World Bank Distributes CFL Lightbulbs in Ethiopia

2 September 2010: The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) and the Ethiopian Government designed a comprehensive demand-side programme to relieve pressure from Ethiopia's electricity supply grid, including the free distribution of five million compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to consumers in exchange for their incandescent bulbs.

The distribution coincided with a government-run awareness campaign called “Save Energy,” which highlighted the benefits of saving energy at home and work. Within three months of launching the initiative, with half the bulbs distributed, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation succeeded in reducing peak demand by 80%. Generating this energy using emergency diesel generators would have cost the country an estimated US$100 million, while cost of the CFL distribution amounted to just US$4 million. [World Bank Press Release]