Harnessing the sun to help end energy poverty: Q&A with Off Grid Electric

Over 625 million people live without power in Sub-Saharan Africa. That’s nearly 70 percent of the continent’s population. For those households with access to the grid, only 69 percent experience reliable electricity. Blackouts last for days, often impeding businesses from providing a dependable service or generating a consistent income.

With electricity and economic growth so strongly correlated, the ability to rely on power is a fundamental first step toward ending poverty.

Off Grid Electric is the world’s first distributed clean energy utility, providing affordable, solar energy to households that struggle with spotty or nonexistent grid access. They sell solar energy systems on a pay-as-you-go, lease-to-own model – costing some homes as little as $7 a month. That way, customers don’t have to worry about making a daunting financial investment upfront.

Unreasonable sat down with Off Grid Electric CEO, Xavier Helgesen, to discuss a trip to Malawi, the moral calling of our time, and work worth doing.