga for interviews. The first three weeks in Dar es Salaam were dedicated to the understanding of EGG-energy’s business model and analysis of the quantitative data collected by EGG-energy’s employees and interns in Dar es Salaam and Tanga. This enabled us to save a lot of time and focus on the qualitative interviews in Tanga. We spent a week there in rural villages, going from house to house and having the amazing opportunity to interview and meet EGG-energy’s clients at their homes. Those meetings were very inspiring and made it possible for us to realize just how much their EGG-energy’s system has changed their lives. To better understand EGG-energy’s business model, we were able to talk with the management, the call center, technicians, and the sales teams of both Tanga and Dar es Salaam.
We found very important social impacts of EGG-energy’s solar systems (lighting, security, income generation, time savings, children education…).
- Security is the most mentioned benefit of having EGG-energy (56%), compared with the previous source of energy. The lights make customers feel safer: security lights outside the house scare away thieves and animals. In addition, bathrooms are often outside the house, so the lamps and safety lamps allow people to go to the bathroom at night without being scared of being bitten by a snake or robbed.
- Income generation is considerable: For customers who launched a new business after getting EGG-energy, they earn on average TZS 273,928 (USD 155) per month. For customers using EGG-energy for their existing activity, income generation averages TZS 508,333 (USD 287) per month. In terms of new businesses, phone-charging businesses are predominant, but some launch movie theaters, barbershops, etc. For existing businesses, the lights maximize the worked hours and attract clients later at night.
- A time-saver: Charging phones at home (second most quoted benefit), paying for energy only once a month (and not struggling to buy kerosene or petrol everyday), having an M-Pesa agent at less than 10 min distance from home (for 58% of customers, and less than 20 min for 84% of customers) are some examples of EGG-energy being tremendously time-saving
- Education of children (lights to study later at night) and health (less smoke from kerosene lamps) have improved
- CO2 emissions reduction per year, for both former kerosene and petrol users, amount to 224,213 Kg per year
We hope EGG-energy will keep progressing and expanding, to achieve further impact!
EGG is growing! We’ve recently added nine new members to the team.
Agness John has joined as a member of the Call Centre. Agness completed her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising at the University of Dar. At EGG-Energy, she is working on ensuring that our customers have access to the best after sales service possible, answering their questions and sending technicians to the field to help them when required.
Peter Manoti, Augustino Chiwinga, Christopher Manvanga and Alex Joseph are serving as Field Sales Officers. Peter holds a BA of accounting and finance, Augustino received a BA in law, Christopher holds a BA in business administration, and Alex has a BA in finance. At EGG-energy, they are working on increasing our sales, driving through the country to make sure that EGG-energy reaches as many customers as possible. Moses Mesivu, our new driver, will assist them in this task.
Simon Gabriel is EGG-energy’s newest technician. Simon holds a Computer Maintenance Certificate and will be working on the installation and maintenance of solar home systems, helping EGG-energy’s customers to fully enjoy the quality of their system.
Finally, Nicholas Kungli will help run our office in Tanga by serving as Administrative Assistant. Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and will be working on coordinating and optimizing communication within our Tanga team.
A warm welcome to all!