Energy Safety Nets: India Case Study

Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The idea of ‘leave no one behind’ is inherent to all the SDGs. Social protection programs are a major mechanism for ensuring access to social goods such as nutrition, healthcare, education and employment for deprived populations. In a similar context, Energy Safety Nets (ESNs) refer to social assistance mechanisms that enable poor and vulnerable people to access and use modern energy services. ESNs are a broad set of measures ranging from general energy price subsidies at one end to highly targeted social assistance at the other. The aim of this research is to identify measures that have been implemented to enable poor people to access modern energy services, analyzing their impacts and experiences, and explore the reasons for their success or lack thereof. India has experience subsidizing both access to electricity and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking; this case study focuses on the latter. In particular, it focuses on the policies and schemes introduced since 2013 to improve access to and targeting of LPG subsidies.