Local Energy Technologies (LET)

Rochester Institute of Technology, 2012 - $19,695

In low-resource settings, power providers need better solutions to collect revenue from existing customers, while customers need simpler, less expensive ways to pay for their electricity. The Local Energy Technologies (LET) E-Team is looking to meet the challenge by developing a mobile meter-reading and payment platform. The team’s meter works like a regular electricity meter, but communicates with the energy provider through regularly timed data packets sent over mobile phone/SMS infrastructure. This allows energy providers to know where and exactly how much of their electricity is being consumed at any given moment, on or off the grid. Energy providers can then remotely bill customers via SMS, and customers can remotely pay via SMS. Further, the team’s software can facilitate electrification though the Internet; family members working abroad or in the cities who want to send money to their families can strategically send money in the form of post-paid or pre-paid energy credits.