Dr T. Thamae, Dr. Z. Thamae and Mr. R. Thamae I National University of Lesotho
This study provides an empirical analysis of the time-varying price and income elasticities of electricity demand in Lesotho for the period 1995-2012 using the Kalman filter approach. The results reveal that economic growth has been one of the main drivers of electricity consumption in Lesotho while electricity prices are found to play a less significant role since they are monopoly-driven and relatively low when compared to international standards. These findings imply that increases in electricity prices in Lesotho might not have a significant impact on consumption in the short-run. However, if the real electricity prices become too high over time, consumers might change their behavior and sensitivity to price and hence, energy policymakers will need to reconsider their impact in the long-run. Furthermore, several exogenous shocks seem to have affected the sensitivity of electricity demand during the period prior to regulation, which made individuals, businesses and agencies to be more sensitive to electricity costs. On the other hand, the period after regulation has been characterized by more stable and declining sensitivity of electricity demand. Therefore, factors such as regulation and changes in the country’s economic activities appear to have affected both price and income elasticities of electricity demand in Lesotho.