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Access to Energy by Zimbabwe’s Urban Poor Households

Mr Ikhupuleng  Dube

Principal Research Engineer, System Planning, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority

Box 377 Harare Zimbabwe


Abstract

The objective of this paper is to ascertain the level of affordability of electricity by poor households and the role of subsidies in determining affordability. The paper also analyses the impact of subsidies on government and power supplier’s finances and presents policy options that could be adopted to ensure that subsidies are targeted at specific household categories, they are used to amortize upfront energy costs instead of monthly bills, and that they are not a burden on public and utility’s finances. It is hoped that the study will make a contribution to the existing knowledge base on the characteristics and dynamics of the energy supply and consumption in Zimbabwe, with special emphasis on the poor households in Zimbabwe. It will also contribute to the present debate on the significance and impact of energy subsidies as well as presenting sustainable policy options on improving energy services to the poor households

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