M-KOPA unveils the solar-powered digital flat screen TV for Kenyans. The solar TV is available in two ways; M KOPA TV which is upgradable for M-KOPA customers and M-KOPA 400 which has a solar system with TV for new customers.
Kenyans in the rural areas prefer listening to radio or buying newspapers in order to receive the latest news since the country’s national grid is unreliable and expensive to buy into.
In 2014, Kenya Renewable Energy Association promised to cover half the country with solar power in 2016 after they identified nine sites to build solar power plants. The Association provided that over $500m had already been invested in solar projects in Kenya.
According to a research, TV reaches 31% of the adult population on a daily basis. This leaves 69% of adults in the dark, who either lack access to power or simply cannot afford a TV set.
Jesse Moore, CEO at M-KOPA says, “Owning a TV is life-changing for our off-grid customers. Many of them have traditionally had to pay to watch in a café or bar, or missed out on news and current events because they could not afford to be connected to information. We are now going beyond the grid to offer TV to homes all over Kenya. It’s great for the family to be able to watch together in the comfort and safety of their home.”
The whole set has 20W solar home system, a 20W PV panel, a 16” digital TV, two lights, a torch, a phone charger, and a radio and is available for a deposit plus a year of daily payments of KES 125.
M–KOPA customers who have finished paying their M-KOPA payment plans are now able to extend their KES 50 per day payment plan to upgrade to the M KOPA TV system. Customers with good credit standing with M-KOPA will receive a phone call or SMS to advise them when they become eligible to upgrade. After completing the 2-year payment plan, customers own the television and solar power system outright and can enjoy viewing without any ongoing bills.
“What’s remarkable about the M KOPA TV is it enables customers to turn the same KES 50 per day that they used to burn on kerosene into a solar powered TV. We are literally turning dirty fossil fuels into a renewable, digital, modern home.” Jesse Moore says.
Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom, says, “M-PESA and Safaricom are helping make digital TV affordable and accessible for the first time for millions of people. I think M-KOPA’s innovation signals a fundamental change for TV audiences in Kenya. We creating the genesis of a new economy based on clean energy that promises to include groups who have been previously marginalized.”