Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC

Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC


NITI Aayog, Rockefeller Foundation & Smart Power India Launch Electricity Access & Utility Benchmarking Report

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Power
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Electricity : Report


For PRELIMS note down the key points from this report . Aim , publishers , comparisons are very important and keep an eye on the toppers of the index.

For MAINS go with the policy recommendations . These pointers can serve the purpose of fetching maximum marks in Mains.


The study suggested that a total of 66% of those surveyed were satisfied––74% of customers in urban areas and 60% in rural areas.



Electricity Access in India Benchmarking Distribution Utilities 2020


  • NITI Aayog
  • Ministry of Power
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Smart Power India


The report is aimed at capturing insights from both the demand (electricity customers) as well as supply side (electricity distribution utilities).

The report seeks to:

  • Evaluate the status of electricity access in India across these states and distribution utilities along all dimensions that constitute meaningful access.

Benchmark utilities capacity to provide electricity access and identify the drivers of sustainable access.

  • Develop recommendations for enhancing sustainable electricity access.


  • The survey was conducted across 10 states representing about 65% of the total rural population of India.

It was with a sample size of more than 25,000, including households, commercial enterprises and institutions.

  • The report also assesses 25 distribution utilities.


  • As much as 92% of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises.
  • Overall, 87% of the surveyed customers have access to grid-based electricity.
  • The remaining 13% either use non-grid sources or don’t use any electricity at all.

The hours of supply have improved significantly across the customer categories to nearly 17 hours per day.

  • Nearly 85% of customers reported to have a metered electricity connection.
  • Access to electricity is observed in 83% of household customers.
  • A satisfaction index was created to assess the overall satisfaction level of customers with utility services.


India has achieved a 100% connection rate for all its willing households: a considerable achievement resulting from a series of ambitious programs.

  • However, providing reliable power of adequate quality on regular basis is an ongoing and evolving challenge for the Indian power sector.

The study seeks to support the below listed objectives of three key stakeholders in India’s power sector:

  • NITI AAYOG : Baselining of the current status of rural electricity supply and service in terms of quantity and quality .
  • MINISTRY OF POWER (MoP) : Baselining the performance of distribution utilities on forthcoming sectoral reforms to enhance viability of DISCOMs.
  • DISCOMs : Captures the status of access for all major customer categories, customer satisfaction etc.


  • It launches the first ever India-specific framework for comprehensive measurement of electricity access.

The report condenses findings from one of the largest ever surveys on electricity access on household electrification SAUBHAGYA.

  • It provides a rich dataset of 25,000 customers, across 4 customer groups including agriculture spread over 25 DISCOMs.



  • Parameters include availability of infrastructure, alternative sources of electricity, and reasons for not taking connection from the electricity grid.
  • A primary parameter in consideration for assessing connectivity is Availability rate.

In total, 92% of customers reported availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 meters of their premises.

  • The near 100% access rate indicates that the Saubhagya scheme has been successful in connecting households to the grid.
  • It is interesting to note that, of unconnected commercial customers, almost half stated that the main reason was unaffordability.

Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC



  • For achieving the milestone of 24*7 power for all, certain factors are found to be key determinants.

(92%) of household customers with a gridbased electricity connection have a low sanctioned load of 0–1 kW.

  • POWER AVAILABILITY : The hours of supply have increased significantly and stands at approximately 17 hours per day.
  • POWER RELIABILITY : It was measured through the number of power cuts
  • CONNECTION CAPACITY : It is the sanctioned load of the grid electricity connection.

Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC


  • Overall, 63% of customers reported more than one voltage fluctuation in a week, and 10% reported more than 10 voltage fluctuations per day in the past 1 week.
  • Safety measures were also analyzed. Overall, 16% of customers reported electrical accidents in the past year.
  • Customer service encompassed customers’ expectations of electricity services such as metering, billing frequency etc.


Customer satisfaction is often considered the end goal of a service-driven industry.

The index uses following parameters :

  • Satisfaction with power reliability
  • Satisfaction with billing and collection process

Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC


  • Satisfaction with complaint resolution process
  • Satisfaction with the service provided by utility staff

Only 55% customers were satisfied with the quality of their electricity supply.


  • The study focused on a distribution utility’s capacity to deliver electricity access sustainably.

The parameter is characterized by its internal capacity in two areas: infrastructural capacity and operational and institutional capacity.

  • SUBSTATION CAPACITY RATIO : A higher ratio is desirable as it indicates that the network has adequate capacity to absorb peak loads and cater to increasing customer demand for electricity.
  • HIGH-TENSION TO LOW-TENSION NETWORK RATIO: A high ratio of HT:LT network length is indicative of lower technical losses and also ensures minimum drops in system voltages at the tail end.
  • AVERAGE 11 KV FEEDER CAPACITY : The 11 kV feeder capacity reflects the utility’s ability to cater to the demand generated by the downstream customer load.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • Revamp New Electricity Connection Process to Enable Quick, Transparent and Easy Turnaround, with Focus on Non-Household Customer
  • Design utility policies that prioritize the release of new connections for non household customers
  • Simplify and standardize the new connection application process and minimize the documentation requirements
  • Institute an online/app-based process for quick release of new connections

Prepare for DBT Implementation by Initiating Public Outreach Campaigns to Increase Customer Awareness and Ensuring KYC Completion by Utilities

  • Establish a streamlined, on-time, and proactive subsidy transfer/payment process for customers to pay for their electricity
  • Enhance the reach of banking channels, especially for rural customers
  • Enable Capacity Building of Regulatory Commissions to Resolve Utility Viability Challenges
  • Set realistic efficiency benchmarks for utility performance
  • Initiate reforms based upon “customer capacity to pay

Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC | PAYMENT



  • Strengthen Customer Engagement Through Deployment of Standard Operating Procedures

Standardize the customer interface processes

  • Adhere to the Standards of Performance determined by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission


  • Implement Data-Driven Planning for All Future Investments in Distribution Infrastructure, With a Focus on Improving Reliability and Quality of Supply
  • Implement 100% customer and system metering
  • Reduce the length of 11 kV feeders and LT lines
  • Implement fixed asset registers
  • Implement smart-grid technology and smart equipment
  • Commit to periodic review and approval of infrastructure plans through the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
  • Segregate agricultural feeders and implement underground and LT aerial bunched cabling

Digitalize the Metering, Billing, and Collection (MBC) Cycle Through Implementation of Smart Metering and Demand-Side Management Measures

  • Increase customer awareness and incentives to switch to smart metering
  • Provide an incentive scheme for utilities for smart metering roll-out
  • Encourage demand-side management
  • Investment in strong IT infrastructure has helped us streamline our operations, connect better with customers, and reduce operational costs.


  • Strengthen Utilities Capacity by Redesigning Organizational Structures.
  • Determine which functions to keep inhouse or outsource
  • Implement performance management systems for employees
  • Strengthen power procurement departments and the power trading function

Assess skills and develop need-based training and incentive plans for employees, especially field staff

  • Implement an enforcement mechanism for theft identification


ACCIDENTS (ELECTRICITY) | Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC : SMARTPOWERINDIA.ORG


Enable Technology for System-Led Reporting and Decision-Making for Regulatory Filings and Reporting on Standards of Performance (SoP)



Based upon the insight gained from this study of 25,000 electricity customers across 10 states and 25 state distribution utilities, the report has eight recommendations:

  1. Revamp new electricity connection process to enable quick, transparent and easy turnaround, with focus on non-household customers.
  2. Prepare for DBT implementation by initiating public outreach campaigns to increase customer awareness and ensuring KYC completion by utilities.
  3. Enable capacity building of regulatory commissions to resolve utility viability challenges on account of widening cost coverage.
  4. Strengthen customer engagement through deployment of standard operating procedures.
  5. Implement data-driven planning for all future investments in distribution infrastructure.
  6. Digitalize the metering, billing, and collection (MBC) cycle through implementation of smart metering and demand-side management measures.
  7. Strengthen utilities’ capacity by redesigning organizational structures to reflect evolving market requirements.
  8. Enable technology for system-led reporting and decision-making for regulatory filings and reporting on Standards of Performance (SoP) .
     SOURCES: PIB | Electricity Access in India Report 2020 | UPSC



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