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ACCIONA Microenergy develops a project to implement the “Light at Home Centres”

05/02/2015

The Light at Home (Luz en Casa) Centres are micro-franchises whose aim is to provide technical assistance for users of domestic photovoltaic systems (DPS) as part of the Light at Home programme and enable them to purchase small appliances that are compatible with the DPS.

Microenergy technician

BID-Fomin, which measured the impact of the Light at Home programme, reported that a small percentage of households surveyed use the DPS to charge their mobile phones (19%), watch TV (5%) and listen to the radio (4%), and concluded that "The economic benefits and the well-being of those households would increase further if they took advantage of the energy provided by the panels for applications in addition to lighting (savings in batteries for radios, greater access to information via radio and TV, etc.). Addressing the problem would increase the benefits that electricity has brought to these households." (From candlelight to electricity: The impact of rural electrification). This situation arose in part due to difficulties in finding reasonably-priced quality 12Vcc appliances with a low level of electricity consumption.

But there's a new resource to resolve this issue: the Light at Home Centres. These supply and service centres will be micro-franchises directed by entrepreneurs who are existing Light at Home users identified, trained and equipped to sell HSS-compliant appliances and to provide repair and modification services as requested by ACCIONA Microenergy Peru and by users. The entrepreneurs will be able to develop a business that benefits the community while generating an income. ACCIONA Microenergy Peru will act as franchiser and will support these small businesses by providing training, contracting to acquire DPS maintenance services from them, facilitating contact with microfinance institutions, and providing quality, highly energy efficient appliances at competitive prices.

The project includes the development of 10 Light at Home Centres, which will respond to the needs of DPS users in their communities: providing technical assistance services and selling lamps, radios, TVs, chargers and other good quality, energy-efficient, affordable appliances so that they can use the available electricity for other useful services.

The "Rural Electrification with Supply and Service Centres" proposal obtained the highest score and a grant of 200,000 euros in the 2014 funding round for innovative development cooperation projects organised by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

This project, has been developed by the ACCIONA Microenergy Foundation in association with the ICAI Engineers Foundation for Development and Madrid Technical University's Centre for Innovation in Technology for Human Development. , 

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