Solar Electrification with Habitat for Humanity

In 1995, SELF completed its Uganda Pilot Electrification Project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International.

With a grant from the US Department of Energy, Office of Solar Energy Conversion, SELF was able to install 100 Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Habitat-built houses in rural Uganda. SELF’s Nairobi-based associates, Energy Alternatives Africa provided habitat’s Uganda personnel with training in solar home system management, and Solar Energy For Africa (SEFA) provided technical training that focused on homeowner education, PV system installation, and maintenance of solar home systems.

In order to avoid conflicts between loan repayments for their homes and their SHS, homeowners were required to have fully paid for their Habitat home to qualify for a SHS loan. Qualifying households were offered 3-5 year loans for the purchase of the systems, with monthly payments being equivalent to the cost of kerosene, candles, and dry-cell batteries. Each solar home system, supplied by SEFA, cost approximately $400. Habitat’s Uganda office, which operates a home-building credit program, was utilized to collect the monthly installment payments, then using the money to capitalize a revolving credit fund to be used for the purchase of additional solar systems.

SELF continues work in Uganda. Click here to learn more about an ongoing project in the country with the Rape Hurts Foundation.

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SELF is a global leader in the fight against energy poverty. Since 1990, we’ve pioneered unique applications for solar energy, powering progress on food security, health care, education, gender equity, and more. 

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