Synovate India Ltd. was commissioned to carry out a survey on ‘ability and willingness to pay’ across 8 states of India (Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jharkand, Orissa, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat). The objective of this survey was to find out actual willingness to pay for a monthly electricity bill as well as the initial amount to be paid for an electricity connection. Willingness to pay amongst people was also assessed in relation to their landownership. The survey was conducted in 240 villages across 16 districts, covering a total of 1920 households.
There is a myth in India that the cost of subsidy to provide energy services to the poor is very heavy. Very often, it is said that the poor are not willing to pay for the services they get and the government has no option but to go on increasing subsidies since provision of energy services is seen more as a ‘welfare activity’ rather than an ‘economic activity’. Vasudha Foundation in collaboration with Samvad, Ranchi carried out a study across 8 states of India, to assess the rural poor’s ability and willingness to pay for energy services; and dispel this belief.
This report carries excerpts of a national survey conducted in India on the ‘ability and willingness to pay for energy services’ by rural communities.
Rural Electrification in India: A Progress Report
India continues to face huge energy deficits. Frequent power outages and disruptions in electricity supply have become a norm too. The overall deficit of power is close to 86,000 Million kWh, with daily peak hours demand shortage being 13,000 Million kWh, resulting in power outages ranging from 2-20 hours on a daily basis.