Regional electric power demand elasticities of Japan's industrial and commercial sectors
In the assessment and review of regulatory reforms in the electric power market, price elasticity is one of the most important parameters that characterize the market. However, price elasticity has seldom been estimated in Japan; instead, it has been assumed to be as small as 0.1 or 0 without proper examination of the empirical validity of such a priori assumptions. We estimated the regional power demand functions for nine regions, in order to quantify the elasticity, and found the short-run price elasticity to be 0.09-0.30 and the long-run price elasticity to be 0.12-0.56. Inter-regional comparison of our estimation results suggests that price elasticity in rural regions is larger than that in urban regions. Popular assumptions of small elasticity of 0.1, for example, could be suitable for examining Japan's aggregate power demand but not power demand functions that focus on respective regions. Furthermore, assumptions about smaller elasticity values such as 0.01 and 0 could not be supported statistically by this study.
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