Smart Power India (SPI) released the findings of its joint study with NITI Aayog and the Rockefeller Foundation on ‘Electricity access and benchmarking of distribution utilities’. The study was conducted across 10 states with a sample size of over 25,000 respondents consisting of different consumer categories such as households, agriculture, commercial enterprises and institutions both from rural and urban areas. It also captures insights from both the demand side namely the electricity customer and the supply side viz. the distribution utilities. The Access Study comes almost two years after India achieved 100% household electrification. The study primarily evaluates the status of electricity access in India across different states, benchmarks distribution utilities’ capacity to provide electricity access and provides, recommendations to help DISCOMs realize their full potential.
Jaideep Mukherji, CEO, Smart Power India said: “India in recent years has emerged as one of the leaders in providing access to electricity to its citizens, almost doubling the access rate in the past 20 years from 59.4% to extending grid connections to 100% households in the country. This has been made possible through a multitude of efforts, including enhancing power generation to reduce supply deficits, strengthening the backbone of the electricity supply infrastructure, and ensuring last-mile connectivity for different customer segments. However, despite achieving 100% household electrification, access to reliable and affordable electricity supply continues to remain a major challenge even today. It is time to focus on the sustainability of electricity access and craft an action plan to resolve the barriers.”
The study brings out important findings on grid connectivity, electricity access, customer satisfaction, state of utility capacity to deliver and sustainability drive for utilities.
Ashvin Dayal, Sr. Vice President, Power, Rockefeller Foundation, USA observed: “India’s success in enabling electricity connections to millions of unelectrified populations underlines its strong commitment to achieving energy security for all. As India moves the spotlight on ensuring reliable and affordable electricity supply, it is a good time to map, assess, and benchmark the capacity of its electricity distribution utilities, helping them enhance their overall performance to serve the growing energy needs of a billion people. The next phase of growth in the power sector should be led by supportive domestic regulatory and policy reforms for ensuring increased self-reliance and organizational efficiency.”
As the power sector seeks to achieve greater self-reliance and sound financial health, delivery effectiveness and, customer satisfaction will play a crucial role in strengthening the overall performance of the sector.