Philippines - Rental and Sale of lighting kits for residents of Manila’s slums, Phase 2
- Selected project
- In progress
Presentation of the NGO
Entrepreneurs du Monde
A French association created in 1998, Entrepreneurs du Monde (EdM) supports the economic integration of families in extremely precarious situations and facilitates their access to essential goods and services. In this way, these families gain self-sufficiency and improve their living conditions. To achieve its mission, EdM promotes the emergence of sustainable local organizations. In 2017, the association supported 121,799 micro-entrepreneurs and equipped 16,062 families with solar lamps and stoves in 11 countries, through 21 programs and Partners in social micro-finance, with access to energy and support for the creation of Very Small Enterprises (VSE).
EdM’s energy access programs contribute to local economic development. They boost local production chains, promote job creation and strengthen income-generating activities through its micro-franchises. Vulnerable people, who join the network of micro-franchise sellers – most of whom are women – have the opportunity to improve their incomes and gain financial autonomy, a guarantee of emancipation. Through the training they receive, salespeople increase their knowledge in the field of access to energy and the environment.
Context of the project
In 2015, 26.3% of Filipinos, or about 28 million people, lived below the poverty line (Philippines Statistics Authority). A growing proportion of these vulnerable people live in disadvantaged, densely populated urban areas, in unhealthy conditions, with little access to basic goods and services (drinking water, energy, stable housing), and in an often dangerous and violent environment (drugs, alcohol…). In recent years, Greater Manila has not been able to cope with its rapidly growing population and the number of residents living in slums or in conditions of extreme poverty has reached more than 4 million out of 12 million inhabitants.
Active in the Philippines since 1998 and currently coordinating 2 social micro-finance programs in the country, EdM decided to address the issue of fuel poverty in 2015 by creating the ATE Co program, supported in 2016 and 2017 by Synergie Solaire.
Since 2016 ATE Co has developed a particularly innovative solution: to enable the poorest families in the slums of Greater Manila, living between the poverty line and extreme poverty, to benefit from good quality, economical and safe solar lighting and to become owners of it. This is a solar kit with 3 light points that also allows you to charge small electrical appliances for less than 3 USD per week. The innovative pay-as-you-go approach allows them to acquire the solar system smoothly, over 18 months, by paying daily and at their own pace for its activation, according to a flexible payment schedule. Payments are made to ATE Co agents who visit and train each customer. Thanks to software connected to the battery of installed kits, the kit is deactivated if the customer is not up to date with his payments. This makes it possible to reach poorer households that would not have the capacity to take out credit.
Presentation of the project
The energy problem
One of the main challenges for slum dwellers is to have access to a safe and reliable source of electricity in their homes. A feasibility study conducted by EdM in 2015 shows that 50% of Manila’s slum dwellers do not have access to the electricity grid or official meters.
The project’s target populations may therefore be off-grid, illegally connected to the grid or via an extremely expensive and unreliable sub-meter system. They often own obsolete electrical devices they use when the network is working and they have the means to pay for an illegal connection. Many electrical appliances (televisions, floor fans, speakers, etc.) are found in most of the houses that have been or are connected, i.e. those close to the main traffic routes. Families further away, in the heart of the slums, light up with kerosene lamps or candles.
The adopted solutions
The specific objective is to enable the scale-up of ATE Co by significantly increasing the number of ATE Co users and customers, via: the launch of a mobile solar lamp, the completion of a study to integrate a new Solar Home System (SHS) kit with greater capacity and the development of a new high-performance payment service based on mobile technology.
The kits and solar lamps are selected and imported by EdM from Greenlight Planet. They work with the Angaza pay-as-you-go application. Currently 3 categories of kits are available:
– The Sunking Home 60 kit meets the need for lighting in homes. It generates 24Wh/day and allows a family to light three rooms with 50 lumen bulbs (which is more than enough given the size of the houses) for 6 hours and recharge a mobile phone every day.
– The Sunking Boom kit meets the need for portable lighting and the development of income-generating activities. It generates 10.8Wh/day and allows a small entrepreneur to light up his shop and play music from 6pm to midnight to attract passers-by.
– The new Sunking Home 400 kit is a complete electrification solution, it generates 160Wh/day and can meet all the family’s needs. It is separated from the electricity grid, and is not affected by frequent outages and is no longer in violation of the law. The kit has been designed to be able to use 6 hours of television, 10 hours of fan, and 5 lamps for normal use all night long.
The field agents are all ATE Co customers, they participate in the 3 main field activities: payment collection (soon to be ensured by mobile payment), prospecting and installation. They are called Area Prospecting Officers (APOs), Area Collection Officers (ACOs) and Area Technicians (ATOs). Today, there are 6 APOs, 2 ACOs, and 1 ATOs trained and monitored by the ATE Co sales manager and the customer portfolio manager.