The Energy, Gender and Income Poverty Nexus:Energy Consumption Patterns in Urban and Peri-urban Households of Arba Minch town Southwestern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The study was conducted in Southwestern Ethiopia with the broad objective of investigating the linkages between energy, gender disparity and income poverty among urban and peri-urban households residing both in and surrounding parts of Arba-Minch town. For the purpose of the study, 658 sample households have been selected from in and around the town of Arba-Minch using random sampling technique and the field data were collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. In the field work conducted, data on the consumption of energy sources for this study were gathered in terms of expenditures which were later converted to energy heat values measured in terms of mega joules. The study reveals that commercial fuel become increasingly expensive and the costs of related energy using appliances are beyond the purchasing power of most of urban and peri-urban households. A significant portion of the households continue to suffer as their incomes have not kept pace with the rising prices. Thus, meeting the energy requirements in sustainable manner continues to be a major challenge. Regression analysis was performed using cross-sectional data to identify major determinants of household end-use energy consumption. The regression analysis revealed that the household income as the most important factor determining household consumption of end-use energy but, other socioeconomic characteristics were also found to have a considerable effect on households’ fuel preferences. The study examines the relevance of the energy ladder and fuel stacking models and the findings of this research provide insights for slow energy transition prospect in household energy use. Most urban and peri-urban households cannot easily make a transition from biomass to electricity for cooking end-use since the high costs are major constraints for them. The majority households often lack the ability to optimize their consumption through improved technologies. It is becoming increasingly difficult for most people to obtain affordable energy technologies that convert energy to useful services.Therefore, for the majority of urban and peri-urban households, meeting the energy requirement in a sustainable manner continues to be a major challenge. Increasing end-use efficiency should be given greater emphasis as an important prerequisite and cost effective solution to tackle household level energy problem. It is important to change households’ cooking practices by employing proper end-use technologies so that the pressure on surrounding forests could be alleviated and household energy-related problems tackled. Keywords: Gross and End-use energy consumption; Gender; Income poverty; Energy poverty; Fuel switching and stacking; Arba-Minch town; Southwestern Ethiopia



Gross and End use energy consumption, Fuel Switching and Stacking, Income Poverty, Gender