A new method of doing so:
"I would never pay $6,000 up front for a phone that gave me free calls for 5 years or 10 years or 20 years," [Paul Needham] says. "I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought I’d be better off." But that’s what solar companies essentially ask customers to do: pay up front for electricity years into the future. For very poor people with irregular incomes, that doesn’t make sense. Simpa Networks, the company that Needham heads, is working towards offering an alternative. Customers put down a deposit for the solar panels, then pay for incremental units of electricity, the same way they might put minutes on their phone.