Access to Modern Fuels and Satisfaction with Cooking Arrangements: Survey Evidence from Rural India
Energy for Sustainable Development, Forthcoming
87 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 12, 2017
Subjective satisfaction is a central element of technology adoption, but scholars have not analyzed the determinants of households’ satisfaction with their cooking arrangements. Drawing on an original survey of 8,568 households across six Indian states, we uncover the predictors of such satisfaction. Households do not find firewood collection inconvenient, but they are dissatisfied if they have to travel long distance to purchase firewood. Among sub-components of subjective satisfaction, reduction in smoke, speed of cooking, and quality of meals dominate over others (difficulty, cost, and safety). Moreover, we identify access to LPG – a modern cooking fuel – as a strong and robust predictor of high subjective satisfaction, mostly through reduction in smoke and increase in speed of cooking. Rural households ascribe a lot of value to access modern cooking fuels that reduce indoor air pollution, and beneficiaries of interventions to improve such access would value it. Thus, efforts to reduce reliance on cooking with traditional biomass are not just paternalistic top-down interventions but contribute to significantly improve households’ satisfaction with their cooking arrangements.
Keywords: Energy Poverty, Energy Access, Cooking Fuels, Survey Research, India
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