Choice of Cooking and Lighting Energy Sources in Households: Empirical Evidence from Urban India

Vidhulekha Tiwari

Centre for Urban Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
Corresponding Author:

Arnab Jana

Centre for Urban Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

Santanu Bandyopadhyay

Department of Energy Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

Cite this article

Tiwari, V., Jana, A., Bandyopadhyay, S. (2024). Choice of Cooking and Lighting Energy Sources in Households: Empirical Evidence from Urban India. In Proceedings of Energise 2023- Lifestyle, Energy Efficiency, and Climate Action, pp 253–260, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy.


  • This research highlights the effect of the household economy on the fuel choice for cooking and lighting fuels in urban India.
  • The population working as casual labour tends to use the most polluting fuels like kerosene, coal or charcoal due to the lack of disposable income and, thus, the inability to pay for the initial cost of using cleaner fuels.
  • The low-income households have a higher monthly expenditure on fuels than others, as they are using less efficient fuels, which are also the more polluting ones.
  • Electric cooking is energy and cost-efficient; it must be promoted among middle and lower-income households through policy measures.


Household energy consumption constitutes approximately 30% of India’s total energy usage. Since the fuel choice for cooking and lighting includes unclean fuels like kerosene, coal, dung cakes and firewood, studying it becomes imperative. This study examines the fuel choice for cooking and lighting in urban Indian households through Multinomial Logistic Regression Analysis. The analysis incorporates variables depicting household economy, such as land ownership, expenditure, employment type, housing ownership, meals served, and access to the public distribution system. It is assumed that households make choices based on their specific household characteristics to maximise fuel utility. This study utilises data from the Household Consumer Expenditure Survey (2011-12) conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) of India. Results show that employment type, amount of food cooked, fuel availability, and household expenditure capacity significantly influence fuel choices. Additionally, households using cleaner fuels experience lower expenses for cooking and lighting due to improved fuel efficiency.


Energy Mix, Household Energy, Cooking Energy, Lighting Energy


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