Its difficult to get an electricity connection in Kenya. Those who have one, rent out power strips to those who don't. The power strips are unmetered and are rented out on a fixed monthly rent. When some tenants use more units of electricity than is covered by their rent, the owner of the connection has to pay for it. If the owner defaults, many tenant shops and houses lose electricity.
We're building a electricity usage monitoring power strip with integrated mobile payments to see if pre-paid power could improve the situation.
June 25, 2013
I spent two weeks in Nairobi testing out our first prototype and understanding how GrassRoots might fit in the needs in Kenya. This video shows integration with Safaricom's M-Pesa payment system.
The first prototype of GrassRootsMobile.
We hacked together a proof of concept based on a Sheevaplug.Here's how the peices are put together.