Data Portal

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Electricity outages and residential fires: Evidence from Cape Town, South Africa
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
URL https://www.keriannelawson.com/s/Electricity_Outages_and_House_Fires-3.pdf
Abstract
At the end of 2014, South Africa was unexpectedly required to implement load shedding, which is electricity blackouts aimed at relieving strain on the electrical grid. Soon after, it was revealed that the nationally owned power company, Eskom, had been neglecting infrastructure maintenance and that the people should expect load shedding to continue for many more years. The article explores behavioral responses to load shedding in terms of household energy consumption, and then considers the prevalence of fires as a potential consequence. After load shedding started, there is evidence that households substituted away from using electricity to alternative energy sources for cooking and lighting energy. By exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in the timing and spacing of load shedding, estimates show that likelihood of residential fires increases when load shedding occurs in an area. However, the increased risk of fire does not affect all individuals equally. Informal dwellings are more prone to fires on load shedding days than formal dwellings

Related studies

»
»
»
»
»
»
»