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Payment Matters? - An Exploratory Study into the Pre-Payment Electricity Metering

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  • Brutscher, P.

Abstract

In this paper we look at the role of pre-payment (in the context of prepayment metering) for household electricity consumption. Using a matching approach, we find that households paying their electricity up-front tend to consume no less electricity than households paying ex post. This is despite facing a higher tariff and higher transaction costs. In the second part of the paper, we explore to what extent this finding can be linked to an increase in payment flexibility under a pre-payment regime. Using data from the main electricity supplier in Northern Ireland (NIE Energy), we explore how people top-up their pre-payment meters and whether there is a link between people's top-up behaviour and their electricity consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Brutscher, P., 2011. "Payment Matters? - An Exploratory Study into the Pre-Payment Electricity Metering," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1124, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1124
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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1124.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brophy Haney, A. & Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M.G., 2009. "Smart Metering and Electricity Demand: Technology, Economics and International Experience," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0905, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
    3. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hobman, Elizabeth V. & Frederiks, Elisha R. & Stenner, Karen & Meikle, Sarah, 2016. "Uptake and usage of cost-reflective electricity pricing: Insights from psychology and behavioural economics," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 455-467.
    2. 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.
    3. Xiaoping He & David Reiner, 2015. "Why Do More British Consumers Not Switch Energy Suppliers? The Role of Individual Attitudes," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1525, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Michael G. Pollitt & Irina Shaorshadze, 2013. "The role of behavioural economics in energy and climate policy," Chapters,in: Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, chapter 24, pages 523-546 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pre-payment Metering; Top-Up Behaviour; Demand Management; Pain of Paying.;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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