Econet’s Home Power Station now in 2,000 homes across Zimbabwe #AfricaCom

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
Econet Solar Home Power Station

econet-hpsRemember the Econet Home Power Station(HPS)?  It’s the mother device of Econet Wireless’s solar company, Econet Solar International (ESI). It first surfaced at the COP17 Summit in late 2011 with the promise of a commercial launch we expected to have seen by now. At least trials reported to have been taking place last year suggested so too. Hasn’t happened yet ofcourse. And just as we thought there really was nothing going on in the background, an announcement by Econet at the AfricaCom conference says otherwise.

Apparently, HPS trial has accounted for installations in 2,000 homes across the country, with a total number of 8,000 people using it. The announcement says the HPS has been fully tested now and improvements made to the device like increasing the battery size two fold.

The dream remains the same though; Power is a huge problem in Africa, and solving it to an extent people are willing to shell out hard earned dollars can create huge business too. The HPS is a solution for lighting and charging mobile phones. Instead of burdening customers with the upfront cost of about $200 for the device, Econet’s plan is to take small deposit from the customer (between $10 and $30 the announcement says) initially, and then charge about 25 cents a day. We’re guessing the 25 cents would come from an EcoCash wallet.

Solar business aside, more powered mobile phones is good for Econet’s telecoms business especially in countries like Zimbabwe where electricity is in short supply. Econet has said before that they lose as much as 20% revenue in unmade calls due to dead batteries annually.

On what stage they are at now, the ESI chief executive, Luc Tanoh said:

We wanted to offer people a cleaner, elegant and safer solution to suit their needs for lighting and charging phones. And by combining the expertise we have developed across the Group over the years, we have developed and refined the HPS which can now be widely adopted by customers across the continent.

Maybe we will see these things in the Econet shops anytime now. The ultimate plan, the announcement says, is to power about 125,000 with the solar devices across Africa in 2014.



  1. Nerudo Mregi

    And here I am building a similar product 🙁

    1. Simba

      …and you shouldn’t be discouraged from continuing man! Keep building your product and let us know about it – we need alternatives, esp if it means supporting someone new and upcoming. I’d actually dream of powering up my new house entirely on solar, or wind 🙂

    2. Guest

      Come now, it’s a pretty obvious product to have competitors. What we need is for you to execute well and make sure the market hears of it. Hurry, my friend, if your execution is good our money is yours.

  2. EcoMESS

    Seems this product is only available in the press or at events. Haven’t seen or heard of at least ONE person who has taken up this product (if it exists). Enough with the PR already!!! iDiots

    1. gudo

      wataura chokwadi Ecomess

  3. sikefula

    wat is this thing??…only available in newsrooms,so it seems…

  4. Annabelle

    @ecomess:disqus and @sikefula:disqus, re-read the article and work on your comprehension skills. This already short article is very clear in stating (within the first and second paragraphs) that the product is NOT as yet commercially available.

    Do you really know know so many of the millions of people in Zimbabwe personally that you should be surprised not to have “seen or heard of at least ONE” of the 8,000 people according to Econet “in 2,000 homes across the country” who have been involved in testing? Vanhu think before you comment, nxa!

  5. Ce

    Has anyone ever had this feeling like me that Econet’s products are expensive.

    Call it whatever, but the feeling in me is that Econet is out to chisel you than anything else.

    It is now engraved in me that anything Econet is expensive so stay away unless you can’t help it.

    Econet has yet to convince some of us that they are a corporate friend and not a hawk who see us customers like chicks.

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