Portfolio Learning

Energy portfolios of the rural poor: findings of a pilot study in India

Line of orange lights in shop front at night in India

Energy is needed for the day-to-day functioning of rural households (cooking, lighting, and running appliances) as well as for livelihoods (agriculture and small businesses).

In rural India, where access to energy sources is often poor and availability is unreliable, many households resort to using multiple energy sources to service their energy needs. Energy portfolios (the set of connections between what households need energy for and what fuel sources they use) reflect the complex reality of the rural household’s energy choices.

We have worked with FSG, a consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change, to produce a fresh analysis to understand how energy-poor customers make fuel choices in rural India.

The paper will help funders, governments, intermediaries, and enterprises working in the energy space in India shift their perspective to align with that of the rural consumer when designing interventions and polices.

Read the full report (PDF 9MB).