ENGIE, via its corporate impact fund ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, further promotes clean cooking and last mile energy distribution solutions
During the last quarter 2018, ENGIE’s Rassembleurs d’Energies fund invested in 2 companies specialized respectively in clean cooking worldwide and in last mile distribution of solar appliances in rural India.
In November 2018, the fund acquired a minority stake in Envirofit, an industry-leading social enterprise that develops innovative products and services increasing access to clean energy for families living in emerging regions around the globe.
Over the past decade, Envirofit has designed and delivered clean cooking solutions for households in Africa, Asia and Latin America helping them transition to cleaner cooking devices which considerably limit environmental and health impact.
In 2017, Envirofit launched SmartGas, a new service that is revolutionizing access to liquid petroleum gas (LPG). SmartGas is a leading and commercially-available SmartMeter technology provided to families allowing them to pay-as-they-cook using mobile money, simplifying and speeding up cooking while considerably reducing health hazards associated with unclean cooking solutions. ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies’s investment will support the scale-up of these new technologies in Kenya and in India to deploy clean state-of-the-art cooking solutions to remote populations.
In December 2018, Rassembleurs d’Energies lead an investment round in Frontier Markets, a last-mile distribution company aiming to improve the quality of life of rural customers in India. Frontier Markets provides high-quality and solar energy solutions via an extensive network of rural female entrepreneurs. This distribution company relies on an integrated model with rural households co-creating products tailored to their specific needs.
Anne Chassagnette, CEO of Rassembleurs d’Energies and Engie Chief Sustainable Officer stated: “These investments are fully aligned with the mission of ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies to promote access to sustainable energy for all. Frontier Markets and Envirofit illustrate how the Energy access paradox can be tackled with local enterprises while promoting the empowerment of women.”
ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Énergies is ENGIE’s social impact investment fund that invests in projects to provide access to sustainable energy for impoverished populations. The mission of the fund is to invest in economically-viable social projects sponsored by local social entrepreneurs. The fund manages an active portfolio of 17 companies active on 4 continents.
SmartGas enables families to Pay-As-You-Cook for gas using mobile money. Through Envirofit's SmartGas business model, marketing agents enroll customers in the SmartGas service. Envirofit service technicians then safely install a gas cylinder with a SmartMeter in their home. During installation, customers are educated on LPG safety and how to use and top-up their SmartMeter. Customers are then able to use mobile money to pay for gas in daily amounts. The SmartMeter dispenses fuel and turns off when credit is spent. When the cylinder is low, Envirofit is notified and a customer care agent schedules the next cylinder delivery.
Envirofit is the first household energy company to offer a pay-as-you-cook™ business model. Envirofit has invested years in consumer research to develop the SmartGas technology before launching commercially in 2018. While metering technology has been used in the solar lighting industry to enable PAYG-lighting, Envirofit is the first to develop and commercialize this technology for cooking.
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