Light in Uganda
FRES Uganda was founded in 2010. The company delivers Solar Home System-services in the south-west of Uganda in ten districts, situated in the provinces of Mbarara, Bushenyi, and Isingiro.
During the next years four more districts will be added, among these, districts in Rukungiri. The head office is located in Mbarara. There are 400,000 households and small companies in the area in which FRES is active.
The head office of FRES Uganda is located in Mbarara, in the South West of Uganda. The region has a potential of 10 000 customers, according to the Management Team, with an estimated 400,000 households and small companies in the area in which FRES is active.
Watch the movie and find out what sustainable energy means for the development in the rural areas.
Access to electricity in Uganda
Uganda, a country of over 240,000 km², is situated on the equator in Southern Africa. Uganda has a population of more than 43 million , of which 22% have access to electricity. The country holds the 159th position on the most recent Human Development Index of the UNDP
More than half of the population still depend on biomass to serve basic energy needs.
In 2019, FRES Uganda has had a net increase of 400 customers, ending 2019 with 5975 customers and a staff compliment of 70. FRES Uganda is experiencing increased grid encroachment, as well as a very developed off-grid market.
The uptake of mobile payment has been very successful with more than 70% of payments now received via mobile money. This has had a very positive effect on the reduction of fraud. In addition to this, all new customer data is now collected and managed via an online CRM database (Collect). The management team has adapted well to this technology, and this has also had a positive effect on asset management.
Facts & figures
|Products and services||SHS|
|Number of customers||5600|
|Number of energy stores||7|
|Number of employees||60|
Management FRES Uganda
|Joselyne B. Musiime||General Manager & Board Member|
|Coen de Ronde||Chairman|
|Michiel Leunis||Board Member|
|Mark van Niekerk||Board Member|
New areas will be explored which will also take the future grid expansion plans from government into account. The new market areas will be more remote and will challenge operations and cost reduction. An EU subsidy will allow FRES Uganda to install 500 SHS systems in 2020, which will enable an incremental growth of Uganda to materialize.
FRES Uganda’s key market focus will be on reducing churn, optimizing collection costs and stable growth.
Since much of its core business is in more rural, less accessible areas, additional traveling will be required which may add additional operating costs. A switch to PAYG is envisaged in time, which may help in reducing operating costs.
Ms Joselyne Musiime, Manager Marketing & Sales at FRES Uganda since 2011:Joselyne B. Musiime: General Manager
‘Our biggest success was the massive customer growth and business expansion despite the fee- for-service approach of FRES being a new business model in the solar industry of Uganda compared to the culture of ownership. People now realise that our service is more secure and cheaper than the alternative to buy your own system on the market. The biggest challenge at the moment is the expansion of the national grid in our areas of operation. This leads to increased repossessions of SHS of customers that shift to the grid, while increasing our costs because we have to move farther in the villages to look for new customers.’
Read more in our Annual Report 2017
For the latest updates and more information about FRES Uganda please click here to go to their direct website.