Why Rural Rich Remain Energy Poor

Bilal Mirza & René Kemp


The paper tries to explore the rationale behind the complexities of energy poverty among different income groups in rural communities. We attempted to understand why rural rich, despite their relatively high purchasing power use energy sources which tend to categorize them as energy poor. Using Energy Poverty Survey (EPS) – a dataset of more than 600 rural households from 27 different rural communities of Punjab, Pakistan, we presented energy access situation in rural households among different income groups. Subsequently, we used logit to assess access factors which could impact the energy source choices among different income groups. The insignificance of household income for traditional biomass use and high significance of community remoteness indicators imply that households give high importance on the proximity of energy sources available to them and, in many cases, will prefer to be in the state of energy poor, than to use modern energy source like LPG.

Keywords: energy poverty, rural rich and poor, rural communities, Punjab, Pakistan, fuelwood, animal waste, plant waste, kerosene, liquid petroleum gas

JEL: Q01, Q42, I32

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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