Indian summer set to break the bank, and not just temperature records

Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave
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Indians are beginning to feel the pinch as temperatures soar across the country.

During the summer of 2018, at least 40% of urban Indians paid over Rs3,000 ($43) in monthly electricity bills, according to a recent survey by Gurugram-based home services startup UrbanClap. That’s nearly half of India’s average monthly per capita income (Rs6,600) last year.

The survey included 5,000 respondents across cities such as Delhi NCR, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.

Sweating and spending

The expenditure in this category is only set to rise further as summer 2019 is expected to be hotter.

In March, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had warned that the northern regions of the country may experience an “above normal” summer this year.

It is no surprise then that 21% of the Delhi-based respondents to the UrbanClap survey said they planned to buy at least one new air conditioner this year. In the southern cities of Chennai and Bengaluru, the figure stood at around 10%.

Already, 50% of urban Indian homes have more than one air conditioner.

“A shift has also been observed in air conditioner consumption within various age groups,” UrbanClap said. “Of the total respondents, 49% of respondents between 21 to 34 years tend to use air conditioners according to their suitability, whereas people above 35 years tend to use it mostly while they are asleep.”