Since 1994 the South African Government has introduced many laudable and strong pro-poor energy policies, notably the 1998 White Paper on Energy, Free Basic Electricity (FBE), Free Basic Alternative Energy (FBAE) and an impressive national electrification and housing programme. Despite these enormous efforts the country still grapples with energy poverty 20 years into democracy. If the country is to achieve a reduction in energy poverty and reach its goal of universal access to energy, then policy and regulatory frameworks and approaches as well as resources to support energy service delivery, need ongoing constructive review. This booklet briefly examines alternative energy technologies and associated energy sources available in the market that are cleaner, appropriate, applicable and sustainable relative to those that are currently available and used by informal households for their domestic energy requirements. Key issues, including technical specification, impacts and risks, pro’s, con’s, availability and social acceptability factors for each of the alternative technology and fuel options are highlighted, serving as a cost benefit and emissions analysis by which options can be compared easily against each other. This overview is not comprehensive, but has been developed as the start of a knowledge base on alternative household energy services. It should also be noted that the financing and delivery mechanisms for alternative energy service delivery are not discussed here.