1 November 2021
SureChill’s revolutionary cooling technology is proving to be a game-changer in the solar home environment. They have successfully extended their unique technology proven over many years in UNICEF’s vaccine cold chain into the solar home and small business (HSB) refrigeration sector. Their new pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) enabled fridge has the potential to make a positive impact on millions of households and small businesses in weak and off-grid communities, bringing affordable and sustainable cooling solutions to all.
This exciting new product was launched in December 2020 through a successful pilot scheme in Kenya, working with a leading SHS provider to prove the product’s market attractiveness and commercial viability.
The pilot has confirmed that there are many positive and life-enhancing benefits to owning a reliable refrigerator:
- social and lifestyle benefits
- reducing food wastage and food poverty
- female empowerment
- enhanced income through productive use
- ability to store medication
Customer satisfaction increased significantly over the trial period as they came to enjoy the benefits of SureChill’s reliable cooling. Many were happy to refer the product to their friends and family, a strong indication of their satisfaction with the product.
63% of the customers were productive users and reported business growth up to 400% due to the benefits of the HSB refrigerator.
Key benefits for users include:
- 3 day holdover provides continuous, reliable cooling using intermittent power supplies, whether off the grid or on it
- No need for expensive, short-lived batteries
- Built-in PAYGo system makes the product affordable by reducing the need for large upfront payments
The sales pilot enabled SureChill to break new ground using PAYGo financing for a top-end domestic product. Initial sales efforts focused on those clients with the ability to pay a deposit and make daily repayments. The pilot provided invaluable lessons about repayment behaviour and affordability.
Working with the support of the Shell Foundation and Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund, with funding from UK Aid SureChill developed the HSB fridge to provide affordable and sustainable cooling for the millions of people without access to reliable power.
Traditional refrigerators aimed at the off-grid market have relied on large and expensive batteries adding both up-front and significant replacement costs during the appliance lifetime. Conflicting requirements from other loads on the system can lead to poor fridge performance and disappointed users.
SureChill’s HSB fridge brings the benefits of solar direct drive technology based on their patented thermal energy storage perfected and proven over many years.
The SureChill HSB fridge is a unique product for the off-grid market that combines reliable cooling with energy storage, solar power supply and an affordable financing system in one standalone package.
The pilot proved that the fridge is highly valued by consumers and provides an affordable way to purchase an aspirational product that provides real improvements in livelihoods. The fridge brings tangible benefits to users in domestic, agricultural, micro-enterprise applications in both rural and urban settings.