Assessment of perceived characteristics of solar lamps in Khayelitsha

Conference Paper


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title



University of Cape Town


Domestic Use of Energy (DUE), 2014 Proceedings of the Twenty-Second

Energy plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of any nation. Nevertheless, many people do not have access to modern energy services for lighting or other applications. Solar lamps are an innovation of modern lighting services for low-income households. In spite of the benefits associated with the adoption of solar lamps there have been few attempts for the diffusion of this technology among South Africa residences. The objective of this study was to assess perceived characteristics of solar lamps from persons in non-electrified households in Khayelitsha, Cape Town (South Africa). Such households rely predominantly on paraffin lamps and candles for lighting. The authors wished to assess public perceived characteristics of solar lamps (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity and affordability in a preliminary persuasive stage). Primary data was collected through use of a structured questionnaire (respondents completed 26). Each response - from `strongly disagree' to `strongly agree' received an integer score of 1 to 5. In addition, data reliability was determined by using Cronbach's Alpha. Results indicated most respondents perceived solar lamps as more advantageous, compatible and affordable than paraffin lamps and candles. Answers swayed more towards `disagree' on the complexity of the technology. The values of alpha ranged from 0.46 (for affordability) to 0.84 (for relative advantage, indicating solar lamps had a significant perceived relative advantage over paraffin lamps and candles.