Peak-Load Pricing with Continuous and Interdependent Demand
Issues concerning time-of-use pricing with continuous and interdependent demand are examined in a context where increasing marginal costs of production, as opposed to capacity constraints, provide the major incentive for flattening the load curve. The analysis develops the underlying consumer preferences sufficient to insure a continuously varying load curve and generalizes previous considerations of the peak load pricing problem by simultaneously considering continuous and interdependent demand in determining optimal prices and pricing period lengths. A profit incentive for time-of-use pricing as a form of price discrimination is revealed, which is tempered as substitution across pricing periods allows limited intertemporal arbitrage. The profit incentive leads a price-regulated firm, ceteris paribus, to choose a peak pricing period longer than the social optimum. Copyright 1991 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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