Blog Post - May 2021

Energy efficiency and electricity reliability: Externality impacts of compact fluorescent lamps

Eliana Carranza, Robyn Meeks
Energy-efficient technologies can mean more reliable electricity supply for everyone served by the same infrastructure whether or not they adopt the technologies. To estimate the impacts of energy-efficient lighting, we conducted a randomised experiment wherein we distributed CFLs in a district near the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic (Carranza and Meeks 2021). We observe three main results: 1. Households in the treatment arm with transformers and a higher CFL saturation report about two fewer days (in the prior month) without electricity due to unplanned outages. 2. The impacts of CFL distribution on households' electricity consumption vary according to the CFL saturation within a transformer. 3. Control households in treated transformers have significantly more CFLs than the “pure” control households in control transformers.