HSSi provides rural Filipinos with access to innovative energy products and services.
Focus: Rural development, Energy
Geographic Area of Impact: Philippines
Model: Social Business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 6,500 (2012)
Annual Budget: US$ 150,000 (2012)
Percent Earned Revenue: 100%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013
At least 20 million Filipinos lack access to electricity, and tens of millions more have unstable power connections. The vast majority of these people are located in isolated, rural areas. Productive activity in these communities slows down or ceases altogether after sunset. Those who continue to work after dark must factor in substantial expenses from batteries, kerosene, and candles. Based on UN, IFC and WRI estimates, the annual expenditure of low-income Filipinos on energy for lighting and communications is nearly US$ 1 billion. The negative impact of lack of electricity is not only limited to low incomes; quality of life is also affected. A person relying on kerosene as a major source of light suffers poor indoor air quality and is at the risk of burn injuries and death due to fire accidents. Moreover, in the absence of a reliable source of light, the education of children is compromised.
Innovation and Activities
HSSi recognizes that, given the immense cost and difficulty of connecting isolated rural communities to the grid, the most viable means of expanding energy access is through decentralized power generation via renewable sources. In particular, stand-alone solar energy or crank powered systems allow households to produce power to meet their needs, democratizing access to energy. HSSi collaborates with socially oriented cooperatives, microfinance institutions, and NGOs working in remote areas to implement its ACCESS program: Advancing Citizen and Community Empowerment through Sustainable Services. To solve the problem of last mile access in communities far from conventional retail markets, ACCESS focuses on:
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