Elephant Energy

Mission: To improve the quality of life in developing communities by pioneering ventures that provide access to appropriate sustainable energy technologies. Vision: Light in every home, clean air in every kitchen, power in every hand...
Dec 18, 2012

Women's Energy Project Success in 2012

Testing the Divi Light in Namibia
Testing the Divi Light in Namibia

Women are central to Elephant Energy’s success in delivering affordable energy solutions to rural households throughout Namibia. Since our Women’s Energy Project began over two years ago, the women of Kwandu Conservancy have tested dozens of energy products, sold hundreds of solar-powered lights and cell phone chargers, and pioneered new financing methods to provide even their poorest customers with access to Elephant Energy’s solar products. The combination of solar products and flexible payment scheme is nothing short of life-changing for rural Namibians, and now you can read more about the impact of your donation to support our work in our 2012 Women's Energy Project Final Report.  Please read this report and consider making a year-end donation to support the Women's Energy Project in 2013 by Clicking Here!  Just listen to what some of our Namibian partners have to say about their solar products:

“Since I bought it, I have saved money for cell phone charges. It is so helpful and not wasteful. I am not fearful to go walk outside at night any more. If I had to pay the full price up front, I could never have bought this light.”  -Rent-to-own customer Rosemary Malimi

 “I don't worry that my house will burn or that I can't see what is happening at night. I am saving money. Light is brighter than candles, it is like the moon shining.”  - Rent-to-own customer Malimi Mashebe

The women of Kwandu Conservancy are now working with Elephant Energy and Sonopro Power & Light to develop a new pay-as-you-go solar lamp called  the “Divi Light”. The technology embedded in these solar lamps allows customers to pay for their solar lamp over a period of months by purchasing credits from other customers or via a cell phone app.  Even more exciting, customers can physically pour credits equal to days of use from one lamp to another (just like your iPhone knows where it is in space, so does the Divi Light); in essence, Sonopro has created digital kerosene!  Initial surveys indicate that the Divi Light innovation makes solar LED Lighting more accessible to the poorest of the poor:

“The Divi light is flexible. I can pay when I am having money. It is safer than candles because it cannot burn the house.”  – Divi Light owner Mukuni Hoster

Learn all about Elephant Energy’s women entrepreneurs and our work to create digital kerosene in our 2012 Women's Energy Project Final Report, and please consider supporting this work with a contribution by Clicking Here. Your donation will help us accelerate the development of this groundbreaking technology and expand our work to new communities in Namibia.

Thank you for all of your support, and Happy Holidays from the Elephant Energy team!

Elephant Energy Sales Agent
Elephant Energy Sales Agent

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Sep 26, 2012

You are not allowed to have electricity...

Mike Dow and Pauline Whitesinger
Mike Dow and Pauline Whitesinger

What would you do if the government told you that if you didn't move, you would not be allowed to have electricity, and if your roof caved in, it would be illegal to fix it?  In effect, if you didn't pick up and move far from your current home, you would be forced to live in poverty.  For forty years, this was a reality for thousands of Native American families living in Northern Arizona in the "Bennett Freeze" area of the Navajo Nation. The "Freeze" was initially put in place 1966 to temporarily prevent the Hopi and Navajo tribes from taking advantage of one another during a land dispute.  After relegating thousands of families to third-world conditions for forty years, the Freeze was partially removed by an agreement between the Hopi and Navajo Tribes in 2005, and fully removed by the federal government in 2009.  While the Freeze is gone, its impacts remain, and few Americans have heard about this great injustice within our borders.  

Please take the time to view the powerful slideshow and testimonials in about the Bennett Freeze in the LA Times piece linked here: 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bennett-freeze-ss,0,760471.htmlstory.

AND support Eagle Energy as we scale up in the Bennett Freeze area to help Native families replace kerosene and propane with solar lighting technologies in partnership with the University of Colorado, the Grand Canyon Trust, the University of Northern Arizona, and numerous local government and non-profit organizations.  Donate on Global Giving today or RSVP for our fundraising events on Tuesday, October 16th at 6:00 PM at BOTH the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver by CLICKING HERE and at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder by CLICKING HERE.

Finally, enjoy Elephant Energy's 2011 Annual Report, available here, which provides a detailed overview of our work in Namibia (as Elephant Energy) and on the Navajo Nation (as Eagle Energy):

 http://www.elephantenergy.org/uploads/EE_2011_Annual_Report.pdf

Monument Valley
Monument Valley

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Jul 23, 2012

Learning to be a Solar Sales Agent

Saleswomen Training at the Energy Shop
Saleswomen Training at the Energy Shop

On June 13th and 14th, Elephant Energy held a two-day training in Katima Mulilo, Namibia to recruit a new group of traveling sales agents.  Sales agents work on a commissioned basis, earning between $1 -$4 profit for each product sold, which is an important source of supplementary income for their households. The flexibility of EE’s sales model means that sales agents are able to run a business while not sacrificing other domestic and income-generating responsibilities.

Potential sales agents were recruited using word of mouth, messages disseminated through local NGOs, and advertisements placed on the radio. After a careful interview process, 18 individuals (14 women and 4 men) from rural villages all over the Caprivi region were selected to attend the training.

The training was a place of learning, sharing, and community. New agents received training in marketing, sales and solar product use and maintenance, and gathered together to discuss marketing plans and to roll-play customer interactions. Sales agents from areas close to one another made plans to combine restocking trips to EE’s shop in Katima Mulilo to cut down on the time and expense of travel.

As Elephant Energy expands into new areas of Namibia, there is huge potential to expand this women-focused sales model to change the lives of thousands of women and drive the adoption of money-saving renewable energy technologies. Elephant Energy remains committed to viewing women not just as customers, but as drivers of the energy revolution in Namibia.

A New Team of Saleswomen
A New Team of Saleswomen
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