Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity Survey of States

Abhishek Jain, Sudatta Ray, Karthik Ganesan, Michaël Aklin, Chao-Yo Cheng, Johannes Urpelainen
September 2015 | Clean Air, Energy Transitions

Suggested Citation: Abhishek, Jain, Sudatta Ray, Karthik Ganesan, Michael Aklin, Chao-Yo Cheng, and Johannes Urpelainen. 2015. Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity: Survey of States. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water.  


The Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity – Survey of States (ACCESS) is India's largest energy access survey, covering more than 8500 households, 714 villages and 51 districts, across the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The first ACCESS survey was conducted in 2015.

The ACCESS study is the result of an expansive data collection process, lasting over 12 months and resulting in the collection of over 2.5 million data points. It provides a first-of-its-kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India and highlights the multiple nuances associated with electricity access, such as the duration of supply, quality, reliability, affordability and even the legal status of electricity connections.

Conducted by CEEW in collaboration with Columbia University, with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, ACCESS provides a holistic approach to analyse the deep distress in rural India due to poor electricity access and serves as a handbook for all discussion on this topic. ACCESS has supported policymakers develop region and district-specific solutions, thereby making government programmes for expanding electricity access more effective.

Maintenance work on solar street lighting in Koraput, Odisha (Source: UK Aid)

Key Findings

On Electricity Access

  • Even though 95.5 per cent villages were electrified, only 68.6 per cent of rural households had electricity connections across the six states.
  • Only half the rural households surveyed received electricity for more than 12 hours a day. This was as high as 97.5 per cent for West Bengal and as low as 23.5 per cent for Uttar Pradesh.
  • Proportion of rural households that received four or more hours of evening supply varied from 93 per cent in West Bengal to more than 70 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to less than 30 per cent in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Sixty-five per cent of electrified households faced at least one black-out day in a month.
  • Sixty-four per cent of electrified households in Bihar used kerosene as a primary lighting source.
  • For a lifeline consumption of 30 units/month, unmetered households were paying more than metered households.
  • Even a household electricity connection did not guarantee its use as a primary source of lighting; 46 per cent of households having electricity connections had severe issues in terms of supply quality and duration.
  • A significant lag existed between the time a village was first electrified and when the households got electrified. This varied from a median lag of 25 years for a rural household in Odisha to 15 years for households in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to only two years in Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • Nearly a third of the households expressed preference for a micro-grid over regular grid.
  • Nearly 80 per cent rural households expressed a preference for a subsidy on solar lanterns in lieu of subsidy on kerosene.

Electricity access index for six states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2015

On Cooking Energy

  • Despite 22 per cent of rural households having an LPG connection, 95 per cent of rural households across the six states continued to use traditional fuels such as firewood, dung cakes and agricultural waste for cooking, resulting in prolonged exposure to the health hazards posed by indoor air pollution.
  • For nearly six per cent of rural households, amounting to nearly 22 million people, the severe lack of fuel availability adversely impacted the amount of food cooked.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 70 per cent of the households had to buy a part or all of the biomass required for cooking. Across the six states, 56 per cent of the households had to do the same.
  • Median monthly expenditure of households that buy traditional fuels (INR 563) was more than that of households that relied exclusively on LPG (INR 385).
  • Ninety-five per cent of households cited affordability of LPG connections as the main limiting factor to not adopt LPG. Other major barriers were high recurring costs and lack of LPG distribution in rural areas.
  • The median distance that a typical rural household had to travel (one way) to get their LPG cylinder was 6 km. The median distance varied from 3km in West Bengal to 11km in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Of the households having no LPG connection, nearly 40 per cent were unaware about the subscription process. This lack of awareness was more prevalent in Bihar and Odisha.
  • Over one-third of the households were not aware (or did not believe) that using LPG over a traditional chulha could have positive health benefits.
  • Only 11 per cent of the households that used the chulha reported finding it convenient and easy to use.
  • Less than one per cent rural households used improved cookstoves (0.74 per cent) and biogas (0.21 per cent) for cooking.

Clean cooking energy access index across six states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2015

The ACCESS Survey report was launched in New Delhi in September 2015 by the Minister for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal. Delivering the keynote address, he said, “In urban India, we often take electricity for granted without realizing the poor state of electricity access faced by large parts of rural India. Though 96 per cent of villages are electrified, it is crucial to note that this does not equal to electrification of the households. Rural citizens today demand quality electricity to light their homes, use fans, charge mobiles and provide a conducive environment for the education of their children.”

ACCESS found that despite 96 per cent of villages in India being electrified, only two-thirds of rural households have a connection and only half of them receive more than 12 hours of power a day.

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