Easy Solar makes clean energy affordable to off-grid communities by distributing solar-powered devices and other life improving devices on a rent-to-own financing structure. Easy Solar started operating in 2016 in Sierra Leone. They initially performed a customer survey of 2,000 households in January 2016, followed by a 200 customer pilot in March of the same year and the team moved full-time to Freetown in August 2016. In the first two years, its customer base grew from 200 to over 100,000 between 2016 and 2019. Easy Solar strives to remain manufacturer agnostic in an effort to bring the best possible products to its customers. As such, it currently sources its products from a range of World Bank certified, US-based manufacturers, whose production lines are in China. It is estimated that more than 87% of Sierra Leone’s 7+ million people live without electricity and, in the country’s rural communities, only 1% have access. Easy Solar seeks to serve these populations by providing affordable solar-powered options. Based on the initial credit assessment performed by looking at the repayment performance on solar products, customers can unlock access to other life improving products such as fuel efficient cookstoves, smartphones, water filters, etc.
All products distributed by Easy Solar can be purchased through cash or mobile money on affordable payment plans, involving an initial deposit followed by weekly or monthly payments for up to one year. After completing payments, customers own the product outright. Products are available in fifteen districts across Sierra Leone, through Easy Solar’s more than hundred distribution points and nine flagship stores in the country’s main cities. In its first two years of operations, Easy Solar has created more than 65 full time jobs, as well as 165 direct jobs for their agents and brand ambassadors working across the country.
On 13 February 2018, both Acumen (a non-profit global venture fund) and Gaia Impact Fund (a venture fund specializing in clean energy) announced their investment in Azimuth. This investment allowed Easy Solar to double the size of their distribution network through 2018, as well as introduce a range of complementary products and large solar systems. Easy Solar is now starting to expand into neighbouring Liberia.