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Rethinking real-time electricity pricing

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  • Allcott, Hunt
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    Abstract

    Most US consumers are charged a near-constant retail price for electricity, despite substantial hourly variation in the wholesale market price. This paper evaluates the first program to expose residential consumers to hourly real-time pricing (RTP). I find that enrolled households are statistically significantly price elastic and that consumers responded by conserving energy during peak hours, but remarkably did not increase average consumption during off-peak times. The program increased consumer surplus by $10 per household per year. While this is only one to two percent of electricity costs, it illustrates a potential additional benefit from investment in retail Smart Grid applications, including the advanced electricity meters required to observe a household’s hourly consumption.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092876551100042X
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resource and Energy Economics.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 820-842

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:33:y:2011:i:4:p:820-842

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505569

    Related research

    Keywords: Real time electricity pricing; Energy demand; Randomized field experiments;

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    References

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    5. Joskow, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Retail Electricity Competition," IDEI Working Papers 311, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    6. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "Durable goods and residential demand for energy and water: evidence from a field trial," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 530-546.
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    8. Severin Borenstein & Stephen P. Holland, 2003. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets With Time-Invariant Retail Prices," NBER Working Papers 9922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
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    14. Aigner, Dennis J., 1984. "The welfare econometrics of peak-load pricing for electricity : Editor's Introduction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 1-15.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Katrina Jessoe & David Rapson, 2014. "Knowledge Is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1417-38, April.
    2. Xian He & Nico Keyaerts & Isabel Azevedo, Leonardo Meeus, Leigh Hancher, Jean-Michel Glachant, 2013. "How to engage consumers in demand response: a contract perspective," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/76, European University Institute.
    3. Stephan Schmidt & Hannes Weigt, 2013. "A Review on Energy Consumption from a Socio-Economic Perspective: Reduction through Energy Efficiency and Beyond," Working papers 2013/15, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    4. Gilbraith, Nathaniel & Powers, Susan E., 2013. "Residential demand response reduces air pollutant emissions on peak electricity demand days in New York City," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 459-469.
    5. Liu, Ming-Hua & Margaritis, Dimitris & Zhang, Yang, 2013. "Market-driven coal prices and state-administered electricity prices in China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 167-175.
    6. Kopsakangas Savolainen, Maria & Svento, Rauli, 2012. "Real-Time Pricing in the Nordic Power markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1131-1142.
    7. Léautier, Thomas-Olivier, 2012. "Is mandating "smart meters" smart?," TSE Working Papers 12-341, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    8. Muireann Á. Lynch & Richard Tol & Mark J. O’Malley, 2014. "Minimising costs and variability of electricity generation by means of optimal electricity interconnection utilisation," Working Paper Series 6814, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    9. Boom, Anette & Schwenen, Sebastian, 2012. "Real-time Pricing in Power Markets: Who Gains?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66062, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Heshmati, Almas, 2012. "Survey of Models on Demand, Customer Base-Line and Demand Response and Their Relationships in the Power Market," IZA Discussion Papers 6637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Dütschke, Elisabeth & Paetz, Alexandra-Gwyn, 2013. "Dynamic electricity pricing—Which programs do consumers prefer?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 226-234.
    12. Paul L. Joskow, 2012. "Creating a Smarter U.S. Electricity Grid," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 29-48, Winter.

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