The COVID-19 pandemic has affected solar energy services in Mozambique. Because of the pandemic, people have less income. Now, instead of paying their electricity bills, they first pay for essentials such as food and medicine. In Mozambique, many rural people buy electricity from solar ‘pay as you go’ (PAYG) companies. But, when customers can no longer pay their PAYG bills, the companies providing the energy find themselves in trouble too. Without income, they cannot pay their staff or keep their business running.
How to help both customers and companies
To help everybody involved in this situation, EnDev has introduced a special support instrument. This instrument aims to continue the power supply to customers during the COVID-19 crisis. By doing so, the instrument helps companies keep their businesses up and running as usual. The Relief Scheme for Companies Vulnerable to Increased Default of Payments, or COVID-PAY for short, is a great success.
How COVID-PAY works
Solar energy companies receive financial support from Energising Development (EnDev). EnDev gives Solar PAYG companies extra funding on the condition that they uphold services to their customers. The companies have to think of creative ways to help customers pay their electricity bills. This results in promotions such as ‘pay 1 month, get 2 for free’. All solar PAYG companies in Mozambique have applied for the COVID-PAY scheme. 45% of the companies were granted funding. These companies cover more than 90% of Mozambique’s solar energy PAYG market. EnDev gives companies 10 euros of financial support per customer per month, for a maximum of 6 months. So far, this has helped almost 125,000 customers and their families.
Support that works both ways
Solar PAYG companies need customers to pay their electricity bills. COVID-PAY helps both companies and customers. Customers enjoy the advantages of having electricity, even when they earn less money. As they can continue to pay their electricity bills, they do not have to worry about overdue payments. And, they can still afford other essentials such as food and medicine.
EnDev delivers permanent, sustainable access to modern energy technologies and services. When access is temporary at risk, EnDev ensures that customers can continue to afford energy. EnDev also ensures that companies remain stable and productive despite the heavy impact of COVID-19 on household economies.