Created by a team from MIT and Harvard, Egg Energy is taking the Netflix-style subscription model and applying it to a very unique for-profit business: supplying energy for populations in developing countries.
I'm not sure about the value of a dollar in Tanzania, but the Egg Energy's service seems like a decent deal. For a $US27 first-year subscription, customers will get their home wired for electricity and receive a fully charged, relatively compact battery. Swapping dead batteries out for fresh ones costs 40 cents thereafter.
The company explains in its executive summary that its target customer spends $US5 per month on kerosene and $US3 per month on AA batteries, with an average total of $US96 per year for lighting and the use of a radio. But with eight swaps per month, the annual cost of the service in total is $US65. "Switching to EGG-energy therefore saves a typical household $US30.60 a year on its lighting and radio needs," says the company.
The first Egg Energy distribution centre is already up and running on a well-trafficked route in rural Tanzania, and has acquired 60 customers since November with a rapid expansion set for the coming year. [Egg Energy on Facebook via Eart2Tech via @Timoreilly via @TomRaferty]