Energy Safety Nets

Apr 01, 2019

Source/Author : Andrew Scott and Sam Pickard

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Published at : September 2018

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Key messages

  • A broad range of measures could be described as energy safety nets, from general energy subsidies to highly targeted measures for specific social groups. However, the literature on social safety nets often excludes them.

  • General energy consumer subsidies are inefficient in reducing energy poverty, but their removal could be damaging for poor people who cannot afford the full cost of modern energy services.

  • Social safety nets and cash transfers may not be the answer for energy access objectives. Cash transfers may be used for other expenditure and general social safety nets require time and resources to develop.

  • Targeted energy subsidies could be an alternative, though their effectiveness in reducing energy poverty is little understood. There is a need for detailed country case studies, to explore where and how targeted subsidies could reduce energy poverty.

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