Rising temperatures and power outages: 85% of Indian households surveyed face power outages every day; 37% of them face 2-8 hours of outage daily
- ● 57% households surveyed confirm experiencing up to 2 hours of outage daily
- ● 22% households surveyed say they experience 3-5 outages each day on average
May 15, 2023, New Delhi: After unexpected spells of rains in some parts of the country, mostly in the northern region, possibilities of a hotter than normal summer is not ruled out before monsoon sets in, according to an IMD bulletin. The larger question is whether higher temperature would lead to more demand for power and possible shortage? In anticipation of such a scenario, the government has allowed more import of coal while Coal India Ltd, the world largest coal miner, has raised its production to be able to help power plants maintain smooth operations. For the last few months, India has been falling short on being able to meet the peak demand, which in April was 2,16,870 MW but the supply available was 2,15,882 MW, with the northern region being short of 744MW and the eastern region short of 299MW, according to the monthly bulletin of the Central Electricity Authority. Shortage in power supply translated into power cuts in both rural and urban areas. The situation is likely to get worse as the peak demand rises with the rise in temperature.
Last year, higher than normal demand for power in states like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh led to these states witnessing power cuts for several hours as industrial activity revived and consumer demand rose in the wake of the heat wave during summer season.
As maximum temperatures in most parts of the country rise including in some of the northern states, LocalCircles has strived to find out how households are doing in regard to power outages. Already in anticipation of higher demand, many states like Delhi have made arrangements or are in the process of arranging additional power supply. The survey received over 25,000 responses from households located in 272 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 46% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 21% respondents were from tier 3 & 4 districts.
85% of households surveyed are facing power outages one or more times a day
The survey first sought to know from consumers whether the power outage at their home occurred once a day or more every day. The question received 12,639 responses out of which 63% or almost 6 out of 10 respondents indicated that power outage happens 1-2 times every day, while 22% indicated that it happened 3-5 times a day. However, 9% of respondents to the question stated that they are not sure as they have round the clock power backup and 6% opted for “can’t say”. In effect, 85% of those surveyed are facing power outages one or more times a day and many find themselves helpless to do anything without alternatives like diesel generators or inverters, etc.
37% of those surveyed indicated they face power outage for 2- 4 hours every day
The next question in the survey asked respondents facing power outages, “On average how many hours of power outage (from the utility company) are you experiencing each day at your home?” This survey question received 12,803 responses with 57% indicating up to 2 hours power outages daily; 31% indicated 2-4 hours of power outages and 6% indicated experiencing 4-8 hours of outages. There were 6% respondents who indicated that they “Can’t Say as they were unsure of the hours they experienced it. In all of those households who experienced outages, 57% of the households surveyed indicated that they face up to 2 hours power outage every day and in the case of 37% of those surveyed the power outage experienced is 2- 8 hours.
Union Budget 2023-24 allocation of INR 35,000 Cr. for priority capital investment towards energy transition from coal and oil based thermal power generation to green energy will help catalyze our Net Zero journey. But as the transition will take time and most of our power utilities are in poor financial health, the gap between power generation and demand will only grow as was seen in 2022.
In summary, the survey finds that 85% of the households surveyed in India are facing power outages every day and 22% of them face 3-5 outages on average daily. Of those who face outages, 37% households surveyed said they faced 2-8 hours of outage each day while others faced less than 2 hours of daily outage. These are concerning numbers given that for majority of the country, the temperatures are likely to touch new highs in the next 4 weeks which could worsen the power outage situation.
The survey received over 23,000 responses from consumers located in 272 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 46% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 21% respondents were from tier 3 & 4 districts.The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.