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Inefficiency of Avoided Cost Pricing of Cogenerated Power


  • Chi-Keung Woo


Section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Act of 1978 requires that the rates paid to qualifying small power production facilities (QFs) should be "just and reasonable" and "shall not discriminate against qualifying cogenerators." However, the rates should not "exceed the incremental cost to the electric utility of the alternative electric energy." Armed with this federal regulation, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in July 1985 issued Decision No. 85-07-022 for the Phase I of the Order-Instituting-Rulemaking No. 2 (OIR-2) arguing that privately owned electric utilities should pay QF's the cost of owning and operating a power plant that can be displaced by QF production. The total avoided cost is the difference between total cost of utility generation before QF production and after QF production (see Appendix 1 of the CPUC decision).

Suggested Citation

  • Chi-Keung Woo, 1988. "Inefficiency of Avoided Cost Pricing of Cogenerated Power," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 103-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1988v09-01-a09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Berndt, Ernst R, 1976. "Reconciling Alternative Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 59-68, February.
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    3. Ronald E. Findlay & Carlos Alfredo Rodriguez, 1977. "Intermediate Imports and Macroeconomic Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 208-217, May.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Changes in Income Taxes in the Short and Medium Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 71-85, April.
    5. Hall, Robert E & Lilien, David M, 1979. "Efficient Wage Bargains under Uncertain Supply and Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 868-879, December.
    6. Stephen M. Goldfeld, 1976. "The Case of the Missing Money," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(3), pages 683-740.
    7. Daniel J.B. Mitchell, 1978. "Union Wage Determination: Policy Implications and Outlook," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 537-582.
    8. Robert J. Gordon, 1970. "The Recent Acceleration of Inflation and Its Lessons for the Future," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(1), pages 8-47.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wickart, Marcel & Madlener, Reinhard, 2007. "Optimal technology choice and investment timing: A stochastic model of industrial cogeneration vs. heat-only production," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 934-952, July.
    2. Reinhard Madlener & Marcel Wickart, 2003. "The Economics of Adoption of Industrial Cogeneration: A Deterministic Model in Continuous Time," CEPE Working paper series 03-27, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    3. Zarnikau, Jay & Reilley, Bob, 1996. "The evolution of the cogeneration market in Texas," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-79, January.
    4. Woo, Chi-Keung & Olson, Arne & Horowitz, Ira & Luk, Stephen, 2006. "Bi-directional causality in California's electricity and natural-gas markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 2060-2070, October.
    5. Bhattacharyya, Subhes C & Quoc Thang, Dang Ngoc, 2004. "Economic buy-back rates for electricity from cogeneration: Case of sugar industry in Vietnam," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1039-1051.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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