Reaching Isolated Households

Households in the Philippines are isolated in a variety of ways. Some are geographically isolated by mountains or water, making it difficult for electricity suppliers to reach them.

Shockingly, many are isolated in the dense, urban maze of Metro Manila, the country’s capital city. Households are in the heart of the city, yet some are still not connected – or illegally connected – to the main electricity grid.

© Mathilde Charlet © Ezra Acayan AFD

To reach these communities ATE Co, adopted a solution which has been successful in many African countries, called Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), allowing families to pay small amounts every day, or when they can afford, to slowly become the owner of their solar lighting kit. In August 2016, the first customer was equipped with a SunKing Home 60 his name is Allan Godinez in the community of Smokey Mountain, Tondo. On August 17, 2016, Allan started to pay 20 pesos per day – the kit allowed him to have three lights and to charge his mobile phone or a small 5 volt appliance. One year later, on August 1, 2017, Allan became the owner of the solar kit and started to benefit from renewable free energy without any further payment. Throughout the year, ATE Co’s Field Officers were visiting Allan to collect his payments; he was first paying on a daily basis, then later, on a weekly basis. At each visit, the Field Officer would accept his payment and activate the battery accordingly – 20 pesos for 24 hours of light and mobile charging.

Currently, nearly 500 households in Metro Manila have subscribed to the PAYG service and started renting a solar kit. In early 2019, ATE Co conducted a satisfaction survey with 75% of all customers and found the following results: 19% are living below the poverty line of $3.20US per day and 54% below the poverty line of $5.20US per day (as per the PPI). Before subscribing to ATE Co’s service, 57% were illegally connected to the grid or overpaying using a submeter and 24% were using inefficient, hazardous forms of energy (kerosene, candles, generator, etc.).  Choosing to use ATE Co’s products helped them to save an average of 30% on energy expenditures overall.

In order to appropriately meet individual and household energy needs and financial capacities, ATE Co offers four different products through the Pay-As-You-Go model:

  • The Sunking Boom Lantern one single portable light with integrated radio and USB slot (for phone or small 5 volt appliance), one solar panel, and a stand.
  • The SunKing Home 60 one 6,000 mAh battery with USB slot (for phone or small 5 volt appliance), one 6 watt solar panel, one portable radio and 3 ceiling bulbs with switches.
  • The Sunking Home 120 one 12,000 mAh battery with USB slot (for phone or small 5 volt appliance), one 12 watt solar panel, one portable radio, 3 ceiling bulbs and 1 sensor ceiling bulb with switches.
  • NEW – The OmniVoltaic Solar Home System one battery, one solar panel, 3/4 ceiling bulbs with switches, one stand fan and one TV.