Bundling Improved Cooking and Lighting Technology for Energy Access
There is no definitive understanding of what energy services are entailed in 'access to energy' for a household. The Global Tracking Framework of SE4All1 provides a comprehensive definition of energy access-positing that a household in the basic 'tier' of energy access has 'task lighting and phone charging' and a 'manufactured solid-fuel cookstove with conformity, convenience, and adequacy'. India has 75 million households without access to electricity.2 The situation with regard to cooking energy is more overwhelming-166 million households depend on solid fuels3 for their cooking needs. Small-scale, cost-effective solutions, such as solar home lighting systems and improved biomass cookstoves are being promoted by national and State governments to help rural households rise above energy poverty. However, these solutions face the following challenges that limit their scaling-up: -- Willingness to pay for well-performing improved cookstoves is low, as their benefits are not perceived to be significant by rural households -- The rate of adoption of improved cookstoves by rural households is poor, due to social, economic, and behavioural issues -- Banks are generally unwilling to finance the purchase of solar home lighting systems or improved cookstoves due to their small 'ticket-size'. It means that the amount of loan is low, and yet the transaction costs and repayment risks are high.