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Public utilities and low income customers – A marketing approach

Quentin T. Wodon (World Bank (LCSPP), Washington, DC)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Publication date: 1 June 2000

Abstract

There is increasing recognition of the importance of dealing with material hardship rather than just income poverty. This paper deals with electricity disconnection and shows how Electricité de France (EDF), the French monopoly provider of electricity, has been testing a number of new policy instruments to avoid disconnection among its low income residential customers. EDF’s approach is grounded in marketing principles and techniques both in terms of its willingness to respond to French public opinion on the need to reduce poverty and hardship, and in terms of its use of poor customers surveys to analyze the satisfaction of this segment of clientele to its energy assistance programs. EDF’s programmes show how utilities, both public and private, can go beyond financial assistance as represented by the LIHEAP energy voucher programme in the USA.

Keywords

Citation

Wodon, Q.T. (2000), "Public utilities and low income customers – A marketing approach", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 222-240. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550010345964

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited