SELCO won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2005.
SELCO-India is a private business which has designed and sold over 48,000 solar home systems, powering electric lighting and small appliances for 220,000 people in Karnataka and other states in South India.
Around 46% of households in India do not have mains electricity, and for many others the supply is unreliable. The use of photovoltaic (PV) solar-home-systems (SHS) can provide reliable power for lighting and low-power appliances, which brings great practical benefits. Smoky, dangerous kerosene light is avoided, people have extended hours for work and study, and more opportunities for leisure and entertainment.
Many programmes throughout the world have attempted to improve quality of life using SHS, but often they have not led to long term use and continuing markets. SELCO-India believes that the use of SHS will become widespread only if the system and after-sales service are of high quality, and if people want an SHS enough to pay for it. What they provide is properly designed and installed systems, excellent on-the-spot service and links to organisations which offer appropriate and affordable finance. The Ashden judges were highly impressed with the philosophy and excellent management within SELCO-India: they have built a thriving business by providing poor people with a high quality product and service.