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Here’s how a new SA app to buy prepaid electricity will work

Compiled by Ntando Thukwana, Business Insider SA

Tech and renewable energy startup, WiSolar, plans to launch a mobile app that will allow users to buy prepaid solar electricity for their homes from the palm of their hands.

The solar company, founded by entrepreneur Tonye Irims in 2016, began developing the app three years ago with the mission to make solar power more accessible in a country beset with unstable electricity supply.

The uptake in alternate power solutions in South Africa’s residential sector has significantly risen in recent years as South Africa’s power crisis, load shedding, and increasing utility costs become more of a burden.

Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, Irims said he aims to make solar power as commonplace as home WiFi connections.

WiSolar currently targets housing developers and installs solar systems in residential properties under various packages. The developers pay the plans over 72 months using funds from electricity recharges made by app users in the complexes.  

While the company is continually increasing its capacity, it currently has approximately 9MW of residential power in South Africa, which can power 3,000 homes.

“The developers, which will be the guys that have the users in their estate using their prepaid system, will also be able to earn commission on every recharge. Once the end-user recharges, a fraction of the recharge goes to the developer, and the rest is payment for the solar electricity,” Irims said.

Customers on the app can conveniently purchase prepaid solar tokens at 90c per kWh.

The WiSolar app instantly lets customers see the remaining days and kWh on their account. They can also track their usage on the app, and view their usage trends, which also helps project their future recharges.

The prepaid solar app solution also eliminates the financial pressures associated with kitting homes with solar panels, Irims said.

“[Many] also do not qualify for credit. Now with the prepaid system, they now have the option to buy a house, and [it] already has solar installed. They now have the option to buy on demand,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider here.

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