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Household energy isn't all stoves

Intermediate Technology Development Group
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When people talk about 'household energy', most people automatically think of stoves. A lot of attention has been paid to improving stoves to make them more energy efficient and to reduce their pollution. This is one side of the 'stoves' approach, whilst others look at the 'supply' side of the problem by, for example, setting up woodlots. However, without wanting to take away from the very important work of trying to find solutions to meet this basic need, one should be asking 'Is this all there is to household energy? Once every household has an improved stove, will their energy problems be solved?' The answer is 'No'. This is because the energy needs of a household are more than what is needed to heat the cooking pot. There is the need for lighting, and in some places for heating. People are becoming more aware of the possibilities of electricity, for example, radios and sewing machines. Their needs are becoming more complex. This requires a change in approach about the way we consider household energy. We have to think more in terms of energy services to the household. Then we have to look beyond the walls of the household and see what goes on outside and how it relates the household and its energy needs.

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