Power to the people: Designing a better prepaid solar electricity service for rural Indian villages

Lindsay Simmonds*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Locally generated solar-powered electricity provides relief to electricity deprived villages in rural India. However, despite many positive impacts of prepaid solar-powered electricity services on customers day-today lives, consumption remains relatively low. This poses challenges to long term business sustainability. The aim of the Master’s thesis, Power to the People: Designing a Better Prepaid Electricity Service for Rural Indian Villages, is to investigate the role of household smart meters in increasing uptake of a prepaid domestic electricity service in rural India. Through a case study of a local electricity service provider the daily lives of the service’s customers and their relationship to domestic energy consumption is investigated. A human centered design perspective informs design improvements to the meters and service design. The thesis concludes that while design can play an important role in improving the service, there are larger socio-economic forces at play that ultimately have the greatest influence on uptake of the service.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndiaHCI 2018 - Proceedings of the 9th Indian Conference in Human Computer Interaction
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450362146
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIndian Conference in Human Computer Interaction - Bangalore, India
Duration: 16 Dec 201818 Dec 2018
Conference number: 9


ConferenceIndian Conference in Human Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleIndiaHCI


  • Design ethnography
  • Field-based constructive design research
  • Human centered design
  • Prepaid solar electricity

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