Disability Insights Report: Transforming Energy Access
Disability is a crucial dimension of inclusivity, encompassing aspects such as income, gender access, and more. To start to understand the profile and experiences of users with disabilities, we use two distinct modules: the Disability Profile Module and the Disability Experience Module.
The Disability Profile Module utilises a set of standardised questions developed by The Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG). The primary objective of the Disability Experience Module is to gain insight into energy product/service accessibility, the impact of disability on usage, and suggestions to improve offering for those with disabilities.
Funded by UK aid via the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme and managed by Carbon Trust, this module was piloted in 12 projects within the 60 Decibels Energy Initiative 2023.
This report provides insights into energy product/service customer households, distinguishing between those with and without disabilities. It also highlights the experiences of individuals with disabilities regarding the specific energy product or service. The data and insights presented here are based on phone interviews with 3,060 customers across 12 energy companies in 7 sub-sectors; improved cookstove (ICS), solar home system (SHS), solar lantern, mini-grid, off-grid refrigerator, solar water pump, and e-mobility.
Some key takeaways
Energy companies are underserving people with disabilities
4.2% of customers interviewed have someone with a disability in the household. This is relative to the global disability rate of 16%.
Disability is a cause and consequence of poverty
We see that households with disability are more likely to be bigger and in rural areas.
Disability excludes some users from using the energy product/service
For the 27% of household members with disabilities not using the energy product/service, for 13% it was due to their disability.
“My 3 children are unable to walk. One is able to take care of himself and communicate but the other two cannot and they have difficulty remembering things also.”Male, 62
“When I walk for too long, my legs hurt and as for my wife, you need to speak loudly for her to hear but this has not affected our usage of the solar home system.”Male, 71
“I usually have them sit a little bit far from the TV but if there could be a setting to regulate the lighting that would be better.”Male, 49