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Smart meter devices and the effect of feedback on residential electricity consumption: Evidence from a natural experiment in Northern Ireland

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  • Gans, Will
  • Alberini, Anna
  • Longo, Alberto

Abstract

Using a unique set of data and exploiting a large-scale natural experiment, we estimate the effect of real-time usage information on residential electricity consumption in Northern Ireland. Starting in April 2002, the utility replaced prepayment meters with advanced meters that allow the consumer to track usage in real-time. We rely on this event, account for the endogeneity of price and payment plan with consumption through a plan selection correction term, and find that the provision of information is associated with a decline in electricity consumption of 11–17%. We find that the reduction is robust to different specifications, selection-bias correction methods and subsamples of the original data. The advanced metering program delivers reasonably cost-effective reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, even under the most conservative usage reduction scenarios.

Suggested Citation

  • Gans, Will & Alberini, Anna & Longo, Alberto, 2013. "Smart meter devices and the effect of feedback on residential electricity consumption: Evidence from a natural experiment in Northern Ireland," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 729-743.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:729-743
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2012.11.022
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Residential energy; Electricity demand; Feedback; Smart meter; Information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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