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Getting Electricity

A Pilot Study by the Doing Business Project
Author: Doing Business
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Getting Electricity presents findings on the kinds of constraints entrepreneurs around the world face in getting access to electricity and illustrates patterns in connection processes. The study tracks all the procedures, the time, and the cost required for a business to obtain an electricity connection for a newly constructed building. It highlights economies where this process is efficient and others where it could be made simpler and more efficient.

The study provides information on a number of issues for which data previously did not exist for such a large number of countries. These include the efficiency and cost of the services provided to commercial customers by distribution utilities, the complexity of procedures, and the resources expended by businesses in obtaining a connection.

Main Findings

  • Connection costs are not simply a function of the level of development of the country.
  • The study finds that the number of interactions customers have with the utility and other agencies is one of the most important determinants of connection delays. In the 10 economies with the fewest procedures, the process of obtaining an electricity connection takes only 56 days on average. In the 10 economies with the most procedures, it takes 215 days.
  • Connection delays increase where utilities do not have readily available the materials needed to connect customers. This problem is most acute in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Survey respondents reported additional wait times of up to 150 days when the utility did not have such critical materials as distribution transformers or meters in stock.