by: Douglas F. Barnes, Kyran O'Sullivan
Accurate data on household energy use, combined with other data on
household well-being (including consumption, income, health, and
education), is essential to monitor progress in the household energy
transition from traditional biomass fuels to modern fuels and
electricity and to evaluate the effect of government energy policies on
living conditions. Multi-topic socioeconomic household surveys, such as
the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS), can
provide data with which to make these measurements.
Designers of LSMS and other multi-topic household surveys can use
these guidelines to help ensure that their surveys provide more
extensive and reliable data on household energy use than they do at
present. The guidelines highlight weaknesses in current LSMS surveys
with respect to energy questions and discuss how such questions can be
better formulated to yield more useful data for energy policy analysis.
Household energy surveys implemented over the years offer lessons on
which formulations of questions work best and provide the most
consistent results. This experience has been drawn on to develop the
prototype fuel and electricity modules contained in these guidelines.
Indicators that may be constructed from the data are also discussed; in
this regard, the present report contributes to international efforts to
define energy indicators for sustainable development. It is anticipated
that these guidelines will help LSMS designers incorporate energy
modules of the type proposed herein into LSMS survey questionnaires.
Over time, as more surveys containing these modules are implemented,
more experience will be gained on which questions work best in
particular country settings and which are most useful for policy
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