Pay to own residential solar reaches 100,000 customers in Uganda

A home in Uganda equipped with Fenix's ReadyPay system Image: Fenix International

The 100,000-customer milestone represents a doubling of Fenix’s customer base inside 1 year. In addition, Fenix estimates that their solar power system has displaced more than 200,000 kerosene lamps. The company plans to continue growing to bring power and light to a country where an estimated 80% of people lack access to electricity.

Fenix uses a pay to own plan for its ReadyPay Power System. Customers pay a small deposit and then just US$0.15 per day, with up to 36 months to complete payment for the entry-level system, which costs $160. According to Fenix, this makes it the most affordable pay to own system in Uganda, and the company’s scale in a country where avaerage salary is less than $2 per day.

“Since we started selling ReadyPay in 2015, we’ve seen exceptional demand,” says Fenix International CEO Lyndsay Handler. “I’m incredibly proud of our team, who’ve worked hard to reach last mile customers in this underserved market, and relentlessly provide an exceptional customer experience.”

The company announced in April that it had reached 60,000 customers, meaning that demand continued to grow throughout the year. “Arriving at 100,000 customers showcases our fantastic growth record, but more importantly it represents more than 600,000 Ugandans who now have bright, safe light in their homes,” continues Handler. “In addition, our off grid customers build up a credit score, opening up new access to financial services and product upgrades.

Given their growth this year, and a successful partnership with telecom company MTN Mobile Money, which has gathered more than 2.5 million mobile payments so far, Fenix has plans to expand into further African markets in 2017. Uganda is currently home to East Africa’s largest solar installation, a 10 MW plant in the eastern province of Soroti.