71% of consumers in India willing to pay higher rates for electricity from renewable energy sources
According to a first-of-its-kind survey conducted by Mercom Capital
Group titled 'India Renewable Energy Awareness Survey,' only 56% of
Indian consumers have heard of 'renewable energy' or 'clean energy', and
only 27% of consumers have heard of 'energy efficiency'. Although
awareness was low, 71% of Indian consumers surveyed are willing to pay
higher rates for electricity from renewable energy sources.
Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy consulting and
communications firm, surveyed more than 500 commercial, residential and
rural consumers in India that resulted in strong evidence that consumers
are willing to pay more for uninterrupted power and the opportunity to
use renewable energy.
A surprising finding was that 65% of consumers in India are willing to
pay more for uninterrupted power. There is a common misconception in
India that consumers will not pay more for power, which has been the
driving force behind state government policies that have been reluctant
to raise power prices to reflect rising costs. This has led to decreased
revenue among the power utilities, huge losses, continued power cuts
and lack of financial resources to invest in power projects and
With policies like 'Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission' being
implemented and renewable energy gaining importance as a future energy
source in India, understanding the perceptions of consumers about
renewable energy is a vital factor for these policies to succeed.
"Policies are implemented from the top down without any input or buy-in
from consumers," commented Raj Prabhu of Mercom Capital Group. "There
seems to be a general lack of education and awareness among consumers on
these issues. How do you expect consumers to support and adopt
renewable energy if they don't understand what it is? Energy efficiency
tends to cost a fraction compared to new supply but unless consumers are
educated about these programs the adoption will be slow and
Some of Mercom's survey findings included:
- When asked about benefits of renewable energy, 81% pointed out 'good
for environment' as a benefit, 54% said 'no power cuts' and 47% said
'lower energy bills' was a benefit of renewable energy.
- Solar was the most identified form of renewable energy with 92% of the
consumers having heard of it, mainly due to the prevalence of solar
water heaters. Only 49% of consumers had heard of wind energy.
- 82% of survey respondents overwhelmingly support renewable energy
projects and 90% said government should support renewable energy.
"Overall we found a general lack of education and understanding about
renewable energy and energy efficiency," continued Raj Prabhu of Mercom
Capital Group. "For any policy or program to achieve broad success,
there needs to be a sustained education and communications initiative to
get the consumers' buy-in."
A total of 509 respondents were interviewed for this survey. The survey
was conducted face-to-face due to limitations of technology in some
This survey was conducted in areas around Bangalore and Mysore cities.
Rural areas covered: Villages of Akkihebbal, Sindhugatta, Balagatta and
Vasanthapura. Residential areas covered: Bangalore - Basaveshwaranagar,
Mysore - Yadavagiri, T.K. Layout, Bogadi and Bamboo Bazaar.
Industrial/Commercial areas covered: Bangalore - Rajajinagar,
Yeshwanthpur, Shivananda Circle, Seshadripuram and Peenya. Mysore -
Hebbal, Belavadi and Metagalli.
The complete survey results are summarized in a free report available to download on Mercom Capital Groups' website at http://mercomcapital.com/cleanenergyreports.php.