March 21

Press Release: GOGLA Launches Initiative to Strengthen and Scale Consumer Protection in the Off-Grid Solar Sector

On World Consumer Rights Day, GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar industry, launches ‘Strengthen and Scale’, a new phase of its Consumer Protection Code work. The organisation is calling for all off-grid practitioners and investors to adopt the code and make a commitment to responsible business practices. The initiative is supported by British International InvestmentDOEN Foundation and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank.

The GOGLA Consumer Protection Code,  launched in 2018, defines minimum standards for the sector, identifies good practice and creates guidance for companies to better serve their customers. It helps to validate how responsible practices improve companies’ sustainability, accelerate market growth and safeguard impacts. These are vital for the success of the off-grid sector, which needs to grow by 12% per year until 2030 to help achieve universal electricity access (SDG7).

The new phase of the work has three key components:

  1. Increase the number of companies adopting the code from 90 to 150.
  2. Help companies go beyond self-assessment against the Code’s core principles, and encourage them to seek an objective evaluation of their operational performance and gain detailed insights into consumers’ experiences that can lead to positive action, and inform roadmaps for improvement.
  3. Develop more guidance for companies, with a focus on credit risk management, responsible default management processes, and gender-specific consumer risks.

Better protection for consumers will help the industry scale sustainably

Customers’ trust and satisfaction are at the heart of any successful industry. This is particularly important for off-grid solar customers for whom purchasing a solar energy kit often represents a significant investment. Consumer protection and responsible business practices are crucial for building, and maintaining, confidence in off-grid solar technologies, leading to more demand and sales. Strengthening the industry through consumer trust and satisfaction is also key for it to scale: as a company’s sales revenue grows, so does its attractiveness to investors and development actors.

Photo courtesy of Dfid – UK Department for International Development.

Source: GOGLA (link opens in a new window)

Energy, Impact Assessment
impact measurement, off-grid energy, renewable energy, scale, solar