Robert van der Plas
No 68, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank
Lighting is one of the determinants of quality of life. In most developing countries, households spend a considerable part of their cash income on modern fuels to meet their lighting needs. The average amount of fuel consumed for lighting is much higher in villages without electricity than in villages with it; moreover, people with non-electric light have much lower lighting levels than people with electric lights. Why then do people use non-electric lighting when electricity is available? Mainly because they fit well with poor family spending patterns. The initial cost and per month cost of a wick lamp are low, and kerosene can be bought in small quantities as needed. Households with electricity are accustomed to much higher levels of light, for which they have to finance a connection charge, installation cost and for which they pay more for regular use. It is found that houses with electric lighting typically have lighting in every room, whereas non-electric users tend to use only one lamp for the whole house. Although both kinds of lamp give light, they are not directly comparable; it takes 18 kerosene lamps to give off the light of a single 60 watt incandescent bulb.
Keywords: Energy and Poverty Alleviation; Energy and Environment; Renewable Energy; Energy Demand; Engineering (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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