Lumos Mobile Electricity Service on providing Y'ello Box solar energy access for powering homes via mobile payments in Nigeria: Interview with Lumos Nigeria CEO Houssam Azem
In Africa business, electricity plays a major role of powering homes and entities, with the continent having an electrification rate of 24 percent, per annum. To cater for the more than 60% of Africans without electricity access, Lumos unveiled its Y’ello Box technology that allows Nigerians to use a solar device that provides electric power for 24 hours and pay via an MTN mobile network subscription. Bizrika wanted to learn more about the working framework of this helpful scheme and talked to the team at Lumos.
Could you define how Y’ello Box provides 24-hour solar power to a customer in Nigeria?
The Y’ello Box works by harnessing the power of the sun, and storing it so that customers have access to reliable, affordable, clean electricity, which they can pay for using their mobile phone. This electricity source has allowed our customers to replace noisy, polluting generators with a safe, quiet, simple solution which transforms their home or business.
Are the charges of using Y’ello box one-off or they come per monthly subscription?
We wanted to make the Y’ello Box affordable to people who need it most, which is why the Y’ello Box is available for an upfront fee of just 26,000 Naira. Customers can then access the electricity when they need it, on a pay-as-you-go basis, for a daily fee of c.150 Naira.
Lumos’ partner in the project is MTN, which has a large mobile network in the country. How many people in Nigeria are currently using this service?
The response to our launch in Nigeria in February this year has been fantastic- we recently sold our 60,000th system. 60,000 households and businesses means that over 250,000 people are benefiting from Lumos’ reliable solar electricity. This clearly shows that there is a strong demand for affordable solar power in Nigeria.
There must be many environmental advantages of using this technology?
The Lumos Mobile Electricity service comes with both micro and macro environmental benefits. Firstly, it allows our customer to avoid using a generator, which pumps fumes and creates a noisy, disruptive atmosphere – this has all sorts of negative effects, including keeping infants awake and preventing children from studying. For Nigeria’s cities, which can suffer from pollution, the benefits of clean, renewable energy are plain for everyone to see.
5. Is the service available to only homes or businesses can also use Y’ello Box technology?
We have seen a wide variety of people and organizations take advantage of the Lumos Mobile Electricity service – from family households, to shops and small businesses wanting to extend their opening hours, to farmers, health clinics and community centers wanting extra power.
Is the service just available in Nigeria or you are engaging other countries?
We recently announced our full, nationwide launch in the Ivory Coast, and are working very hard to ensure that the global need for affordable, reliable solar power is met.
What is the next technology we can expect from Lumos in the near future?
We are an innovative company by nature, so we are constantly working to enhance and expand the service we provide. Communication with our customers via the Y’ello Box means we can advance performance and efficiency based on our customers’ needs and patterns.
Thank you so much for talking to Bizrika.