Menu of Interventions

Energy Policy
Energy Supply
Energy Demand
Social Safety Nets

Social Safety Nets

Promoting Access to Energy Services

Area Intervention
Requiring operators to provide access
  • Universal service obligation – legal obligation to serve all customers, including those that may not be commercially attractive.
  • Connection targets – forces specific definition of realistic coverage targets, ensuring that unprofitable customers are served. Can be monitored and enforced by use of financial penalties.
Increasing supply options
  • Allowing licensed entry of alternative providers – providing choice to consumers, increasing competitive pressures on the dominant utility.
  • Promoting collaboration between dominant utility and alternative suppliers. Improves supply quality to communities lacking utility connections. Reduces utility commercial risk from serving marginal communities.

Promoting Affordability of Energy Services

Area Intervention
Facilitating payment of bills by low-income households
  • Adjusting billing frequency – Facilitates budgeting for low-income households.
  • Installing prepayment devices– Facilitates budgeting for low-income household.
Protecting low-income households from increases in the costs of service
  • Defining different levels of service – Allows consumers to choose their preferred balance between the cost and quality of service.
  • Establishing consumption limiting devices – Prevents low-income households from consuming beyond their means.

Implementing Targeted Subsidies

Area Intervention
Helping low-income households gain access to energy services
  • Connection subsidies – Subsidy funds to low income individuals from external sources. Costs of community-level subsidies can be kept down by competitive bidding.
  • Connection cross-subsidies – Does not require external source of funding and spreads cost over a large connected population (often with greater ability to pay than the unconnected population).
Protecting low-income households from tariff increases
  • Creating lifeline subsidies set by consumption level.
  • Establishing targeted tariff discounts.
  • Distribution vouchers to specific low-income households.
  • Tariff rebalancing – reducing fixed versus usage charges. Reduces burden of fixed costs on small consumers.