ISEP and CEEW complete survey on electricity theft in Uttar Pradesh


Together with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), ISEP has collected data from 1800 households in Uttar Pradesh, spanning 90 villages and 90 urban wards, on their attitudes towards electricity theft.

It is estimated that electricity theft constitutes 20-25% of the generated power in India. Theft can occur in several forms, including using illegal nightlines (katiya in Hindi), tampering with meters, and billing irregularities. Existing policies have failed to curb electricity theft and remains a focus of the new Saubhagya scheme that aims to electrify all households. In order for energy access to be successful and sustainable, ISEP seeks to understand the opinions and attitudes of citizens towards the issue of electricity theft. The team interviewed and conducted questionnaires with over 1800 households in both rural and urban areas to better understand public acceptance of electricity theft. With this data, ISEP seeks to inform policy design with strong social buy-in.

The data were collected by Morsel Research & Development, a Lucknow-based survey company. The project is led by ISEP Student Fellow Jason Wong (Columbia), ISEP Fellow Brian Blankenship (Dartmouth), and ISEP Founding Director Johannes Urpelainen.