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Consumption Under Noisy Price Signals: A Study of Electricity Retail Rate Deregulation in San Diego

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  • Bushnell, James
  • Mansur, Erin T.

Abstract

Utility services employ nonlinear tariffs that attempt to convey information on cost convexities. This paper examines how customers respond to noisy and volatile tariffs by measuring deregulated retail ratesï¾’ impact on electricity consumption in San Diego. When rates doubled in 2000, consumers appear to have reacted more to recent past bills than to current price information. By summerï¾’s end, we find consumption fell 6% while lagging price increases. Even months after the utility restored low historic rates customers continued curtailing demand.Weconclude that rate structures relying upon lagged wholesale price averages produce delayed responses to scarcities or high costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Bushnell, James & Mansur, Erin T., 2005. "Consumption Under Noisy Price Signals: A Study of Electricity Retail Rate Deregulation in San Diego," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13142, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert H. Patrick & Frank A. Wolak, 2001. "Estimating the Customer-Level Demand for Electricity Under Real-Time Market Prices," NBER Working Papers 8213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Reiss, Peter C. & White, Matthew W., 2003. "Demand and Pricing in Electricity Markets: Evidence from San Diego During California's Energy Crisis," Research Papers 1829, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2003. "Demand and Pricing in Electricity Markets: Evidence from San Diego During California's Energy Crisis," NBER Working Papers 9986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert, Ben & Graff Zivin, Joshua, 2014. "Dynamic salience with intermittent billing: Evidence from smart electricity meters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 176-190.
    2. Xuejuan Su, 2015. "Have customers benefited from electricity retail competition?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 146-182, April.
    3. Severin Borenstein & James Bushnell & Christopher R. Knittel & Catherine Wolfram, 2008. "Inefficiencies And Market Power In Financial Arbitrage: A Study Of California'S Electricity Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 347-378, June.
    4. Ugur, Mehmet, 2009. "Liberalisation in a world of second best: evidence on European network industries," MPRA Paper 17873, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Oct 2009.
    5. Kellogg, Ryan & Wolff, Hendrik, 2007. "Does Extending Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from an Australian Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2704, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Koichiro Ito, 2014. "Do Consumers Respond to Marginal or Average Price? Evidence from Nonlinear Electricity Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 537-563, February.
    7. Knaut, Andreas & Paulus, Simon, 2016. "When are consumers responding to electricity prices? An hourly pattern of demand elasticity," EWI Working Papers 2016-7, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI), revised 16 Mar 2017.
    8. Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2008. "What changes energy consumption? Prices and public pressures," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 636-663, September.
    9. Alberini, Anna & Gans, Will & Velez-Lopez, Daniel, 2011. "Residential consumption of gas and electricity in the U.S.: The role of prices and income," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 870-881, September.
    10. Siddiqui, Afzal S. & Marnay, Chris, 2008. "Distributed generation investment by a microgrid under uncertainty," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1729-1737.
    11. Carl Danner, 2010. "Greenhouse gas policy and California electricity prices," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 98-106, February.
    12. Kai-Uwe Kühn & Matilde Machado, 2004. "Bilateral Market Power and Vertical Integration in the Spanish Electricity Spot Market," Working Papers wp2004_0414, CEMFI.
    13. Kiran B Krishnamurthy, Chandra & Kriström, Bengt, 2013. "A cross-country analysis of residential electricity demand in 11 OECD-countries," CERE Working Papers 2013:5, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics, revised 30 Jun 2014.
    14. Medina, Eva & Vicéns, José, 2011. "Factores determinantes de la demanda eléctrica de los hogares en España: una aproximación mediante regresión cuantílica/Determinants of Household Electricity Demand in Spain: An Approach through Quant," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 515-538, Agosto.
    15. David R. Bell & Ronald C. Griffin, 2011. "Urban Water Demand with Periodic Error Correction," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(3), pages 528-544.
    16. Genc, Talat S., 2016. "Measuring demand responses to wholesale electricity prices using market power indices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 247-260.
    17. Paulo Bastos & Lucio Castro & Julian Cristia & Carlos Scartascini, 2015. "Does Energy Consumption Respond to Price Shocks? Evidence from a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 249-278, June.
    18. Casarin, Ariel A. & Delfino, Maria Eugenia, 2011. "Price freezes, durables, and residential electricity demand. Evidence from Greater Buenos Aires," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 859-869, September.
    19. Swadley, Adam & Yücel, Mine, 2011. "Did residential electricity rates fall after retail competition? A dynamic panel analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7702-7711.
    20. Chen, Yi-Ting & Sun, Edward W. & Lin, Yi-Bing, 2020. "Merging anomalous data usage in wireless mobile telecommunications: Business analytics with a strategy-focused data-driven approach for sustainability," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 281(3), pages 687-705.
    21. Erin T. Mansur, 2007. "Do Oligopolists Pollute Less? Evidence From A Restructured Electricity Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 661-689, December.
    22. Wu, Ya & Zhang, Li, 2017. "Evaluation of energy saving effects of tiered electricity pricing and investigation of the energy saving willingness of residents," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 208-217.
    23. Christopher Knittel & Catherine Wolfram & James Bushnell & Severin Borenstein, 2006. "Inefficiencies and Market Power in Financial Arbitrage: A Study of California?s Electricity Markets," Working Papers 630, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    24. Krishnamurthy, Chandra Kiran B. & Kriström, Bengt, 2015. "A cross-country analysis of residential electricity demand in 11 OECD-countries," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 68-88.
    25. Kellogg, Ryan & Wolff, Hendrik, 2008. "Daylight time and energy: Evidence from an Australian experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 207-220, November.

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