The impact we can create with access to solar lights through a business based model is truly remarkable. SolarAid has been recognised as impacting on 12 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Measuring impact is essential. Rather than assuming a solar light has a positive impact on a family’s life, we would rather prove it. 

This is so we can continuously improve our work and ensure every SolarAid supporter can see their very own impact when they donate through our online Impact Calculator.

To date, we have amassed over 30,000 direct research interactions with customers and partnered with expert research bodies such as 60 Decibels, University of Edinburgh, University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University to name a few.

In its simplest form, we know the impact of one solar light to a family’s life is as follows*: 

  • Every member of the household uses it.
  • 10% of household income saved as families no longer have to buy candles, kerosene or batteries.
  • Over 1,000 hours of extra study for the children.
  • 1.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are averted from the atmosphere.
  • Over half the household report better health from not breathing in toxic fumes.

This is over the conservatively estimated 3 year life span of a solar product.

Calculate your impact

A solar light changes everything

The economic impact

With a solar light, families tell us they save money from reduced spending on lighting alternatives like kerosene, candles, and battery torches. An average solar light user will recoup the cost of their solar light in 10 weeks. Nine in ten SunnyMoney customers live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day. The proportion of income they spend on lighting is significant and so having access to a solar light is life-changing. Solar light users tell us they spend their savings on food, school costs, and investment in livelihoods – starting a virtuous cycle of development and progress.

The impact on education

Families tell us that solar lights are predominantly used by children to do their homework after dark. With access to this bright, safe, clean and free light,  children are doing an extra hour of homework each day. Headteachers at the schools SunnyMoney works with report improvements in performance, attendance, concentration and motivation of their pupils as a result. When children do well at school, they are likely to stay there longer and gain a higher level of education benefiting themselves, their families and their communities.

The impact on health

Each solar light bought by a household in rural Africa results in the elimination of the regular use of one kerosene lamp and this means there is less indoor air pollution. A kerosene lamp releases thick, toxic smoke into a family’s homes, and 4 million people per year die prematurely from illnesses attributable to household air pollution. Happily, with a solar light over half of families notice an improvement in health as a result; including a reduction in coughing, chest problems, eye irritation and illness.

One solar light

  • £159

    saved by families, who no longer has to spend money on dangerous candles or toxic kerosene.

  • 1,006

    hours of extra study time for a child, who can now study by safe light after the sun has set.

  • 1.1

    tonnes of CO2 emissions averted in the atmosphere.

Ways to support