Recognizing the need to clarify how the Lighting Global Quality Standards apply to pay-as-you-go (PAYG) systems, Lighting Global has published a Quality Assurance Policy for PAYG products.
PAYG-enabled solar home systems and pico-solar products allow consumers to pay for a product in small increments over time, often through the use of mobile-money or local village entrepreneurs.These innovative payment systems are rapidly increasing energy access, and we want to ensure our quality assurance framework appropriately accommodates this new technology.
As described in the PAYG policy, these systems will be held to the same Quality Standards as all systems, though several of these requirements deserve mention:
- The truth-in-advertising requirement extends to ensure the end-user experience with the PAYG product should match advertised values irrespective of the additional energy used by the PAYG circuitry. The PAYG system should also be capable of accurately metering service to customers as advertised. Products may be subject to PAYG-specific market check tests which evaluate the accurate metering of the device in the field.
- The quality and durability requirements cover all hardware located at the household, including PAYG keypads, circuitry or dongles.
- Appropriate battery protection must remain active regardless of whether the system is in an enabled or disabled state, and the solar module must be able to charge the battery even if the product is disabled.
The policy additionally describes two pathways for PAYG-enabled products to be tested. One option is to test the full PAYG product, the other option is to test a version of the product that is not PAYG-enabled, and then conduct limited additional testing to also verify the PAYG-enabled version of the product.