New CDC report reveals Lumos’ social impact in Nigeria
Social impact of Lumos in Nigeria
A recent CDC Group Report reveals the social impact of Lumos’ solar home systems across Nigeria. The new Insight study, ‘What is the impact of solar home systems in Nigeria’, was commissioned with the aim to find out more about how Lumos is helping improve its customers’ quality of life and build opportunities for income generation.
The research, led by 60 Decibels in collaboration with CDC, involved interviews with over 600 customers in 34 states across Nigeria.
In Nigeria around 46% of the population live off-grid with no access to electricity. For those connected to the grid, electricity is often unreliable and inadequate, leading to over two-thirds of people with access to the grid spending up to $6.93 on petrol for back-up generators.
Providing access to safe, reliable and affordable energy is critical for achieving development objectives in West Africa and globally. A lack of access to energy affects many areas of socio-economic development such as security, food production, health and livelihoods.
The CDC Group is an investment company with a mission to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, to create jobs, and to make a lasting difference to people’s lives in some of the world’s poorest places.
A recent Insight report by The CDC Group, explored the impact of Lumos’ home solar systems. The results were positive; according to their research, access to Lumos’ solar power has improved the quality of life for 88% of respondents by delivering reliable, quality energy services. Access to energy has allowed customers to increase their income and has empowered users to set up their own businesses.
Why do customers join Lumos?
Customers who were previously connected to the grid experienced 3.2 days of power outages per week and those using generators had concerns over pollution. Nearly half (42%) of customers joined Lumos because it offered the best alternative to generators, whilst one third of customers (34%) were specifically looking for a back-up or full-time energy source.
Recommendations and testimonials were the sole reason for 11% of customers who signed up, reflecting the positive customer experience Lumos users receive. Word of mouth is a very important way of spreading awareness, with 74% of customers first hearing about Lumos through a friend, or family member.
The monthly installments are a first for many customers, and an attractive method of financing; “The Lumos solar home system is cheaper than other alternatives. I have kids in secondary school and in university, so I have other things to use money on. When I heard of Lumos and the payment plan, I got it”, comments one of Lumos’ customers.
Solar home systems improving quality of life
Almost half of Lumos customers surveyed felt their lives were ‘very much improved’. Benefits included improved reliability and quality of lighting and energy, reduced stress and improved emotional well-being, in addition to financial savings.
“I am no more in the dark – there’s more time to read, listen to news and other things. My children now have light to do their homework”, Lumos customer.
Fixed payment plans avoid high up-front fees, meaning 63% of customers view Lumos as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ value for money. The lease-to-own model also means that users own their systems within five years.
The CDC Group research highlights how satisfied Lumos customers are with the service we provide, with a staggering 92% saying they would be disappointed if they could no longer use their home solar system.
Energy access enables productivity and prosperity
Lumos is powering prosperity. Eight out of ten customers (80%) using the system for income-generating activities saw an increase in their income, primarily due to cost savings.
“Whenever electricity goes off, I turn to solar power. Many times, when I don’t have money for fuel, I bank on my solar to power my shop.”, Lumos customer.
Investing in Lumos has enabled these businesses to become the primary source of income for an additional 9% of customers. Lumos has allowed 77% of enterprises to evolve, and some customers have even felt empowered to start up another business venture.
“Lumos’ model has introduced an innovation in energy that has allowed a previously under served population in Nigeria to access safe, reliable and renewable power,” commented The CDC Group.
To find out more about the social impact Lumos is making across Nigeria, read the full CDC report: ‘Understanding the impact of solar home systems in Nigeria’.