IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18344.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Knowledge is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use

Author

Listed:
  • Katrina Jessoe
  • David Rapson

Abstract

This paper presents experimental evidence that information feedback dramatically increases the price elasticity of demand in a setting where signals about quantity consumed are traditionally coarse and infrequent. In a randomized controlled trial, residential electricity customers are exposed to price increases, with some households also receiving displays that transmit high-frequency information about usage and prices. This substantially lowers information acquisition costs and allows us to identify the marginal information effect. Households only experiencing price increases reduce demand by 0 to 7 percent whereas those also exposed to information feedback exhibit a usage reduction of 8 to 22 percent, depending on the amount of advance notice. The differential response across treatments is significant and robust to the awareness of price changes. Conservation extends beyond the treatment window, providing evidence of habit formation, spillovers, and greenhouse gas abatement. Results suggest that information about the quantity consumed facilitates learning, which likely drives the treatment differential.

Suggested Citation

  • Katrina Jessoe & David Rapson, 2012. "Knowledge is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use," NBER Working Papers 18344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18344
    Note: EEE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18344.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacobsen, Grant D. & Kotchen, Matthew J. & Vandenbergh, Michael P., 2012. "The behavioral response to voluntary provision of an environmental public good: Evidence from residential electricity demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 946-960.
    2. 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.
    3. Lei Feng & Mark Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351, September.
    4. Severin Borenstein & Stephen Holland, 2005. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets with Time-Invariant Retail Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 469-493, Autumn.
    5. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
    6. Severin Borenstein, 2005. "The Long-Run Efficiency of Real-Time Electricity Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 93-116.
    7. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Rethinking real-time electricity pricing," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 820-842.
    8. Severin Borenstein, 2002. "The Trouble With Electricity Markets: Understanding California's Restructuring Disaster," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 191-211, Winter.
    9. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
    10. Ahmad Faruqui & Sanem Sergici, 2010. "Household response to dynamic pricing of electricity: a survey of 15 experiments," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 193-225, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Takanori Ida, Kayo Murakami, and Makoto Tanaka, 2016. "Electricity demand response in Japan: Experimental evidence from a residential photovoltaic power-generation system," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    2. Vesterberg, Mattias, 2017. "Power to the people: Electricity demand and household behavior," Umeå Economic Studies 942, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    3. Kayo MURAKAMI & Hideki SHIMADA & Yoshiaki USHIFUSA & Takanori IDA, 2020. "Heterogeneous Treatment Effects of Nudge and Rebate:Causal Machine Learning in a Field Experiment on Electricity Conservation," Discussion papers e-20-003, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    4. Takanori Ida & Kayo Murakami & Makoto Tanaka, 2015. "Electricity demand response in Japan:Experimental evidence from a residential photovoltaic generation system," Discussion papers e-15-006, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University.
    5. Todd D. Gerarden & Richard G. Newell & Robert N. Stavins, 2017. "Assessing the Energy-Efficiency Gap," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1486-1525, December.
    6. Mattias Vesterberg and Chandra Kiran B. Krishnamurthy, 2016. "Residential End-use Electricity Demand: Implications for Real Time Pricing in Sweden," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    7. Nolan Ritter & Julia Anna Bingler, 2021. "Do homo sapiens know their prices? Insights on dysfunctional price mechanisms from a large field experiment," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 21/348, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    8. Clastres, Cédric & Khalfallah, Haikel, 2021. "Dynamic pricing efficiency with strategic retailers and consumers: An analytical analysis of short-term market interactions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    9. Lanz, Bruno & Wurlod, Jules-Daniel & Panzone, Luca & Swanson, Timothy, 2018. "The behavioral effect of Pigovian regulation: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 190-205.
    10. Krishnamurthy, Chandra Kiran B. & Vesterberg, Mattias & Böök, Herman & Lindfors, Anders V. & Svento, Rauli, 2018. "Real-time pricing revisited: Demand flexibility in the presence of micro-generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 642-658.
    11. Paul L. Joskow, 2012. "Creating a Smarter U.S. Electricity Grid," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 29-48, Winter.
    12. 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.
    13. Jessoe, Katrina & Rapson, David & Smith, Jeremy B., 2014. "Towards understanding the role of price in residential electricity choices: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 191-208.
    14. Cédric Clastres & Haikel Khalfallah, 2020. "Retailers' strategies facing demand response and markets interactions," Working Papers hal-03167543, HAL.
    15. Lambin, Xavier, 2020. "Integration of Demand Response in Electricity Market Capacity Mechanisms," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    16. Katrina Jessoe & David Rapson, 2015. "Commercial and Industrial Demand Response Under Mandatory Time-of-Use Electricity Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 397-421, September.
    17. Kowalska-Pyzalska, Anna & Maciejowska, Katarzyna & Suszczyński, Karol & Sznajd-Weron, Katarzyna & Weron, Rafał, 2014. "Turning green: Agent-based modeling of the adoption of dynamic electricity tariffs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 164-174.
    18. Bernadeta Gołębiowska & Anna Bartczak & Mikołaj Czajkowski, 2020. "Energy Demand Management and Social Norms," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(15), pages 1-20, July.
    19. Gambardella, Christian & Pahle, Michael, 2018. "Time-varying electricity pricing and consumer heterogeneity: Welfare and distributional effects with variable renewable supply," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 257-273.
    20. Ajzenman, Nicolas & López Bóo, Florencia, 2019. "Lessons from Behavioral Economics to Improve Treatment Adherence in Parenting Programs: An Application to SMS," IZA Discussion Papers 12808, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18344. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.