Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Post Workshop Comments on the final draft report "fuel (electricity) poverty and affordability and electricity requirements of prospective electricity consumers"

Technical issues

A serious error that I see in the costing of electricity is that currently invalid tariff system is used.
Furthermore for (any comparisons) determining the income poverty , or percentage of income spent
for electricity, the real cost for (roughly 15 Rs/unit should be used) electricity must be used.

The study is purely a research on deriving the best index, and its magnitude for the Basic need

However the researchers are limiting their thinking sphere to the present index, which is monthly
household electricity consumption.

Since the research is to find a better (innovative) system of measurement than what is at present, at
least some attention should be paid to alternative measuring systems.

1. The data shown in the Table 14 gives a value of 31.56% for the Income non poor households
who are electricity poor. Therefore we can conclude that if we use solely the monthly
consumption as our index, there will be 32% of the households which will get labeled as poor
(subsidized), though they are not poor wrt income. 32% of the subsidy will be wasted. This is not
in line with the Electricity act/energy policy of SL since 1/3rd of the subsidy is off targeted(wrt
2010, extra 10 billion Rs is spent on subsidies which are not required) (being directly against
the requirement for targeted subsidies) 1­

2. The above can be seen very clearly by observing the fact that the average household income for
households using less than 30 kWh is Rs 17920, 40kWh is Rs19825 (page 23) While the poverty
line is Rs 12564. Thus having the sole index of monthly electricity consumption value as 60 kWh
is very misleading and not a very good indicator.


1. Find load profile of each household, use combination of top down and bottom up approaches
to arrive at basic electricity need. Use bottom up approach to find the most commonly used
appliances, and their time duration. Use top down approach to calculate the amount of electricity
required. This becomes the basic electricity need. However we require the load profile of the
individual households.

2. Instead of using a household as our measuring unit use one individual as the measurement base.
Thus breakdown the acquired statistics to that base and do the same study done in a household
base, see if income poor but electricity non poor ratio has declined.


Find the average percentage of income spent for electricity by ppl within the +10% of 3141.

Now use that value as the anchor point for deducing if any individual is electricity poor or non

poor(rather than 60 units with base as household).

Now find the number of individuals who are income non poor but electricity poor and amount of
individuals who are income poor but electricity rich.

See if the percentage is markedly less than 33%.

If so this value becomes a better representation of basic need electricity.

Formatting irregularities/errors, misinterpretations and

1. Table 2: Number of households with electrification less than one year

2. Less than 30 units or kWh

3. Table 4: Less than 30 units

4. Number of households

5. Table 5: Number of units : Average monthly consumption (kWh)

6. Chart 1 : Axes should b clearly labeled

7. Table 6: kWhs Income class of Household (since it might be misinterpreted as income per

8. Chart 2 : mark x & y axis eg : y axis – (% of …)

9. Chart 3: either delete data after 60,000 or conclude that the data is not sufficient to make
conclusion based on the far end of the spectrum. (since the argument doesn’t hold at the end)

10. Table 7: Heading Appliance , Percentage of the appliance being available

11. Table 8: Similar : Source

12. Chart 4: Mark axes (pls format the charts such that there appearance is clearer and larger etc…)

13. Chart 5 : Spelling : Electricity.

14. Chart 6 + footnote : overlapping, increase chart size, graphs not clear.

15. Chart 6,7,8 mark axes

16. Table 9: Formatting issue: 1st column is too wide. Include %.


directly relevant to the study.

Pre Work Shop Comments on the final draft report "fuel (electricity) poverty and affordability and electricity requirements of prospective electricity consumers"

1. The study neglects to analyze no. of members of house vs energy consumption of household per
month, which I believe is an important index.

2. Factors such as different categories of users (etc: rural, sub urban, urban) against their energy
consumption is also not analyzed, however I believe that it is important since these categories of
consumers have distinct differences in their electricity usage patterns.

3. Using a top down approach and using the average of 40% - 60% for electricity basic need is not
acceptable, since these consumers might not be using electricity to satisfy solely basic needs
(since they are most likely uneducated) but use electricity in an inefficient manner and for
My belief is that finding the electricity basic need requires e a bottom up approach. The study
should try to find what electrical equipments are considered requirements for basic needs and
the duration of usage.
Since a cross subsidy is into play, it is not fair to subsidize for energy wastage.
My argument is (according - 6.3) Assuming that the families with income barely adequate to live
on basic need, use electricity only for basic needs is a fallacy.

4. The study should analyze Electricity usage vs income per person to find if a correlation exists.
Table 6 : would have a better understanding if it was income per person instead of income class.

5. The study bases its conclusions on using the poverty line of Rs 3141/= per person per month.
It concludes that 60kWh should be considered as the minimum requirement per household for
subsidies. However the statistics derived in the study wrt electricity basic need contradicts this
Considering the data analyzed for the 30Kwh as electricity basic need(page 23).
Avg income of household= Rs 17920
Avg members in one household=4
Therefore Avg income per person = Rs 4500>>>Rs 3141(which is the poverty line)
By this result we have to conclude that electricity basic need is less than 30Kwh. Please explain
this contradiction.

6. The study considers the average family size of 4 to come to the conclusion that the poverty level
for a household is Rs 12564/=, which is not acceptable. Since this will be prejudiced against
families with larger number of members.

As per my view Instead the study should also consider

Income/person/month vs Electricity consumption/person/month