20 April 2022
95% of households now have electricity!
In the villages of Rugarama and Bisgara, 95% of households now have solar power. 16% of households have optimised cook stoves that use 80% less firewood than conventional three-stone fireplaces.
The foundation gives a subsidy for the purchase of the solar system depending on the income group. The households pay the remaining amount in instalments. The down payment and the 24 monthly instalments are handled by local savings groups. If a household has payment difficulties, the savings group steps in. We see this as an important and innovative approach to solving the typical challenges of microfinance. The loan default rate is zero so far. This allows to offer the solar systems at a lower price in the future.
There are a few households that cannot pay even the low rates. The foundation is working with the savings groups and the local administration on a model that will also give this group access to solar power without calling the overall model into question.
The percentage of households with optimised cook stoves has reached 16%. There is potential for more. The foundation is discussing with its partner SaferRwanda the possibility of also offering the cook stoves with microfinance.