Project of the Year

Affordable Microgrids for Rural Villages

Nov 2014

EEP Project of the Year 2014: Devergy

Devergy is a social energy utility which provides a reliable, easy to use electrical service designed to be affordable for low income population not connected to the power grid. The service is based on a plug-and-play village-sized energy microgrid which provides solar power to households and businesses; it allows the users to connect lights and appliances such as radios, TVs and refrigerators.

The key feature of the system is an energy meter that powers the household with a pay-per-use approach, where each user tops up his energy account by buying Devergy credit. Credit can be purchased for the same value of mobile phones credit, and the energy pricing is lower than the designed to have lower spending than kerosene lighting or commercial phone charging.

The installation cost of the energy grid is largely covered by Devergy, except for an affordable fee which is asked at the time of first connection, thus allowing even the lower income customers to access the service.

The customers receive an unprecedented service thanks to a system that is designed to require no user maintenance and that is remotely monitored for faults, so that the reliability and availability of the service is unmatched.

Preliminary Results
1. Devergy grids have been deployed in 6 villages in the Bagamoyo and Morogoro districts in Tanzania
2. Approx. 800 paying customers connected to the Devergy grids
3. Village appliances sales and customer care established
4. 15 staff employed, mostly local Tanzanians
5. Technicians and agents trained
6. Village acquisition process defined and validated
7. Grid and Meter deployment procedures established

Since the completion of the EEP funded project, Devergy has continued to grow substantially and is planning to extend their operations also to other regions in Tanzania.

The project inception and implementation is nicely narrated in a short documentary that provides guaranteed smiling by the end. Click here to see Devergy’s video.