Demand and Pricing in Electricity Markets: Evidence from San Diego During California's Energy Crisis
We study the electricity consumption of San Diego-area households following a series of price changes and related events during California's energy crisis in 2000-01. The analysis uses a five-year panel of disaggregate billing and weather data for a random sample of 70,000 households. In contrast to prior work, these data allow us to proceed without behavioral assumptions regarding a consumer's knowledge of energy prices. We find that after a rapid price increase in summer 2000, consumption fell substantially over about 60 days, averaging 12 to 13% per household; consumption then rebounded to within 3% of pre-crisis levels after a price cap was imposed. Under the price cap, public appeals for energy conservation and a remunerative voluntary conservation program had significant, but transitory, effects. Further, a large share of households reduced electricity consumption substantially (over 10%) but saved small monetary amounts ($10 or less). Overall, the results indicate consumers may be far more responsive to pecuniary and non-pecuniary incentives for altering their energy use than is commonly believed.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2003|
|Date of revision:|
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- Paul L. Joskow, 2001.
"California's Electricity Crisis,"
NBER Working Papers
8442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul Joskow & Edward Kahn, 2001.
"A Quantitative Analysis of Pricing Behavior in California's Wholesale Electricity Market During Summer 2000,"
NBER Working Papers
8157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul L. Joskow & Edward Kohn, 2002. "A Quantitative Analysis of Pricing Behavior in California's Wholesale Electricity Market During Summer 2000," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-35.
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- Carl Blumstein & Lee Friedman & Richard Green, 2002. "The History of Electricity Restructuring in California," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 9-38, June.
- Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
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