“Africa is growing rapidly and the need for energy is growing in line with the population and the economy. Because a large part of the population relies on old energy solutions such as kerosene lamps and cooking over an open fire, this means that the use of energy emits large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. An energy-efficient fireplace or a solar lamp reduces emissions and adds a lot of other value to the household. Cooking requires less effort and decreases deforestation, school children get a proper lamp to do their school work and a household can save 130 Euros per year in cooking fuel costs, and 100 Euros in kerosene costs .” says Jesper Hörnberg at GIVEWATTS.
Back in 2010, co-founders Jesper Hörnberg and Petter Claesson began to wonder why 600 million households in sub-Saharan Africa still lacked access to electricity. They decided to do something about it and set up GIVEWATTS.
"We are targeting rural homes in Kenya and Tanzania, which, with our solutions, can directly improve their lives. One of the major challenges has been that households have no surplus, among other things because they spend money on kerosene. Hence we have developed a manageable installment plan to cope with the transition to a more resource-efficient solution.” explains Jesper Hörnberg.
GIVEWATTS aims to help households choose a more efficient energy solution and improve their future opportunities. So far, 40,000 families have made this choice, impacting close to 200,000 people.
"We got the question during the start-up phase whether we could see ourselves standing outside a rural household in Kenya trying to convince someone of the benefits of a renewable product. It was a provoking and inspirational question, but understanding the real household benefits is the key to our success. Today, the distribution work is done by local employees who have a far better understanding of the challenges than we do.” says Petter Claesson.
A large part of the funding for reaching out to these remote and marginalized communities comes from the energy industry. In order to take the next step, GIVEWATTS is now developing a climate compensation solution with an important partner, E.ON in Sweden.
GIVEWATTS is happy to partner with E.ON in Sweden and looks forward to increasing its efforts to reduce environmental impact and increasing prosperity for more families.
Photo Credit: Private for GIVEWATTS
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