USAID & Smart Utilities

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Visit the USAID Energy Toolkits for interactive training modules and case studies on making utilities smarter and more effective. Check out the Sector Reform Toolkit and Optimal Feeder Level Connection Toolkit for power sector lessons learned.


Take a journey to a fictional developing country, where Luca the CEO grapples with the opportunities and realities of utility reform.


Advancing power sectors’ self-reliance through electricity system loss reduction.

The International Energy Agency estimates that 99 percent of electric energy around the world is provided by electric utilities.

Electricity is a prerequisite for human development. It enables improvements in public health, education, and commerce, which stimulates economies and helps countries transition out of poverty.

Electric utilities in the developing world often suffer from a lack of financial stability and poor operational performance, leading to an undependable electricity supply to citizens and businesses, as well as oftentimes highly indebted power companies. Reforming these entities into commercially viable, high quality electricity service providers is a priority at USAID due to the role that smarter utilities can play in promoting economic and human development.

The USAID Smart Utilities site is a collection of resources dedicated to improving electric utility performance and expanding and sustaining legal electricity access to end-users across the developing world. The site contains links to industry resources, the USAID Energy Toolboxes, and case studies on utility turnaround and improvements, among other features.

These resources serve to augment the in-country support that USAID provides through a number of programs to promote equitable, effective reforms that will enhance the financial viability and long-term sustainability of developing countries’ electricity systems.

Featured USAID Projects

USAID works closely with electric utility companies and governments around the world to improve service reliability, increase collections, reduce electricity theft, and install technologies for enhanced performance.  For example, in Kosovo, USAID helped the state-run power company, KEK, prepare a successful, transparent, competitive tender of its distribution company to a private consortium of electricity providers in order to improve electricity services for Kosovo’s businesses and citizens. Worldwide, USAID promotes utility commercialization and equitable, effective reforms in the electricity sector through its Sector Reform and Utility Commercialization (SRUC) Program.

Learn more about USAID’s featured electricity sector reform projects.

More Info on Smart Utilities

SRUC One Pager
SRUC’s Portfolio
Featured USAID Projects
Reform Stories
Resources & Tools

Did You Know?

  • An estimated 99 percent of electric energy around the world is provided by electric utilities.
  • Total electricity system losses can cost 3-5 percent of developing countries’ annual GDP.
  • The value of the electricity stolen is greater than 1.5 percent of annual GDP in some developing countries.
  • Providing universal electricity access would cost $50 billion in annual investments per year worldwide, the majority of these investment projects would involve a developing country utility.
  • Electricity losses account for 15 percent of all electricity produced in more than 44 developing countries.

Source: International Energy Agency, Navigant Consulting, World Bank


Last updated: August 16, 2019

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