Solar Home System Consumer Insights in Mozambique

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This article provides a snapshot of the SHS market in Mozambique particularly the consumer insights i.e awareness level, willingness to pay and access to finance of the consumers. For information about market size, actors active in the market and other market insights, click here.

In this article, the term SHS includes all Tier SHS, including picoPV products (below 10 W). Tier 1 is defined as basic SHS with lights and/or radio and/or USB port for mobile charging. Tier 2 includes lights, phone charger, radio and TV. Tier 3+ includes big productive use appliances such as solar pumps, refrigerators.

Solar Home System - Consumer Insights

Consumer awareness for SHS: Although there is a high consumer awareness for SHS products (68%), only 30% prefer SHS over the national grid electricity. Nevertheless, there is a significant percentage that is looking to buy solar products for lighting in the near future (37%) [1].

Ability and willingness to pay: On average, a rural Mozambican household spends USD 12 on energy expenses (lighting, phone charging and radio) per month. An urban household spends USD 13[2] (based on a 2018 survey) monthly on average. Thus, the current energy expenditure could also cover PAYGO SHS with monthly instalments as low as USD 6 for low Tier SHS[3]. Furthermore, 60% of the households stated their willingness to pay over USD 12.5 per month for SHS with radio. Willingness to pay is highest in Nampula, Inhambane and Sofala provinces[1].

In general, 59% of the potential customers have unstable income due to high dependence on agriculture. This could impact their default rates especially for PAYGO. In terms of monthly expenditure, 55% stated that their expenditure is fixed[1].

Product profile: Most of the households own Tier 1 SHS (72%) and this could also be due to the affordability factor. The monthly instalment for Tier 1 also matches what the households pay in general for energy services. Only 20% of the households own Tier 2 SHS and 8% own Tier 3+. The common use of SHS is for lighting[1].

Most of the products (mostly low Tier) are bought using one-time cash payment (75%). As the consumers move to higher Tiers, there is a switch to PAYGO. The households that pay instalments also pay on average more than USD 7.5 every month[1].

Access to finance: Overall, access to financial services is increasing largely due to mobile money but still varies greatly from one province to another. As of 2019, 21% of Mozambicans had access to formal institutions such as banks; 22% had access to other non-bank institutes such as micro finance, saving and credit cooperatives, mobile money and pension funds; 11% to informal savings groups called Xitiques and 46% did not have access to any[4]. For more information about access to consumer finance, please refer to this chapter[4].

The table below shows the breakdown of access to finance by province.[4]

Provinces Formal banks (%) Other formal (%) Informal (%) Excluded (%)
Maputo 37 38 3 22
Inhambane 23 30 16 32
Gaza 24 30 14 32
Sofala 20 27 7 46
Cabo Delgado 23 17 12 48
Nampula 20 18 12 50
Tete 16 17 15 53
Manica 20 18 8 54
Zambezia 12 19 13 56
Niassa 14 12 13 62

Usage of mobile money: As mentioned above, PAYGO is key when a consumer wants to move to higher Tier SHS. Thus, it is important to understand the usage of and penetration of mobile phones as PAYGO can use a variety of payment systems including mobile money.

In 2019, 29% of Mozambicans used mobile money for activities such as cash withdrawals (91%), cash transfer (18%), utility payments (27%) and payment for goods (9%). This is a huge jump considering the 3% in 2014. In terms of accessibility, 55% of Mozambicans have access to a mobile phone. As of 2018, there are 43,125 mobile money agents covering all 11 provinces.[4]

The most common use of mobile money is for cash withdrawals (most probably remittance money, 91%) and cash transfer (18%). Only 27% use it for utility payments and 9% for goods payment.

Mobile payment is still costly in Mozambique and this directly impacts the cost of the solar home system for the end consumers[5].

Click here to see the network coverage maps in Mozambique.

Further Information


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 USAID. “Can Mozambican Household Afford SHS? Insights from a Local Survey,” 2020.
  2. Economic Consulting Associates, and Greenlight. “Off-Grid Solar Market Assessment in Mozambique,” 2018.
  3. Based on the average price for a SHS with lights, battery, charger and a radio.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Finscope. “Mozambique: Finscope Consumer Survey Report 2019,” 2020.
  5. Catruza, J. (2021). Webinar on State of Play: Solar Home System Market in Mozambique.