Press Releases

Press release: Off-grid solar industry leader ilumexico launches new metering product, El Colibrí

MEXICO CITY– iluméxico, the leading solar provider for rural, off-grid Mexico, is transitioning to a
pay-as-you-go financing model, and with it, launching a metering product, El Colibrí, which will be
added to ilumexico’s 20,000+ installations beginning in September and available on the market,
globally, in 2020.

With pay-as-you-go (PAYG), customers pay a monthly service fee for use of a 325 watt-power solar
energy system, guaranteed customer service, and regular technical maintenance. Customers do not
own the system, rather pay a service fee for high-quality electricity access, as they would with other
basic services such as water, electricity, cable, or internet. The ilumexico power systems allows
customers to connect refrigerators, washing machines, TV, and other appliances.

PAYG allows for flexibility in payment schedule, a critical component for the ilumexico market, which is
characterized by seasonal income flows and little to no savings. Customers can pay by the day or
week or several months upfront, for example.

Payment operates through a recargas system, in which customers buy top-up activation codes at
authorized ilumexico payment locations. To activate the purchase, customers enter the codes into
their system’s meter, El Colibrí.

Faced with a lack of suitable metering products available on the market, ilumexico created its own
PAYG-enabled meter, El Colibrí, which facilitates customer payment and provides insights into their
energy consumption. If the customer is not up to date with payments, the meter will cut the electricity
service. Additionally, it protects the system from damage; in the case of overuse or excess power, for
example, the meter temporarily shuts off the system.

ilumexico has partnered with Angaza Design, the industry’s leading PAYG software platform. The
PAYG operation can function 100% offline, a rarity in the sector, yet key for ilumexico– 95% of
customers lack any form of connectivity in their homes or communities.

With the PAYG launch, iluméxico is building out a network of payment locations, Recargas ilumexico ,
where customers can make top-up payments toward their service. Currently, there are few payment
services available to last-mile, BoP customers in Mexico. ilumexico clients are unbanked; all
transactions are cash-based. ilumexico plans to use the payments platform to provide other financial
services to customers, such as savings accounts and micro-insurance.

About El Colibrí

El Colibrí is a PAYG smart meter designed for off-grid, standalone photovoltaic systems in rural areas,
but can be adapted to grid-tied systems. Built with high quality components, El Colibrí is designed to
perform under heat and humidity conditions. It is suitable for both 12V and 24V systems and has the
ability to monitor and limit energy and power consumption. El Colibrí can control multiple electrical
appliances in both DC and AC and is adaptable to other metered services, such as water or gas.

About ilumexico

ilumexico is a Mexican social enterprise that provides solar energy to the two million people in Mexico
who currently lack access. The company is active in 11 states across Mexico. Energy access has a
direct impact on income generation, education, health, security, gender equity, and quality of life. In
the past 8 years, ilumexico has installed over 20,000 systems (2,550kW of installed capacity),
translating to 85,700 individuals impacted and 12,000 tons of CO2 emissions offset. ilumexico was
founded in 2011 by a group of students at the UNAM, including Manuel Wiechers, the current CEO.


For interview and commercial opportunities, or to learn more, please contact:
Morgan Babbs
President, Prepay Energy 
+1 650 393 3429