Sunlabob is a Lao private energy services company offering a range of energy products and services and pioneering a franchised approach to rural electrification.

Energy products/services
  • In addition to its rural electrification system, Sunlabob offers a range of products such as solar PV systems, solar water heaters, lighting systems, water, wind and biogas power products, hybrid systems, e-transport, energy audits, and power conversion and backup systems.

Value proposition
  • For the past 10 years, Sunlabob has been working to offer sustainable off-grid lighting to poor rural Laotians at a price equivalent to the $4-6/month they currently pay for kerosene.
  • To deliver off-grid power to poor villages , Sunlabob has designed an innovative  model in which villagers buy light as a service through community-owned lanterns which are charged every few days from a village-based solar station rented from Sunlabob and operated by a village franchisee.  Systems receive up-front subsidization but are designed to be sustainable in the long-term without further funding.
  • Sunlabob also offers a range of other energy products and consulting services to other clients in Laos and around the world.

Problem addressed
  • Only 48% of people in Laos have access to the electricity grid.
  • The average annual consumption per capita is 135 kWh, while the global average is 2,490 kWh.
  • Laos is also one of the poorest countries in the world, and 74% of the population lives on less than $2 per day.
  • The government has not been successful in delivering lighting to most rural communities and it is challenging developing systems that can offer lighting at a price people can afford.

Impact to date
  • Trained over 200 technicians
  • Installed more than 7,500 solar systems in over 500 villages and locations in Laos, also expanding to Cambodia
  • Developed affordable solar lantern rental system for Laos that has since expanded into Uganda and Afghanistan.
  • Launched the non-profit (LIRE) in partnership with other organizations to research and test renewable energy technologies.