Lower tax so poor can get power, M-Kopa urges state
3 months ago, 9 Mar 00:14
M-Kopa wants more incentives to widen its reach in rural areas. This will enhance sustainability and enable customers pay less for power. Chairman Mugo Kibati yesterday said the reduction of tax levied would lead to an investment upsurge. “Our interest in policy is in order to benefit from tax exemptions that will trickle down to customers,” he said. M-Kopa - a solar energy company - was founded in 2011 . It announced a rise in revenue to $50 million (Sh5 billion) in 2017 and aims to hit one million users in two years. It recorded a revenue of $30 million (Sh3 billion) in 2015. The company expects at least 25 per cent in annual revenue growth. CEO Jesse Moore said 600,000 people have benefited from solar energy solutions and there are 300,000 active users. He said the business is more of a financial company than an energy firm. “We give customers a line of credit to do their business. It is treating low income earners as customers and as they are part of contributing to the growth of economy,” Kibati said. Clients pay Sh3,000 upfront and daily payments of Sh50 for a year, after which the system is theirs. The kits come with a control box containing the battery and a SIM card that can communicate with M-Kopa headquarters in Nairobi. Moore said the company offers 20 per cent discount to customers making cash purchases, but that only constitutes one per cent of total customers. M-Kopa wants to replace the use of kerosene to curb health issues brought on by using the fuel. M-Kopa estimates a customer saves about Sh76,000 over the first four years by switching to its basic solar kit.
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