Press Release: Bboxx Makes Solar Energy Accessible at Scale in Africa With the Launch of the bPower20 Product
Bboxx, a next generation utility that manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries, has launched the bPower20 product, to make solar energy more accessible at scale.
Designed for customers who are at the beginning of the energy ladder, the new bPower20 product has been created to power rural households and micro-businesses. Bboxx’s research identified a gap in the market to better serve the significant proportion of the population in the developing world with lower energy requirements, but who still demand a superior customer experience and the provision of reliable, high quality electricity. The product will be rolled out initially in key markets Rwanda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo, with further markets lined up for 2021.
The bPower20 is a high-performance energy solution, designed for a great customer experience at a low lifetime cost. The affordable product comes with a 20W solar panel and daily usage of up to 51 Wh (watt hours). The new lithium battery technology has higher energy density with the capability to store more energy. It is optimised to last longer, increasing the service life up to six years.
It has an interactive screen enabling customers to communicate seamlessly with Bboxx’s teams through Bboxx Pulse® – Bboxx’s comprehensive management platform. Leveraging IoT (Internet of Things) technology, this ensures efficient remote management and monitoring of globally distributed Solar Home Systems (SHSs). As with Bboxx’s other SHSs, the bPower20 is available on a pay-as-you-go basis via mobile money. The launch also showcases new eco-friendly packaging, made from recycled paper and widely recyclable.
This latest affordable product will help Bboxx sustainably reach a wider segment of the global market, where demand for essential energy has been strong throughout the global pandemic. The benefits of clean energy go beyond energy itself as shown by Bboxx contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 – affordable and clean energy for all – but also 10 other UN SDGs. Notably, the company’s SHSs have supported over 87,000 people to undertake more economic activities, positively impacted over 337,000 school-aged children, and off-set more than 460,000 metric tons of CO2e.
2020 marks a milestone year for Bboxx as it celebrates its 10th year in business, having transformed over one million lives through access to energy. The company also recently announced the launch of its new global brand as it invests in the next phase of its growth journey, and Bboxx’s new brand is integrated into the bPower20 product.
Christopher Baker-Brian, Co-Founder and MD of Product Division at Bboxx, commented: “At Bboxx we have always been driven by our mission to end energy poverty globally. Using a decade of experience and learning, we have now developed an even more affordable, reliable, sustainable, and higher performing product. The launch of the bPower20 will play a vital role in helping to achieve this mission by improving the lives of millions of customers in the future.
“Thanks to the hard work of our teams around the world, this latest development will enhance the operations of our retail businesses globally and will help us reach our ambitious goals, as we embark on the next phase of our growth trajectory. As we continue to transform lives and unlock potential through access to energy, our technology will make an important contribution in the green economic recovery as we seek to build back better and help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Bboxx is a trusted partner for its customers and is using energy as the entry point to provide additional services that improve the quality of life for customers. In July, Bboxx entered a first of a kind partnership with CANAL+, the leading international pay-TV company, to expand access to CANAL+ TV content through Bboxx’s SHS.
Bboxx is a next generation utility, transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy. Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries. It is scaling through forging strategic partnerships and its innovative technology Bboxx Pulse®, a comprehensive management platform using IoT technology. Through affordable, reliable, and clean utility provision, Bboxx is bringing people into the digital economy, creating new markets, and enabling economic development in off-grid communities and those living without a reliable grid connection. The company is positively impacting the lives of more than one million people with its products and services in over 35 markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
So far, Bboxx has deployed more than 350,000 solar home systems. Bboxx has over 800 staff across nine offices including in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Togo, with its head office in the UK and its manufacturing operations in China. In 2019, Bboxx was the winner of the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Energy category – testament to the way the company is making a meaningful difference to people’s lives around the world.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Würth.