In November 2015, 753 households in the municipalities of Dedoplistskaro and Akhmeta were interviewed with regard to their energy consumption. The questions addressed energy used for space heating, cooking and hot water supply, as well as the consumption of natural gas and electricity. Special attention was given to the supply and consumption of firewood, as the overall objective of this assessment was to derive recommendations for forest management planning in the two project areas of the GIZ program Sustainable Management of Biodiversity, South Caucasus.
The assessment showed that the mean annual energy demand per household is 75GJ for both regions. The largest share of this energy is supplied by firewood (47%), followed by natural gas, with bottled gas and electricity providing significantly smaller amounts. It should be kept in mind that no current figures for the number of households per municipality could be made available. Most of the energy is used for space heating (82%), followed by cooking (7%) and warm water supply (7%). The specific heat demand per m2 was calculated to be 395 kWh, which corresponds to values found in neighboring countries such as the Russian Federation with 382 KWh/m2 but is rather high compared to the EU average lying between 150 and 300 Kwh/m2. Electricity represents the smallest sector of energy consumption with 4%. As most of the energy is needed for space heating, it is significant that the findings uniformly show housing is not thermally insulated, the conversion technology is inefficient and the quality of the firewood is low. 90% of the firewood is burnt within the first three months after purchase.
On average, about 8m3 of firewood are needed per household, whereas the mean consumption of firewood equals about 9 m3 and in Akhmeta only about 7.5 m3. The majority spends between 350 and 700 GEL for firewood per year, which corresponds to 1-2 months of average household income (350 GEL). This leads to a demand for firewood of ≈ 59,000m3 and 51,000m3 in Dedoplistskaro. These figures lead to questions regarding the official timber harvest amounts, which are 10,000m3 in Akhmeta, for instance. The amount of registered harvest is less than a fifth of what the actual demand of firewood is estimated to be. On the other hand, local wood sellers estimated that 70,000m3 of firewood are purchased per year in Akhmeta, which exceeds this assessment’s estimate, but is closer to the actual amount than the official figures.
Download the study report – Energy demand assessment in the municipalities of Dedoplistskaro and Akhmeta