REPP is utilizing novel data collection and analysis tools from development economics to examine the impacts of electrifying rural households in Kenya. DIL researchers at UC Berkeley are working with local government and industry partners to collect comprehensive engineering and household survey data before and after grid extensions. The REPP team’s research discovered that in Kenya, roughly half of the unconnected households in their study area fell into this “under-grid” category-close to the existing grid yet lacking the last mile household connection. In partnership with Kenya Power and the Kenya Rural Electrification Authority (REA), the DIL team studied households’ willingness to pay, and the impact of connecting households to the grid, by offering randomized subsidies for grid connection. Despite the relatively low per-home cost to connect to the grid, the evaluation showed weak demand for connections. They also found that households do not benefit enough from a grid connection (in terms of income, health, education, and other development outcomes) to justify the cost.
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