Lighting up Bihar

The power sector is widely viewed as one of the biggest constraints on India’s economic growth, the main problem being that almost half of power drawn from the grid is not paid for and in unmetered, unbilled or pilfered. In the state of Bihar, 45% of power consumed falls in this category. The Government of Bihar is trying to address this problem and expand access to electricity by implementing reforms to improve the Bihar State Electricity Board’s finances and the availability of power

This project looks at incentivising consumers to pay for the electricity consumed by the area. The intervention specifically links the duration of supply to the payment performance of a group against electricity supplied in the previous month. Through a randomised controlled experiment, the researchers will measure if doing so improves payment behaviour and reduces the percentage of pilfered power consumption.