We have a way to bring solar power to thousands of Guatemalans at a cost cheaper than candles. Until we can do it, our CEO is sitting in a dark room. Help us get him out of the dark and turn ON the lights for millions of Guatemalans!
*Livestream of Juan here!
**Si eres guatemalteco, y has tenido problemas aportando tu contribución, puedes donar a nuestra cuenta y nosotros ponemos tu nombre en el sitio de la campaña como contribuyente.
Approximately 520,000 homes in Guatemala are without access to electricity. This means that the productivity of the 2,600,000 people in those homes is limited by the hours of daylight. After dark, children cannot study, adults cannot work, and neighbors cannot communicate.
The vast majority of the families that we work with are subsistence farmers. They rely on candles and kerosene to light their homes. The use of these products results in excessive costs, accidental burns, and smoke inhalation. The total cost of buying candles and walking to the nearest town to pay for charging their cell phone is ~130 Quetzales per month. Our solution will cut this cost to 90 Quetzales a month empowering families to sustainably develop!
Who Are We?
Quetsol is a renewable energy company providing low-cost solar power kits to Guatemala's rural communities. Co-founders and homegrown Guatemalans Juan Rodriguez and Tono Aguilar launched the company in 2010 after witnessing the severe hardships suffered because of the lack of access to electricity. They first developed a 10-watt solar power kit to light up homes, then developed 30-watt and 75-watt kits that can power larger appliances. Since 2010, Quetsol has distributed over 3,000 kits throughout Guatemala.
There is a reason that this number is 3,000, and not 30,000. Nearly all of our clients go through our microfinance partners (banks) to pay for their kits in small increments. HOWEVER, the banks have processed only 50% of the applications submitted by Guatemalans trying to purchase our kits. The other 50% are just lost in the banks’ systems. This means that there are thousands of families who want solar power in their homes, but cannot get the help that they need through the banks!
To ameliorate this problem, Quetsol is launching a new Pay-As-You-Go solar power kit. Because the banks have not been efficiently processing our clients’ applications, we have decided to develop a program that eliminates the banks’ hurdles. The goal of Pay-As-You-Go is to make solar power more accessible for our clients in rural communities, typically subsistence farmers.
How does Quetsol’s Pay-As-You-Go program work? Our clients who would like to buy our solar power kits will be able to use their cell phone payment account to activate their Quetsol system. After sending money to our account, clients will receive a text message with an activation code which they will dial on their kit unleashing power. No more eight-hour trips to bank branches, no more unjustified rejections and lost applications by the banks. No more waiting for an energy solution for Guatemala's poorest residents when it is right at our fingertips. Pay-As-You-Go solar kits will put the power to achieve their energy goals in the hands of our clients, and not the banks. In turn, Quetsol will offer a lifetime warranty on every solar kit: Each battery change and kit repair will be on us.
What Will Your Support Do?
We are almost there. We already have our prototype for the 10W Pay-as-you-go kit, and are testing it as we write this. To bring this model to the next level though we need your support.
Of the $50,000, $25,000 will help us pay for the research & development of the final kit, and then towards the other half will enable us to order the first container from the manufacturers. We can get this product to launch by June of this year. We can reach 100,000 homes and 505,000 people in Guatemala alone in the next five years.
What's more, you will directly sponsor a family's solar power with every donation of $60 and above. A part of your contribution will go towards subsidizing our clients' energy. For example, instead of only receiving a month after installation, the client will be given an extra week of light.
We want to be more than just one little solar company trying to raise money. We want to be a part of a new generation of utility companies that support rural development and protect the environment at the same time.
Help Quetsol Grow In Any Way You Can!
Spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, anything you can. We really believe in this technology and its potential to blossom not only throughout Guatemala, but also the world. If you are interested in green energy, rural development, or just want to help get our boss out of the dark, please support us :-)
Contribute now to help us turn lives ON!