Simpa Networks sells distributed energy solutions on a “progressive purchase” basis; customers make a small initial down payment for a solar energy system and then pre-pay for the service.
About a year ago we wrote about Nokero’s effort to replace kerosene with solar-powered light bulbs in the developing world, and recently we came across a like-minded initiative that takes such goals even further. Based in Bangalore, India, Simpa Networks has developed a new pricing model that aims to make household solar energy systems “radically affordable” to the 1.6 billion consumers around the world who currently have no access to electricity. Simpa Networks is a venture-backed technology company aiming “to make modern energy simple, affordable, and accessible for everyone,” in the company’s own words. Toward that end, it sells distributed energy solutions on a “progressive purchase” basis; customers make a small initial down payment for a high-quality solar photovoltaic system and then pre-pay for the service, topping up their systems in small user-defined increments using a mobile phone. Powered by the Simpa Regulator — a tamper-proof, system-integrated microcontroller and user interface — and cloud-based software, the system ensures that once prepaid consumption is exhausted, the solar home system is temporarily disabled until another payment is made. Each payment, meanwhile, also counts towards the final purchase price. Once fully paid, the system produces clean energy, free and clear for the rest of the system’s expected 10-year useful life. Now available for customers in Karnataka, India, Simpa Networks’ model is built upon proprietary risk mitigation technology, with investment opportunities for market rate and social investors, it says. Time to help expand clean energy access around the globe?