The household energy sector of Mali is characterized by the predominance of wood as the major cooking and heating fuel which provides ninety one per cent of the energy requirements of households.
Malian urban households operate under a severe budget constraint, which limits also its energy use and make it opt for the cheapest forms of energy, wood and charcoal. While a kg of wood costs 21 FCFA, charcoal is available at 60 FCFA per kilo. Lamp kerosene, gas, fuel and batteries come in third and fourth position in the household budget for such uses as lighting, heating, transport by motocycle and operation of radios, torches and television.
Budget constraints and lack of concrete information about saving potentials are among the major factors responsible for the slow adoption of energy-saving equipment, financial reasons being more prominent. Absence of any form of consumer credit e.g. possibility of payment in installments, also restricts the greater diffusion of energy conservation equipment in households and the informal artisan and processing sector.
Continued publicity and awareness creation about energy waste, especially of the most commonly used Fourneau Malgache are necessary to alleviate the urban poors' budget constraint; partial subsidies for certain types of equipment in the form of instalment arrangements and for development and testing of energy-saving equipment appear useful; concentration on those poor in the informal and semi-commercial sectors who derive their income from cooking and food processing would induce further fuel economies.
Massing, A. Access to Energy for the Urban Poor: the Malian Case. (1999) 28 pp.