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The Use and Impacts of Solar TVs

This report summarizes data from 3,920 interviews with 2,370 solar TV customers in East Africa to provide compelling preliminary evidence of the positive social impacts of solar TVs on consumer quality of life.




customer voices heard


response rate

While solar TVs have the potential to improve the quality of life and knowledge base of off-and-weak grid families, little is known about how customers view, value and interact with their TV. In 2019, we partnered with Efficiency for Access to survey 2,370 Global LEAP Awards results-based financing customers in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

The customer interviews explored user characteristics, experience and satisfaction with products, and quality of life changes. Our analysis provides insights into challenges and opportunities for the solar TV market in East Africa. Notably, it provides compelling preliminary evidence of the positive social impacts of solar TVs.

“This TV is better than anything else. I just watch the preachings and feel that things will get better.”

– Customer

79% felt their stress levels had reduced since using the solar TV, and 83% said that their family was more connected.  While there now exists a burgeoning market for small off-grid appliances like TVs, 80% of the users in this sample were accessing a TV for the first time.

We found that solar TVs are outperforming the 60 Decibels Energy benchmark in 2 out of 9 metrics, performing particularly well on the ‘No access to alternatives’ and ‘Value for money’ metrics. We also explored customer profile, finding that a typical customer was male, age 39, purchasing alongside a solar home system. 9% of customers used the solar TV for productive use.

Looking ahead, 34% of customers reported interest in a solar water pump and 31% in an additional solar TV, providing insight for companies when thinking about offerings and cross-product marketing.

To learn more about our findings, click below to read the full report.

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