IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The "Most Value" Test: Economic Evaluation of Electricity Demand-Side Management Considering Customer Value

  • Benjamin F. Hobbs

What measure of economic efficiency is appropriate for evaluating demand-side management (DSM) programs sponsored by electric utilities? Most regulatory commissions in the United States require that utilities assess the efficiency of alternative programs as part of their planning process. A criterion based upon maximization of consumer surplus is proposed. This, the "most value" test not only counts the avoided supply cost and environmental benefits of such programs, but also the changes in customer value that result from rebound/takeback and changes in electric rates. The test can be viewed as an extension of the "least cost" test, which many commissions now require utilities to use. Among the "most value" test's practical implications is the fact that the net benefits of DSM will often be decreased if free riders are present or if electric rates must increase to fund the program. The "least cost" test wrongly assumes these effects to be merely matters of income transfer. Consequently, some programs that are desirable from a "least cost" standpoint will not be beneficial from a most value"point of view. However, if rebound effects are large enough, the opposite can happen: some DSM programs which are apparently too costly will actually have positive net benefits. These conclusions apply not only to programs for conserving electricity, but also to water and natural gas conservation efforts and programs that promote energy use.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to IAEE members and subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 12 (1991)
Issue (Month): Number 2 ()
Pages: 67-92

in new window

Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1991v12-02-a05
Contact details of provider: Postal: 28790 Chagrin Blvd Ste 350, Cleveland, OH 44122, USA
Phone: 216-464-5365
Fax: 216-464-2737
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1991v12-02-a05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Williams)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.