Journal of Energy in Southern Africa
On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X
LLOYD, Philip. The energy profile of a low-income urban community. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.3, pp.75-80. ISSN 2413-3051.
As part of a household energisation experiment, a baseline survey was undertaken from a sample of 152 households in the informal settlement of Samora Machel. The survey covered energy needs for cooking, space heating, water heating, lighting and any other demands, the costs of energy and total household monthly expenses. The average home had 3-4 inhabitants in less than 2 rooms. Paraffin was the primary source of energy for cooking and space heating, and played a significant role in water heating and lighting. Electricity was quite widely available, but was used primarily for low-power services such as radios and cellphones. Only 10% of all homes had a refrigerator. 20% of all homes purchased LP gas regularly but only used it on social occasions. Fuelwood was collected rather than purchased, and mainly burned in an open brazier, both for cooking and space heating. Space heating was primarily by cookstove; only one home had a specially designed heater using paraffin fuel. The median household expenditure was R1 800/month and 20% of this was spent on energy services. About half the homes are at risk of energy poverty, where lack of energy could give rise to a range of health problems, particularly during the colder months.