Household Energy Consumption: Community Context and Fuelwood Transition

Publication Abstract

Link, Cynthia F., William G. Axinn, and Dirgha J. Ghimire. 2012. "Household Energy Consumption: Community Context and Fuelwood Transition." Social Science Research 41:598-611.

We examine the influence of community context on change over time in households’ use of non-wood fuels. Our theoretical framework builds on sociological concepts in order to study energy consumption at the micro-level. The framework emphasizes the importance of nonfamily organizations and services in the local community as determinants of the transition from use of fuelwood to use of alternative fuels. We use multilevel longitudinal data on household fuel choice and community context from rural Nepal to provide empirical tests of our theoretical model. Results reveal that increased exposure to nonfamily organizations in the local community increases the use of alternative fuels. The findings illustrate key features of human impacts on the local environment and motivate greater incorporation of social organization into research on environmental change.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.12.007

PMCID: PMC3461177