This report outlines findings from the off-grid TV sector in East Africa based on 3,920 phone interviews conducted by 60 Decibels in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda between June 2018 and June 2019. The customer interviews explored user characteristics, experience and satisfaction with products, and quality of life changes.
While there now exists a burgeoning market for small off-grid appliances like TVs, 80% of the users in this sample were accessing a TV for the first time. This study aims to provide deeper insights on the impact of first time appliance ownership.
Usage & Impact
News and entertainment were the most common genres of content watched on the solar TVs. 50% of customers said their quality of life had very much improved as a result of the TV; talking most commonly about having improved well-being including joy and family connection. ~90% felt their knowledge or awareness of current affairs, politics, and general knowledge had improved because of having the solar TV. 79% felt their stress levels had reduced since using the solar TV, and 83% said that their family was more connected.
Satisfaction & Experience
34% of customers had experienced challenges with using their solar TV. The most common challenge was connection/signal. Even so, solar TVs have a Net Promoter Score® of 38 which is good. Promoters value the quality of the solar TV and the affordable payment plans, Detractors complain about challenges they’ve experienced and poor customer service. 32% rated the solar TV as ‘very good’ value for money and 83% could not easily find an alternative to the company solar TV. However, 61% say they have to make unacceptable sacrifices to make repayments. 2% have to cut back on consumption to make repayments.
Profile & Aspirations
A typical customer was male, age 39, purchasing alongside a solar home system. 9% used the solar TV for productive use. Solar TVs are being accessed by relatively wealthier customers with 30% living below the relative poverty line. Access to solar products may be de-risking future solar purchasing through increased trust; 34% are interested in a solar water pump and 31% in an additional solar TV.