As a Kenyan, you are probably very familiar with the state of affairs when it comes to electricity. A random blackout now and then is much more common than it used to be, and it’s getting worse. If you visit villages or rain-prone areas, you will probably be subjected to several days of darkness.
Therefore, most families are familiar with different power backup solutions. In your house, you probably have either lanterns, pressure lamps, rechargeable LED lamps, generators, or solar systems. Each backup method has its pros and cons, with generators likely the least popular options for Kenyans, given their high purchase price and maintenance cost.
Today, we will be focusing on solar panels as they are the most affordable and reliable way to get electricity. Solar panels generate more stable and affordable electricity compared to any other electricity source. The sun is available to everyone and Kenya is one of the places in the world with the most hours of sunshine. Additionally, solar panels require little to no maintenance, which makes solar energy very high value and very low cost.
So how can you get hold of a solar system and get access to a reliable power supply? There are three solar payment options. You can either buy the system cash, go the lipa polepole (solar pay-go loans) way, or simply subscribe to a solar system (renting). Every payment mode has its pros and cons, as well as distinct differences.
Renting a solar system (Subscription)
Though new in Kenya, solar renting is quite popular in other parts of the world and growing more and more popular in Kenya. It is one of the financing methods we offer and we hope it will provide the opportunity for more Kenyans to get access to affordable clean energy.
When you subscribe to our power solution, we essentially rent out the solar system to you, for as long as you want. When you rent our solar power solution, we will charge you only a small deposit, which will be refunded when you return the system, and then allow you to pay as low as Ksh 40 per day for using the solar system. This is the price for a solution that can power a full rural home (lights, TV, Radio, Phone charging and more), for less than half the cost of any other solution in the Kenyan market today.
The beauty of subscribing to get power (renting), is that you don’t need to take a loan, you don’t have any risk if the system does not work, and if you ever get tired of using it, you just give us a three-month notice and we will refund your deposit in full, and take back the system. Another key feature is that you can pick which gadgets to rent with your power solution. Do you want a 32’TV, do you need a hair trimmer, or do you need a PC? You choose and get them along with the solar system.
Where else can you get such a deal when it comes to solar?
Advantages of solar rental (subscription)
- You save more money on electricity costs by paying less than any other option in the market, i.e, the deposit and either the daily, weekly, or monthly payments based on the package you choose.
- You will incur no maintenance costs as it is part of the contract. For instance, if the battery gets depleted, we will simply replace it at no extra cost to you.
- No hidden charges or strange power bills you don’t understand
- You get access to an unlimited power supply.
- You do not need to buy a consumable item like a TV that has a short lifespan, as it is rented along with the power system.
- You don’t have to take an expensive loan in the bank or Sacco
- If you don’t want the system anymore, just return it and get your deposit back
- Since this is a new payment model in the solar industry, It feels different
- It is a rental contract, which means you will not own the system in the long run.
Pay-go (Lipa polepole option)
This is the most common method used to purchase solar in Kenya today. In this method, you can pay a deposit (down payment), and then choose to pay off the rest of the money in between 1 and 6 years.
The monthly and weekly payments are heavily subsidized, making it accessible to the average Mwananchi in any part of Kenya. A lot of Kenyans opt for this option because they will ultimately own the system at the end of the payment period. The downside to buying a solar system is that many of the products on the market will not last for more than a couple of years, because the batteries are low quality.
The good news is that our product is designed and engineered in Denmark (Europe) and the quality is so high that the battery comes with a two-year warranty and it will last up to 8 years before you need to replace it. All solar batteries have a limited lifetime, so for the people wanting to own their system, it’s very important to choose a trustworthy supplier that delivers high-quality products.
Advantages of the Lipa polepole (pay-go) option
- You do not need to pay the full price before you can get the system.
- You can pay off the system in several years, which takes away the financial strain.
- You will own the system in the long run.
Disadvantages of the Lipa polepole option (pay-go option)
- The warranty is limited
- The system’s upkeep is entirely your responsibility.
- You spend more money in the long run.
- If the battery is depleted, you will need to buy a new system. (Which is why renting is becoming more popular, as then that is not your problem)
Buying the system with cash (Direct ownership)
In this mode of payment, you simply buy the system with cash. To put it in perspective, you could choose to pay out of your savings, or as some people do, get full or partial financing through our financing partners. That could be Equity Bank or any other bank or Sacco and then pay us in full. Then we will install the system and go on our way.
Buying cash of course means that you own the system right now and can do as you please with it.
Advantages of the direct ownership model (paying cash)
- You will own the system.
- You can move with the system wherever you want.
- You will pay less than the Lipa polepole model.
- The battery is covered by a two-year warranty.
- Access to an affordable and reliable source of power instantly
Disadvantages of buying cash
- It is pricey.
- You may need to take out a bigger loan.
- The cost of maintenance is entirely your responsibility.
- If the battery is depleted, you will need to buy another system.
If you live in Kenya, you need some kind of backup, because you will certainly experience at least one blackout a day. We suggest installing a solar system. When compared to other options, such as a generator, solar systems are more affordable, adaptable to your needs, clean, stable and much more healthy for you and your family.
We are committed to serving all Kenyans in all wage brackets, regardless of their location. Our aim is not just to provide you with a bunch of solar panels, but to introduce you to a high-quality product tailored to suit your needs.
To sweeten the pot, we have diversified our payment model to allow our users to choose the model that best fits their pocket. What are you waiting for? Join the sunny side of life, get an X-Solar System.