Clean Energy Demonstrators come from the local communities they serve. Often they have been microfinance members or loan officers in the past. Demonstrating clean energy is a valuable source of income for them. Further, they become trusted community clean energy leaders. This builds up a long term “human capital” in the community around clean energy.
The households buy the clean energy products, typically at the market price. This is a best practice from the microfinance sector.
Give-away programs destroy the local economy because when you give away products, any local supplier or retailer of that product then must go out of business. No one will ever pay money for a product that they think should be given to them for free.
MEC supports the local suppliers and retailers with training and startup capital. Local suppliers are part of the economic fabric of the community.
Microentrepreneurs do not have to worry that their clean energy product will break. If a product breaks they can bring it to their local microfinance group leader to access after sales support.
Typical MFIs are able to reach several hundred thousand clients with clean energy within 5 years of joining the MEC program.