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close this bookPhotovoltaic Household Electrification Programs - Best Practices (WB)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgments
close this folderExecutive summary
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View the documentOvercoming the first cost barrier
View the documentEstablishing responsive and sustainable infrastructure
View the documentProviding quality products and services
View the documentThe role of governments and donors
View the documentAbbreviations and acronyms
View the documentIntroduction
close this folderThe place for photovoltaics
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View the documentThe solar home system
View the documentThe cost of solar home systems
View the documentThe solar home system niche
View the documentConsumer perceptions
close this folderThe economics of PV household electrification
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View the documentSolar home systems vs. kerosene and automotive batteries
View the documentSolar home systems vs. grid-based power supply
View the documentLoad growth impact
close this folderBarriers to affordability
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View the documentFirst cost barriers
View the documentHigh transaction costs
View the documentMarket distortions
close this folderInstitutional models
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View the documentEnergy service company (ESCO)
View the documentLeasing arrangements
View the documentConsumer financing
View the documentCash sales
View the documentThe role of governments and donor agencies
View the documentRole of the world bank and other donors
close this folderAttaining financial sustainability
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View the documentTerms and conditions
View the documentPricing strategies
View the documentGrants and subsidies
View the documentEnforcing repayments
View the documentFinancing battery replacements
close this folderTechnical requirements
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View the documentHardware design
View the documentStandards and specifications
View the documentOther technical considerations
View the documentQuality control
View the documentMaintenance services
View the documentEducating users
close this folderBest practices: conclusions and recommendations
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOvercome the first cost barrier
View the documentEstablish a sustainable infrastructure
View the documentQuality products and services
View the documentGovernment support
View the documentDonor support
close this folderAnnex 1 : ASTAE case studies in PV household electrification
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View the documentIndonesia
View the documentSri Lanka
View the documentThe Philippines
View the documentThe Dominican Republic
View the documentConclusions
close this folderAnnex 2 : Economic and financial comparisons of rural energy alternatives
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEnergy requirements
View the documentCriteria for village selection
View the documentRural energy alternatives
View the documentLeast-cost comparison (economic basis)
View the documentLeast-cost comparison (financial basis)
View the documentCase studies: productive loads and load growth
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
View the documentDistributors of World Bank Publications
View the documentRecent World Bank technical papers

Educating users

7.37 Customer satisfaction with solar home systems also depends on the user education provided by program administrators, technicians, and suppliers. The education program should cover routine maintenance procedures such as watering batteries (including how to collect clean rainwater if distilled water is not readily available), interpreting control panel information, managing loads, solar access, and replacing fuses and bulbs. Customer education should also make clear the capabilities and limitations of the particular solar home system.

7.38 "Overselling" the capabilities of solar home systems can quickly lead to customer dissatisfaction and poor repayment levels. In the Pansiyagama Project in Sri Lanka, overzealous promoters showed videos of PV-operated sewing machines, pumps, and power tools to prospective customers. The 21-Wp and 52-Wp systems subsequently installed under the project could not run these appliances. This resulted in unhappy customers and service problems in collecting fees. Educating users about recurring system costs, particularly the need to replace automotive batteries every two to three years, is also important.

7.39 In Sri Lanka, regular visits from technicians during the first year helped train families to use their systems properly and to learn effective load management practices. User education should be directed at the persons in the households responsible for the routine maintenance. These are generally older children or women. Women and children typically derive greater benefits than men do from the solar home systems. They are willing and interested in taking a proportionate share in caring for their systems. In many countries, children from the ages of 11-15 are also those household members most interested in the technical aspects of the solar home system and are therefore more likely to understand the load management principles. To increase involvement of women and children, training should take place in the home whenever possible, preferably with the installation team or technician providing information based on materials and guidelines supplied by the vendor. Solar home system programs also afford excellent opportunities to train women for both administrative and technical positions.

7.40 In summary, technical performance is key to the long-term sustainability of a PV household electrification program. Consumers need well-designed, properly assembled, and correctly installed products that are affordable and fit their budgets. Overselling must be avoided. Spare parts should be easily available as well as local, appropriately trained technicians to provide maintenance and repair services. User education should target those members of the household most affected by the system and best able to perform routine maintenance tasks.