The growth of the off-grid solar sector into a USD 1.75 billion industry, delivering energy services to 420 million global users, speaks to the sectors’ immense value. CLASP, which leads the VeraSol quality assurance initiative, commissioned a study to evaluate consumers’ experiences with off-grid solar products in Kenya, a global off-grid market leader. Overall, the consumers surveyed confirmed that off-grid solar products are indeed delivering as expected, with about 70% expressing satisfaction with solar products’ durability, price and aftersales services offered.
The study results highlight a clear link between quality assurance and consumer satisfaction in many but not all aspects. For example, respondents indicated similar satisfaction rates with product durability for quality-verified (77%) versus non-quality verified (72%) solar lighting systems. However, for product breakdowns, a significantly higher proportion of non-quality verified solar lanterns (19%) and solar home systems (31.3%) were reported to have broken down compared to quality-verified ones (9.2% and 8.9%, respectively). For repair cost, there was a stark difference, with non-quality verified lanterns over three times more expensive to repair than quality-verified lanterns in Kenya.