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The 60 Decibels Energy Initiative

The 2023 60dB Energy Initiative united off-grid energy funders and enterprises to bring change to the sector. The Initiative brought fresh perspectives and insights, introduced new companies, and provided updated performance ranking.







What is the 60 Decibels Energy Initiative?

We are harnessing a movement of off-grid energy funders and enterprises to bring change to the sector. Ensuring end-user voices are being used to understand customer experience, enable informed decision-making, and increase accountability for positive impact. We know how. And we’re already doing it, through standardised customer-level social impact insights. Together we’ll make the collection of useful, comparable customer-level outcomes data standard practice. Bringing value to growing businesses and sector funders.

We built on our influential 2020 Why Off-Grid Energy Matters report – we updated the 60 Decibels Energy Benchmark to include conversations with customers from over 200 off-grid energy enterprises. The Initiative brought fresh perspectives and insights, introduced new companies, and provided updated performance ranking. We identified which indicators of customer experience and impact have the most potential for improvement – diving further into the difference across the sector.

What was the process?

  • We gathered comparable customer outcomes data for 100+ off-grid companies to provide an updated 60 Decibels Impact Index with performance ranking and insights on what’s working.
  • We focused on customer profile, impact, experience, satisfaction, and feedback. Through the voices of end-users.
  • We harnessed and leveraged the shared power of the sector by sharing the cost of the work through overlapping portfolios, for maximising reach and learning.
  • We expanded our reach to include new and locally-owned companies to round out our view of the sector – and offer opportunities for potential pipeline/funding.
  • For investors to see an aggregate and comparable view of customer-level social impact across a portfolio.
  • For enterprises to receive customer insights to support learning, growth, and scaling.

Be part of the movement and join us today.

“We no longer have sore eyes from firewood. I no longer spend money on kerosene. I now have a cheaper source of light. My family enjoys sufficient lighting now.”

Core Energy Indicators

  • First access – are enterprises reaching unserved markets?
  • Prior source – what are end-users moving away from?
  • Access to alternatives – is there competition in the market? Do customers have choice?
  • Customer satisfaction (Net Promoter Score) – how loyal and satisfied are off-grid energy customers?
  • Challenge rate – what proportion of customers experience challenges using their product or service?
  • Issue resolution – are these issues being addressed?
  • Customer Service (Customer Effort Score) – how easy was it to get an issue handled?
  • Quality of life – what is the depth of impact these energy products are bringing to households?
  • Spending – how does expenditure on energy change after purchasing a modern energy product or service?
  • Income-generation – are customers using the products for productive use?
  • Over-indebtedness – to what extent are customers struggling to make payments for their energy products or service?
  • Poverty reach and Inclusivity Ratio – are we serving low-income families? How inclusive are we relative to the populations we’re working in?
  • Women in energy – does access to energy reduce women’s time poverty? In what ways are women engaged in productive use of energy?
  • Location (rural/urban) – are we reaching the last mile with energy access?

Stay tuned for updates – we’ll be running this initiative again in 2025!

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