Total’s affordable solar lights empower communities

Submitted by: Karabo Motsoai, Tuesday, May 26, 2015

<p>The various Awango lamps which are available in the market (Image source: Total Oil and Gas Petroleum Company)</p>

The various Awango lamps which are available in the market (Image source: Total Oil and Gas Petroleum Company)

Total Awango is a range of solar powered products aimed at providing an affordable, reliable energy solution to disadvantaged communities. The products range from simple lamps which can last up to eight hours to more sophisticated lamps with built-in universal cellphone chargers which can last up to 100 hours.

Total Awango forms part of Total Oil and Gas Petroleum Company’s mission to promote social, economic and environmental benefits to help spur the development of emerging markets through sustainable access to energy. The product range was launched in 2010 and is now available in South Africa and 22 other countries worldwide, including Kenya, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. In 2014 Total Awango sold over 500,000 lamps in South Africa, and they are aiming to sell at least 1 million lamps by 2016.

Social Empowerment

Total Awango lamps aim to empower disadvantaged communities which do not have access to electricity.  According to Total Awango spokesperson Junior Mahlonoko, the lamps have been priced to recover production costs, rather than to make a profit.  Mahlonoko explained that many South Africans lose their lives each year due to shack fires and that solar power lights offer a safer alternative to wax candles and paraffin lamps. Wax candles and paraffin are also used over time, which result in on going expenses whereas Total’s Awango lamps are an investment designed for the longer term.

Total Awango’s lights are also useful for those looking for alternative energy sources during load shedding.

Product descriptions and features

The Awango lights have been manufactured to deliberately be moved around the house and so they are portable and easy to carry. They also have a multipurpose function as you can light up your house while charging a phone.

The S20, the cheapest of the Awango range. It costs R150 and offers a full day of charging. The S20 lights can last between 4 and 8 hours. It has a built in solar panel and can recharge from a normal electric plug with a Nokia charger.

The Awango S300 costs R350 and offers a full day of charging which can last between 4 and 100 hours. It has a mobile phone charger with an adapter and can be used on any phone because of its multiple phone connections.

The most expensive of the range is the T-Lite. It costs R1600 and offers between 6 and 60 hours of light. This lamp has a hanging system for ceilings and a mobile recharger with an adaptor.

All of the Awango lamps have a self-sustaining solar panel which stores the solar energy until the next use.

Awango solar lamps can be found at Total garages and through a number of selected NGO’s including the Federation of Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) as well as the Informal Settlement Network (ISN).

Expanding the product range

Mahlonoko explained that Awango by Total will be continuously looking for innovative offers and upgrades in terms of product offering. Two products that are currently being developed include a solar kiosk and a clean cooking stove.

For more information visit your nearest Total service station or the Total website.

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Karabo Motsoai