Working Paper: Exploring different models of electricity distribution system management

This paper is a part of an ongoing study carried out by Winrock International (supported by the Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) programme under Oxford Policy Management, funded by UKAid) that proposes to examine the impact of two different systems of electricity distribution on the growth of economic enterprises in Nepal. This working paper summarises early findings, mostly focussing on the general performance of distribution systems under the two management approaches. The study has adopted a comparative analysis framework. A total of five geographic areas were selected, and in each area two sites were then selected – one involving a traditional utility managed distribution system and one a community-managed system. Similar sites were selected by using criteria that included: location, number of households, years of system operation, access to market, operational model, access to revolving fund, and whether the system was agency-supported.

The early results show that community-based management systems are more responsive to consumers’ needs than the traditional utility model, are quicker to issue new connections, and suffer less from electricity theft. Community managed systems are not entirely independent and still have to rely on the utility for major repairs or the provision of three-phase meters. Utility managed models have been more effective at promoting energy efficiency measures such as compact fluorescent lightbulbs through a nation-wide campaign.

The full working paper can be accessed from the link below