CPR-CSH Digital Workshop: Changing cooling energy demand patterns in urban households in India

Date and Time

February 22, 2022

3:45 pm to 5:30 pm


Online via Zoom

Anna Agarwal

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

Deepaboli Chatterjee

Independent Researcher

The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) invite you to a digital workshop on:

Changing cooling energy demand patterns in urban households in India

Anna Agarwal, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Deepaboli Chatterjee, Independent Researcher

The session will be online via Zoom. The session will also be live-streamed on the CPR Facebook page

About the Talk

India’s urbanizing middle class is at the brink of an unprecedented increase in residential cooling demand, yet little is understood about the dynamics of changing cooling consumption. Based on empirical analyses, our work examines a set of fundamental questions around India’s cooling transition. The presentation will cover: How is cooling conceptualized and what cooling strategies do households use? How, when and why are people purchasing and using their air conditioners (ACs)? Who is buying energy-efficient ACs? Is cooling consumption gendered? The presentation will unpack perceptions of thermal comfort, and characterize the conditions under which households have greater AC use and make energy efficient purchase choices. AC usage is found to be a function of household habits (such as exposure to ACs in the workplace or schools), structural factors, and socio demographic features. While most ACs are in the middle energy-efficiency range, preferences, behaviors and awareness around energy efficiency are found to affect AC use as well as influence the purchase of more efficient ACs. Notable gender differences are observed, and women are found to be less involved in decision-making around cooling appliances and less aware of the technical know-how or energy-efficient schemes.

About the Speakers

Anna Agarwal is a Visiting Fellow at CPR’s Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment. Her research is on understanding India’s energy demand transitions, and identifying ways to lock-in low- carbon energy consumption patterns for the long-term. Her work at CPR has focused on residential electricity demand, particularly the cooling demand which would be a substantial driver of future energy needs and carbon emissions. Previously, she has worked at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC- India), and the Brattle Group, a US economics consulting firm. Anna holds a PhD and a SM degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an undergraduate degree from IIT Delhi.

Deepaboli Chatterjee is an Independent Researcher and was, till recently, a Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Policy Research. Her research interests include gender and labour force participation (supply side), religious violence and inter-group relations, with a focus on South Asia. She has been involved in projects on urban transitions with CASI, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Oxford. She holds a Masters in Statistics from London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.

Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here.

This is the hundred and forty fourth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Aprajita Sarcar at of CSH, Mukta Naik at or Marie-Hélène Zerah at