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Household Discount Rates Revisited

Raymond S. Hartman and Michael J. Doane

Year: 1986
Volume: Volume 7
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol7-No1-9
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Abstract:
Energy policy analysts (Hausman [1979], Hartman [1984], Houston [1983], Hutton [1980], and Olsen [1984]) increasingly rely on some notion of life-cycle costing for predicting how consumers will choose among alternative energy-using durable-good investments. These techniques have been important for understanding and analyzing the household purchase of new, relatively-untested appliance technologies (such as solar water heaters and more efficient refrigerators), new energy sources (such as solar photovoltaics), and capital-intensive conservation investments (such as increased home insulation, storm windows, and water heat wraps). In all of these cases, consumers face options in which a higher capital cost will purchase lower operating costs over the life of the particular pieces of equipment. We assume consumers evaluate these energy-using durables as they would any other investment. They compare and discount, over the life of the investments, the costs and financial benefits of alternatives and choose the option(s) offering the largest expected benefit.



Household Preference for Interruptible Rate Options and the Revealed Value of Service Reliability

Michael J. Doane, Raymand S. Hartman and Chi-Keung Woo

Year: 1988
Volume: Volume 9
Number: Special Issue 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol9-NoSI2-8
No Abstract



Households' Perceived Value of Service Reliability: An Analysis of Contingent Valuation Data

Michael J. Doane, Raymond S. Hartman, and Chi-Keung Woo

Year: 1988
Volume: Volume 9
Number: Special Issue 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol9-NoSI2-9
No Abstract



System Average Rates and Management Efficiency: A Statistical Benchmark Study of U.S. Investor-Owned Electric Utilities

Ernst R. Berndt, Roy Epstein and Michael J. Doane

Year: 1996
Volume: Volume17
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No3-1
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Abstract:
Proposals to restructure electric utilities have heightened interest in understanding what factors contribute to the variation in system average rates (SARs) across utilities. Direct comparisons of utilities' average rates have been used to assess management performance and the possibility of using mandatory restructuring to reduce rates. However, direct rate comparisons can lead to highly unreliable conclusions because they ignore the wide variety of regional, economic, and regulatory factors that affect rates across utilities. This paper presents a statistical benchmark study of SARs using 1984-93 data on 99 U.S. investor-owned utilities. The model is applied to evaluate the electric rates of three California investor-owned utilities. We find electric rates are affected to a large extent by factors outside the direct and immediate control of management. Controlling for these effects, there is no evidence that these California utilities, which have relatively high system average rates, suffer from poor management performance.





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