Extending Access to Electricity through Energy Efficiency Policies: Evidence from Benin's Prepaid Electricity Meter Rollout

While high upfront costs limit the adoption of electricity connections, little is known about non-price barriers to adoption. Researchers will aim to fill this gap through a partnership with the Ministry of Energy in Benin, who plans to heavily subsidize grid connections for 300,000 target households in the next two to three years. Researchers will layer a randomized evaluation on top of the subsidy to identify the first-order, non-price factors that either prevent low-income consumers from connecting or push them to use low-quality, informal connections. Such factors may include imperfect information, technical or behavioral savings constraints, and costs associated with benefitting from electricity other than connection fees, such as paying for usage and investing in appliances. Understanding these factors has the potential to improve the use of public funds for energy access, either by identifying lower-cost interventions to increase energy access or by highlighting high-value, complementary investments to subsidies.

RFP Cycle:
Spring 2022
  • Arnaud Dakpogan
  • Full project