Furthermore, it is more than light that these people need. Pre-pay solar energy from Off Grid Electric gives them electricity to charge their phones and run other electronics, such as computers — something a kerosene lamp certainly cannot do.
Off Grid Electric has raised $16 million thanks to investors such as the similarly pioneering SolarCity. Off Grid Electric founder Xavier Helgesen has hope that the company will eventually “light a billion people’s lives.” The $16 million is to help grow Off Grid Solar’s pre-pay solar in Africa (starting at $6) from its existing customer base of 25,000 to 100,000. Considering these people average $700 (income) a year, this is a much better option than traveling long distances to be charged too much money to charge their phones while also paying for expensive and harmful fuel for kerosene lamps.