Energy Poverty: An Opportunity for CSR and Social Impact? The Case of DOMI Earth in Taiwan

Abstract

In the midst of Taiwan’s clean energy transition, social enterprise DOMI has found an opportunity to support families living with poverty while reducing carbon emissions. Their initial success providing energy-saving lighting to combat household energy poverty has generated interest from other cities and counties in Taiwan. DOMI’s founders think that corporate philanthropy might allow them to scale the initiative to places where government funding is not available. In order to convince corporate donors that their project merits investment, DOMI will need to show the value generated by every dollar invested. In the process, DOMI will need to think deeply about how to make intangible value explicit. This case encourages students to reflect on the multiple facets of value for projects that seek to be efficient while meeting important social and environmental needs.

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Resources
Appendix 1: Project Costs

Price to sponsor per household served

NTD 10,000

Labor cost share

25%

Materials cost share

40%

Overhead cost share

35%

Appendix 2: Tangible Benefits

Average number of lights

8

Lighting hours per month before intervention

240

Lighting hours per month following intervention

300

Average watts per hour per light prior to intervention

27.4

Average watts per hour per light following intervention

11.7

Average cost of electricity per kWh

NTD 3.1

Kg CO2e coefficient per kWh

0.55

Reference carbon price per metric ton (ADB, 2016)

NTD 1,116

Appendix 3: DOMI Energy Poverty Project Video

In this video, DOMI’s founders, partners, and beneficiaries explain the project and some of its unexpected social outcomes. Click below to watch the video with students.

Video 1. DOMI Energy & Poverty Stoplight

<iframe height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ovg2ObWF_OE" width="560"/>

Appendix 4: Tables
Table 1. Household Cleanliness

Average housekeeping hours per week prior to intervention 1

3

Percent decrease in time required to clean house

10

Average housekeeping years

10

Table 2. Elder Care

Average number of elderly household members

0.5

Average caretaking hours per week prior to intervention 1

7

Average caretaking years

5

Percent decrease in time required to deliver care

12

Percent improvement attributed to external caretakers 3

20

Table 3. Children Doing Homework at Home

Average number of children per household

1

Average hours of homework per child per week prior to intervention 1

5

Average number of homework years

5

Percent increase of homework hours following intervention (Year 1)

50

Percent increase of homework hours following intervention (after Year 1) 2

10

School weeks in the year

40

Hourly cost of a desk in a study space

NTD 35

Notes

1. Deadweight: What would have happened without the intervention?

2. Dropoff: Does the outcome drop off in future years following the intervention?

3. Attribution: What percentage of the improvement can be attributed to factors beyond DOMI’s intervention?

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