Created by a team from MIT and Harvard, Egg Energy is taking the Netflix style subscription model and applying it to a very unique for-profit business: supplying energy for populations in developing countries.
I'm not sure about the value of a dollar in Tanzania, but the Egg Energy's service seems like a decent deal. For a $27 first-year subscription, customers will get their home wired for electricity and receive a fully-charged, relatively compact battery that can be swapped out for a fresh one at a cost of 40 cents. As Earth2Tech notes:
The company explains in its executive summary that its target customer spends $5 per month on kerosene and $3 per month on AA batteries, with an average total of $96 per year for lighting and the use of a radio. But with eight swaps per month, the annual cost of the service in total is $65. "Switching to EGG-energy therefore saves a typical household $30.60 a year on its lighting and radio needs," says the company.
The first Egg Energy distribution center is already up and running on a well-trafficked route in rural Tanzania. They have acquired 60 customers since November and plan a rapid expansion in the coming year. [Egg Energy on Facebook via Eart2Tech via @Timoreilly via @TomRaferty]