Energy Poverty in Zambia
Of the estimated 3.01 million households in Zambia, in 2015, only 35.8% and 16.1% utilised clean energy fuels for their lighting and cooking services respectively. Usage and access to clean energy is essential for economic growth, human development and more generally poverty reduction. This notwithstanding, access has remained low in many developing countries. On the one hand, it has been observed that lack of access to clean energy is a sign of poverty; while on the other hand, access to clean energy helps in the alleviation of poverty. Given the centrality of energy to people’s everyday life, governments worldwide have devised diﬀerent policies and mechanisms to enhance the use of clean energy. Limited access and use of clean energy are mainly thought of as an issue of aﬀordability. The lack of use of clean energy at household level is not well understood. For instance, it is thought that if a household is classiﬁed as income poor, then it will not be able to use electricity. And in such cases, some governments opt to implement subsidy policies. While this approach has proved useful for some households, it is not an eﬀective approach of delivering clean energy to the people who need it the most. There is, therefore, great need to identify aspects that determine whether a household would have access to clean energy and let alone use it. This knowledge would be critical in designing policies that hope to increase utilisation of clean energy fuels. As such, this paper sought to understand energy poverty among households in Zambia. Energy poverty is a concept concerned with lack of access and use of modern energy fuels.