Lighting and cooking fuel choices of households in Kisumu City, Kenya: A multidimensional energy poverty perspective

Tabitha Atieno Olang*, Miguel Esteban, Alexandros Gasparatos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aims to contextualize populations without access to modern energy in order to formulate effective policy considerations on modern energy adoption and continuity of usage by target groups. This objective was achieved by illustrating the linkage between fuel choice and energy poverty in low income households in an urban context. It employs a cross-sectional energy stacking model to illustrate fuel choice and the multidimensional energy poverty (MEP) index to establish the severity of energy poverty in low income households in Kisumu City, Kenya. The study also incorporates pico-solar products (PSPs) users, as this disruptive technology entered the Kenyan solar market in recent years, targeting low income households using kerosene for lighting purposes. The study identifies energy appliance type and household cooking location as key determinants of household energy choice. Moreover, the main determinants for household energy choice in households facing higher levels of energy poverty were closely associated with access concerns, whereas determinants in households facing lower levels of energy poverty were more associated with usage concerns as they already had access to modern energy. It was also noted that preferences were related to attributes of the energy source both experienced by current users and perceived by current non-users. There was a substantial persistent use of kerosene as an alternative lighting source among current PSPs users. There is a general preference and desire to use modern energy sources across most households, irrespective of the severity of energy poverty. For meaningful improvement to be realized towards meeting the energy SDG by 2030, national and local energy policies should consider the energy technology adoption perception and behaviours of populations currently not having modern energy access. In conclusion, it is of great importance to put into context the specific characteristics of the households as well as user perspectives and how these characteristics and perspectives would affect continuity of usage of the modern energy source adopted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Kenya
  • Multidimensional energy poverty (MEP)
  • Pico-solar products (PSPs)
  • Solar home systems (SHS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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