Uses and impacts of off-grid refrigerators. Insights from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

To assess the impact of off-grid refrigerators on first-time customers and appraise user experience from operating an off-grid refrigerator, 60 Decibels carried out a total of 1,502 phone interviews targeting customers who had purchased their off-grid refrigerators from companies participating in the Global LEAP Results-based Financing programme (Global LEAP+RBF).

Key findings:

Usage & Impact

79% of customers use their off-grid refrigerator for income-generating activities at their places of business. 37% of customers said their quality of life had significantly improved as a result of having the refrigerator. The most common outcomes were increased income (48%) and business growth (24%). A quarter of off-grid refrigerator users said their diets had changed since purchasing the refrigerator; the ability to diversify diets is a primary driver of these changes. There were also reports of changes in frequency of market visits and cooking in bulk.

Satisfaction & Experience

The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) for refrigerators is 43, which is good. Promoters value good quality and food preservation attributes of the off-grid refrigerator. Detractors complain about poor customer service, inadequate refrigerator capacity and the price. 28% of customers had experienced challenges with using their off-grid refrigerator. 48% had issues with the product parts and the battery. 82% of users interviewed rated the off-grid refrigerator as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ value for money, and 8 in 10 could not easily find a good alternative to the off-grid refrigerator. However, 50% said they have to make unacceptable sacrifices to make payments for the product, with 28% cutting back on consumption of any kind to pay the financing.

Profile & Aspirations

A typical customer was male, 39-years-old and living in a household with five other occupants. Companies participating in the Global LEAP+RBF programme are doing a good job at reaching low-income customers, with 50% living below the international relative poverty line. 50% would like to purchase additional solar appliances in the future, particularly solar TVs and solar water pumps.


Excerpt of: Uses & Impacts of Off-Grid Refrigerators: Insights from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Efficiency for Access & 60 Decibels, 2022


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