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Off-grid electricity service



An important yet often overlooked element in the design of off-grid electrification projects is the compatibility of off-grid electricity service with target consumer expectations. Rural consumers, particularly in developing countries, are needy and will be satisfied with whatever electricity service is given to them.

This assumption has been challenged by an alternative one: rural consumers have their own reservations and/or expectations regarding electricity services. To verify the hypothesis, data from rural consumers in Kenya with conditional and random parameters models have been analysed.

An interesting result has been found out: consumers prefer a service that comes with unlimited load capacity at the household level, community ownership, and fewer and shorter outages.

More precisely, they are willing to pay a monthly amount on average of USD 8.51 for an unlimited voltage service and USD 4.2 to have community-owned service. This implies that consumers would pay more than the USD 1.5 to USD 2.5 range of fee that companies currently charge for electricity service.

This represents a perfect opportunity for the provision of more satisfactory, yet affordable alternative electricity service.


Read further

Karumba, Mary Muthoni (2017). "Socio-economic analysis of community-based micro hydro electricity schemes in Kenya." Ph.D. diss., University of Cape Town.