Firefly PAYG in the village DRC

Firefly PAYG in the village, DRC

I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you what I think is extremely exciting news about the initial deployment of our new Firefly PAYG model (PAYG literally stands for Pay-As-You-Go). We send/sold 15 units to our friends in the DRC at AEG Congo. Initially, the units were intended for the team themselves to use in their homes so that we would get a controlled, live test of the technology and process we’ve invented. However, they determined on their own, to instead go straight to those who need the units the most. People whose lives can be tremendously improved by the firefly solar lighting system but who cannot afford to purchase our product outright. Instead they got the PAYG units for a USD 30 downpayment (paid in Congolese Francs and then converted by AEG Congo to USD).

The village chosen was remote but not too remote, about 180km from Kinshasa (capital of the DRC) but difficult to get to requiring a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

The recipients of the first 15 units were selected in conjunction with the local chief and all of them had to have their $30. For this they got an initial 15 days of light. Interestingly, once word got out of this new product for the 15 units, there has now been a listed collected of 500 more families that want one and have the deposit.

The first 5 units were installed on Dec. 15th, the next 10 on Dec. 22nd. What’s equally exciting is that after the 15 days were up, our team on the ground collected the next payments, $10 for the next 30 days of “on time”. Working with Jack Mitchell here in Charlotte, our folks confirmed receipt of the $10 by mobile money, got the serial numbers of each unit, got new codes from Jack and sent them back by SMS to the villagers. The codes were entered and the units activated for another 30 days. The system is working as designed.



Pascal of AEG Congo collecting a deposit in cash from one of the recipients. Diane recording the payment, phone numbers and serial numbers.

Manasé preparing to install a unit in someone’s home.

An exciting, life-changing event for this happy couple.

Swapping francs as downpayment for a PAYG unit.

A young mother with her new unit entering the activation code.

A typical village home. About to get solar lighting.

Lighting the night – note the illumination visible through the windows.

Truly incredible opportunity for us, for our friends in AEG Congo, AEG, Ltd. in Tanzania and elsewhere and mostly for the families who receive this life-changing product.