Households, aid posts and community halls/facilities throughout Vanuatu are now eligible to purchase the approved solar systems at half price for the remaining period of 2017.
This has been a recent decision by the Department of Energy (DoE) to allow other residents within Port Vila on Efate, Luganville on Santo, Lenakel and Isangel on Tanna and Litzlitz to Vao on Malekula to access these high quality ‘plug and play’ solar home systems subsidised by the Vanuatu Rural Electrification Systems (VREP).
The VREP is a project funded by the Government of New Zealand and managed by the Department of Energy (DoE) with support provided by the World Bank.
Currently there are two approved VREP vendors – e-Tech and PCS Limited. Both these vendors have branches in Luganville and a number of resellers in islands throughout Vanuatu.
It is anticipated that additional vendors will be registered in the coming months and further announcements will be made. There are currently nine approved products which can be purchased at half price.
Access to affordable, safe and reliable electricity in Vanuatu is a major development need for the country. Currently, over 20,000 households, 200 aid posts and 2,000 community halls are located in areas where access to grid electricity is uneconomical.
The opportunities for the households to have longer period of lighting for children to study, aid posts to open for services past daylight times and community halls to become more productively used, are limited by the lack of electricity and especially lighting in these institutions.
Mr Antony Garae, Director of DoE stated that the VREP was originally intended to address demand for lighting and phone charging of dispersed rural communities.
However, since the products were launch in 2016, there has been strong demand from within the four electricity concession areas where those people not connected to the grid desire to be connected through these ‘plug and play’ solar systems. Hence, the Department has decided to also allow for households, community facilities and aidposts to access these small solar systems.
Mr Garae wishes to further state that these products do not replace the need for households, community facilities or aid posts to connect to the electricity grid provided through UNELCO and VUI.
These ‘plug and play’ solar home systems are capable of providing lighting and charge phones only whereas those requiring electricity to power fridges and appliances requiring large amount of power should still connect to the grid. However, those communities where electricity grid has not reached them or are unable to afford electricity can purchase one of these subsidised solar systems at half price. This half price will continue until the end of 2017 and customers are encourage to visit e-Tech or PCS Limited to purchase one of these products.
Director Garae also wishes to inform the public that additional vendors will be registered and DoE will inform all population throughout Vanuatu of new vendors/companies approved to sell these high quality subsidised products.
For those interested to know where e-Tech and PCS are located, e-Tech office is located on the Waterfront in Port Vila and the VNPF Building on Luganville, Santo. PCS is located opposite Tana Russet Mall in Port Vila and its branch is inside the Super Cool Shop or Blue Shop on Luganville main street. E-Tech can be contacted on ph. 26933/5927252 in Port Vila or 36977 in Luganville. PCS contact is 25945 or 5573812 in Port Vila and 557381 in Luganville.