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60 Decibels Energy Impact Awards 2024

As an organisation delivering off-grid energy, our mission is to light up every home, school and clinic in Africa by 2030. How well are we achieving this when compared with other energy organisations? We’re proud to have our Social Enterprise SunnyMoney Zambia named a 60 Decibels Energy Top Impact Award winner for Solar Lanterns this year! But, it doesn’t stop there! SunnyMoney Malawi was named runner-up! This recognition comes from scoring highly in the 60 Decibels 2024 Energy Impact Index, which benchmarks the social performance of 140+ energy organisations in 30+ countries from 2020-2023, and we are proud to hold the top two spots in the Solar Lantern category.

At SolarAid, we aim to consistently test and trial new models to reach the poorest and most remote communities across Africa.  Impact studies are vital to understanding what is going well and where we can improve. A key result for us was the Net Promoter Score (NPS). An NPS is an indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty and is used globally by companies – often to leverage investment. Any score over 50 is considered ‘very good,’ with the average for an energy company at 49. SolarAid scored an outstanding 84 overall (90 in Zambia, 79 in Malawi), showcasing that customers are extremely happy with our service. The reasons for this are many, but two notable statistics are that our off-grid customers save 95% on their energy spend once switching to a solar product and their quality of life improves. In Zambia, 91% of customers reported their quality of life has ‘very much improved,’ ranking SolarAid the highest of 60 Decibels’ 140+ company portfolio.

While it is always encouraging to look at the positive results, we know that we can only improve when we take action on things that aren’t going as well.  For example, a small portion of customers in Zambia stated they did not know how to contact us. We called them all directly and have since put our customer service number on the products themselves.

We are working to reach the communities that no one else is reaching so that no one is left behind. We work alongside to communities to create new models and programmes that put their needs at the forefront. Since 2008, we have developed and refined our local distribution model making our teams experts at remote and rural distribution. 

Another defining factor of our model is the products we specialise in. Understanding that the solar products our customers purchase are usually their first step onto the energy ladder, we offer affordable options as well as financing mechanisms. The combination of a model which prioritises and listens to the customer with an affordable product certainly contributes to achieving such incredible results.


The Energy Impact Index – explained

The Energy Impact Index is a customer-centric compilation of data based on the voices and experiences of over 79,000 individuals who have purchased an off-grid energy device in the last four years. The Index first debuted in the 2020 Why Off-Grid Energy Matters report as a way to benchmark social performance by asking standardised questions across off-grid energy projects. It is from this dataset that the 2024 Energy Top Impact Awards have been calculated by looking at three key dimensions: Impact, Customer Experience, and Access. You can find more information on the full award criteria here.

The awards are acknowledged and explained further in Why Off-Grid Energy Matters 2024 – the world’s most comprehensive social impact assessment of off-grid energy to date. The report offers a unique window into the lived experience of off-grid energy end-users, defining the impact and benefits of these services in their own words. You can download the report to find out more about top performers and Impact Award winners here from March 13 2024.

On behalf of the whole team at SolarAid, we are really proud to be recognised for our work, and are more motivated than ever to continue our mission of bringing clean, safe solar lights to the most remote and poorest communities across Africa. 

60 Decibels is a global, tech-enabled impact measurement company that brings speed and repeatability to social impact measurement and customer insights. They provide genuine benchmarks of impact performance, enabling organisations to understand impact relative to peers and set performance targets.