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A New Look at Residential Electricity Demand Using Household Expenditure Data

  • Fell, Harrison

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Li, Shanjun

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Paul, Anthony

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

We estimate residential electricity demand for different regions of the country, assuming that consumers respond to average electricity prices. We circumvent the need for individual billing information by developing a novel generalized method of moments approach that allows us to estimate demand based on household electricity expenditure data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which does not have quantity and price information. We find that price elasticity estimates vary across the four census regions—the South at –1.02 is the most price-elastic region and the Northeast at –0.82 is the least—and are essentially equivalent across income quartiles. In general, these price elasticity estimates are considerably larger in magnitude than those found in other studies using household-level data that assume that consumers respond to marginal prices. We also apply our elasticity estimates in a U.S. climate policy simulation to determine how these elasticity estimates alter consumption and price outcomes compared to the more conservative elasticity estimates commonly used in policy analysis.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-10-57.

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Date of creation: 24 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-57
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  1. Paul, Anthony & Myers, Erica & Palmer, Karen, 2009. "A Partial Adjustment Model of U.S. Electricity Demand by Region, Season, and Sector," Discussion Papers dp-08-50, Resources For the Future.
  2. Herriges, Joseph A. & King, K.A., 1994. "Residential Demand for Electricity Under Block Rate Structures: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment," Staff General Research Papers 1498, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Chong, Howard, 2012. "Building vintage and electricity use: Old homes use less electricity in hot weather," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 906-930.
  4. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
  5. Anna Alberini & Gans Will & Daniel Lopez-Velez, 2010. "Residential Consumption of Gas and Electricity in the U.S.: The Role of Prices and Income," CEPE Working paper series 10-77, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  6. Espey, James A. & Espey, Molly, 2004. "Turning on the Lights: A Meta-Analysis of Residential Electricity Demand Elasticities," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(01), April.
  7. Shammin, Md Rumi & Bullard, Clark W., 2009. "Impact of cap-and-trade policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on U.S. households," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2432-2438, June.
  8. Lester D. Taylor, 1975. "The Demand for Electricity: A Survey," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 74-110, Spring.
  9. Herriges, Joseph A & King, Kathleen Kuester, 1994. "Residential Demand for Electricity under Inverted Block Rates: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 419-30, October.
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