Energy Consumption of Households (ECHO), a blog series

Prayas (Energy Group) conducted a survey of 3000 households in semi-urban and rural areas of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to understand their energy end-use patterns. This survey was conducted in February-March 2019. ECHO is a series of blog posts presenting the key findings of the survey. This post introduces the series by contextualizing the survey and briefly describing its objective.

India’s annual per capita energy consumption is 0.6 tonnes of oil equivalent, about a third of the world average according to the Economic Survey of 2018-19. The Survey further states that the energy consumption needs to increase four times if India has to achieve a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.8, which is considered to be ‘very high’. There is a major policy push for adoption of clean and efficient energy sources and end-use technologies at household level. SAUBHAGYA has provided 26 million last-mile electricity connections and UJJWALA has provided 75 million LPG connections. Furthermore, there is a push for adoption of LED bulbs, energy efficient appliances, electric vehicles, rooftop solar and other end-use technologies. These policies/programmes along with factors like increase in incomes, urbanization, and rapid technology development are expected to change the household energy consumption patterns substantially. It is crucial to study these emerging patterns and trends. This can inform both policies aimed at influencing demand and planning of resources required to meet the demand. India does not conduct a national level Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) as some other countries do. Data on ownership of different appliances and use of fuels for different end-uses is captured in census and nationally representative surveys like NSSO’s survey on consumer goods. However, detailed information on efficiency, type, age and usage of appliances as well as awareness and impact of related government policies/programmes is not gathered. This information is crucial to assess the ownership and usage patterns for different end-uses and also evaluate the effectiveness of government policies/programmes.

To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a detailed residential energy consumption survey of 3000 semi-urban and rural households of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The objective of our survey is twofold: First, to gather insights on energy consumption patterns in two states at different levels of development; and second, to make a strong case and provide guidelines to conduct a national level residential energy consumption survey in India. Maharashtra is one of the richer states in India with a per capita GDP of ₹ 1,52,122, about three times that of Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra has been early in providing near-universal household access to electricity while Uttar Pradesh joined the ranks only recently. As per the 2011 Census, about 84% of households in Maharashtra used electricity as a primary source of lighting while this share was only about 37% in Uttar Pradesh. Further, 19% of households in Uttar Pradesh owned LPG compared to 43% in Maharashtra in 2011. Although Uttar Pradesh is smaller in size than Maharashtra, its population is 1.8 times that of Maharashtra as it is denser with 829 persons per square km compared to Maharashtra’s 365. We chose semi-urban and rural households as they have been the primary beneficiaries of the recent government initiatives on providing access to electricity, improving electricity supply quality, providing access to LPG and others. Hence, their energy consumption patterns are expected to change substantially. The survey questionnaire focuses on major end-uses like lighting, space conditioning, refrigeration, cooking, water-heating, entertainment, and transport. It also includes questions on factors that can influence consumption patterns such as demographics, electricity supply quality, awareness about government programmes and perceptions related to appliance purchase. Sampling plan and household categorization are briefly described here.


Figure 1: Survey questionnaire framework

Posts in this series so far:

Electricity Supply: Quality issues persist
Lighting: LED all the way
Space-conditioning: Focus on fans and air-coolers for efficiency
Refrigerator and other appliances: Ownership may not always lead to use
Cooking: LPG making inroads but solid fuels linger
Water-heating: An overlooked end-use
Summing Up : Residential Energy Consumption Survey for Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh

Contributors: Aditya Chunekar, Shweta Kulkarni, Abhiram Sahasrabudhe, Mokshda Kaul

Please contact Aditya Chunekar ( or Shweta Kulkarni ( for questions or comments.