The “India Consumer Perceptions on Renewable Energy Survey,” conducted by Mercom Communications India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global communications and consulting firm, focused on gauging people’s and businesses’ perception and attitudes toward non-conventional sources of energy in India. Over 1,700 residential and commercial and industrial customers were surveyed.
Awareness of government subsidy programs for renewable energy was at 59 percent for commercial respondents while only 45 percent of residential respondents were aware of these subsidy programs. The renewable energy industry needs to do a better job of educating consumers so they can take advantage of these programs which in turn benefits renewable energy companies through sales of power and power generation systems.
Subsidies for solar power were most popular among survey respondents with 87 percent of both commercial and residential respondents. Wind was the second most popular choice with 76 percent of commercial and 75 percent of residential respondents favoring subsidies.
Forty-five percent of commercial respondents said they had no opinion when asked if they supported government subsidies for coal while only 34 percent said no and 21 percent actually supported subsidies for coal. On the residential side, 44 percent did not support government subsidies for coal, 33 percent had no opinion and 24 percent said they would support government subsidies for coal.
With constant power shortage issues, consumers want power from any source, even coal. Consumer awareness of the harmful effects of coal needs to be explored.
When asked about government subsidies for nuclear energy, 44 percent of commercial and 34 percent of residential respondents had no opinion, while 34 percent of commercial and 37 percent of residential consumers said they did not support them.
When asked about their familiarity with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE label) products and their benefits, a plurality (40 percent) of commercial respondents and a majority (56 percent) of residential respondents said they were not familiar. Thirty-one percent of commercial respondents said they were familiar with the products but not the benefits, or otherwise recognized the labels but did not understand what BEE label stood for.
Twenty-three percent of residential respondents were familiar with BEE label products but not the benefits. Only 30 percent of commercial respondents and 21 percent of residential respondents were familiar with BEE label products and their benefits. This is an extremely low number considering BEE is a separate government agency whose sole goal is to promote energy efficiency. Without education and awareness programs that drive home the importance of energy efficiency, it is just a random government ‘label’ on a product far as consumers are concerned.
Click here for a copy of the survey: India Consumer Perceptions on Renewable Energy Survey
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Priya currently serves as the Publisher for MercomIndia.com. With more than a decade of experience working in corporate communications, research, and policy, Priya has deep roots in the Indian energy markets and is regularly in touch with policy makers and industry leaders. Priya received her bachelor’s degree from Vidya Vardhaka College of Arts in Bangalore, India for Political Science and Economics and completed her MBA from Bangalore University. More articles from Priya Sanjay.