Satisfaction level for grid electricity decline and scope of solar products in increasing in UP, Bihar and West Bengal

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 By Mukta kaushik,

NEW DELHI : People are started to rely more on solar electricity and satisfaction level is declining for Grid electricity among people, especially in poor states of India. A study conducted by CEEW ( and John Hopkins University ( suggested that there is an opportunity for off-grid companies that are able to impress customers with better-than expected service.

For this paper survey was conducted by Morsel Research and Development Pvt Ltd. ( in 6 energy-poor states of India namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal, to access levels of satisfaction across technologies and patterns of subjective satisfaction related to average daily hours of electricity usage amongst users of different technologies. This was done so that policy using off-grid solutions can be formulated in energy-poor countries.It was found that association was stronger amongst users of grid electricity and weaker for those who rely on off-grid technologies.

For this, a survey of 8,566 households was conducted in 6 above mentioned states and statistically representative data was collected to examine levels of subjective satisfaction across technologies- grid electricity, solar home systems (SHS) and microgrids (solar or diesel)- and how subjective satisfaction is dependent on average daily users of different technologies. The satisfaction level was measured at a 3 point scale from 0 to 2.

It was observed that Mean reported satisfaction was highest for West Bengal and lowest for Jharkhand. However, this does not reflect the different technologies being used for electricity access.

So, to analyze satisfaction with electricity access based on whether they have a grid connection or rely on off-grid technologies data was collected for 5,953 households that have access to some electricity. The focus was on the technology used to access electricity, subjective satisfaction and number of hours of electricity received.

It was found that there is a robust positive relation between electricity hours and satisfaction, with the satisfaction level decreasing amongst grid user’s lower numbers of electricity hours, but this was not the case with off-grid technology users.

This is because though off-grid provides electricity for limited hours but is available when needed the most which is not the case with grid electricity.12.7 Or more hours is considered high for grid electricity whereas 4.755 hours for off-grid.

It was found the distribution of satisfaction was relatively smaller for off-grid users with high and low hours of electricity given the lower number of respondents for that group. However, there was a significant difference between grid users with high hours and those with low hours. Grid users with high hours showed less dissatisfaction whereas those with low hours report being unsatisfied with their electricity access.

The results suggest that households have much higher expectations from grid electricity than that of off-grid solutions and lower dissatisfaction amongst off-grid users may be the result of lower expectations. Moreover, though it provides light for less number of hours it provides electricity when needed most could be the primary driver for higher satisfaction.

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