ONergy started in 2009 as an offshoot of “SwitchON”, an NGO which was instrumental in spreading awareness about climate change and sustainable living .In 2008, the founding team put together a film on India’s energy security – ‘Why New Coal’ – to question India’s growth based on fossil fuels and highlighting alternative to its sustainable and equitable development – and bicycled 1600km from Kolkata to Delhi along the coal belt. SwitchON reached out to over 60,000 people across India through its various projects and campaigns. Through extensive travelling, the gaps that existed in sustainable energy access were clear. At this juncture, in mid-2009, ONergy was registered as a for-profit enterprise not only to develop an ecosystem for uptake of complete energy solutions for rural India but also address the gap within distribution system and financing for such products. 

Focus was on to solve the last mile distribution problem within rural Indian villages. In development of economically backward and poor communities in India, ONergy understood that local people were more culturally sensitive to the needs of the community and utilize their own social networks to create better distribution channels. In 2010, ONergy set up Renewable Energy Centers (RECs) to create an ecosystem by connecting technology, finance and grassroots organizations. RECs managed the entire distribution process providing awareness, training, servicing, and financing options to the beneficiaries – which was the missing link in the rural BoP market.