BBOXX has been providing remotely monitored solar home systems (SHS) to urban and rural areas in Rwanda – the company’s largest market – for the past 5 years, positively impacting the lives of more than 80,000 households.
While our pay-as-you-go energy is more affordable, cleaner and safer than traditional fuel alternatives, a key challenge in the expansion of this type of energy access remains accessibility and affordability for low-income segments of Rwanda’s population.
We have been exploring innovative ways to resolve this issue which has resulted in the launch of BBOXX ePay. The new service empowers Rwanda’s diaspora to transform the lives of their families, friends and communities from anywhere in the world through payments that enable energy access.
Accelerating energy access with BBOXX ePay
In 2019, payments to low and middle-income countries are expected to reach $550 billion worldwide, making up the largest source of external financing. Rwanda is no exception and in 2017, over USD 180 million in remittances were received by its population from overseas (World Bank).
More than half of Rwandan households receive payments or gifts from family members or friends, whether this is from those living in Kigali or from further afield. At the same time, there is a substantial electrification gap with current rates at an average of 34%. However, this ranges from 85% in urban areas to as low as 24% in rural areas (World Bank).
Through BBOXX ePay, we want to help mobilise money transfers towards sustainable investment into energy. The new service will not only transform the lives of Rwanda’s communities but also help to contribute towards country’s goal of achieving 100% electrification by 2024.
How does it work?
Family members and friends using BBOXX ePay are able to select from a variety of packages that include different appliances to send to their families back home. These include 24” LED TVs, portable radios, shavers, portable torches, LED lights and phone chargers.
BBOXX takes full care of the installation and training around how appliances can be used. The duration of the pre-paid services is between one to 10 years.
The payments are made securely online with a debit or a credit card. It is as easy to use as any other e-commerce website, and there are zero transfer fees from anywhere in the world.
This is significant as previous research has found that the cost of sending remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa is far higher than any other part of the world, accounting for approximately 9% of the value of the transaction (Quartz).
How can you get involved?
Prices start from USD65 (or RWF 59,200) for a one-year electricity trial, and we are offering discounts of up to 33%.
If you want to send energy to someone in Rwanda, please go to epay.bboxx.co.uk. The first 100 customers get an additional discount of $10 (or RWF 9,100) on their purchase, using the promo code: transf2.
The project has been developed with the support of Shell Foundation, a UK Charity, and the UK Department for International Development.