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Implementing energy efficiency: Challenges and opportunities for rural electric co-operatives and small municipal utilities

  • Wilson, Elizabeth J.
  • Plummer, Joseph
  • Fischlein, Miriam
  • Smith, Timothy M.
Registered author(s):

    Challenges in implementing demand side management (DSM) programs in rural electric co-operatives and small municipal utilities are not well understood, yet these organizations sell roughly 15% of electricity in the US, many are more coal-intensive than investor-owned utilities (IOUs), and they are politically important--rural electric co-operatives cover about 75% of the US land area and municipal utilities are found in every state except Hawaii. We provide a background on rural co-operatives and municipal utilities in the context of the US electric sector and highlight the challenges and opportunities of implementing DSM programs in these institutions. Where past studies of utility DSM have mostly focused on IOUs or consisted of qualitative case studies of municipal utilities with exemplary DSM performance, this study makes a unique contribution to the DSM literature by systematically analyzing an entire co-operative and municipal utility population in Minnesota through the use of a survey. In doing so, we provide policy recommendations relevant to energy planners and policy makers to support DSM in rural electric co-operatives and municipal utilities.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 3383-3397

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:9:p:3383-3397
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    1. Eric Hirst, 1992. "Price and Cost Impacts of Utility DSM Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 75-90.
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    3. Greer, Monica Lynne, 2003. "Can rural electric cooperatives survive in a restructured US electric market? An empirical analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 487-508, September.
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    6. Didden, Marcel H. & D'haeseleer, William D., 2003. "Demand Side Management in a competitive European market: Who should be responsible for its implementation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1307-1314, October.
    7. Paul L. Joskow & Donald B. Marron, 1992. "What Does a Negawatt Really Cost? Evidence from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 41-74.
    8. Martinot, Eric & Borg, Nils, 1998. "Energy-efficient lighting programs: Experience and lessons from eight countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(14), pages 1071-1081, December.
    9. De Alessi, Louis, 1974. "Managerial Tenure under Private and Government Ownership in the Electric Power Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 645-53, May/June.
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    11. Nadel, Steven & Geller, Howard, 1996. "Utility DSM : What have we learned? Where are we going?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 289-302, April.
    12. David S. Loughran and Jonathan Kulick, 2004. "Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency in the United States," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 19-44.
    13. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
    14. Paul W. Parfomak & Lester B. Lave, 1996. "How Many Kilowatts are in a Negawatt? Verifying Ex Post Estimates of Utility Conservation Impacts at the Regional Level," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 59-87.
    15. Peltzman, Sam, 1971. "Pricing in Public and Private Enterprises: Electric Utilities in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 109-47, April.
    16. Franz Wirl, 2000. "Lessons from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 87-108.
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