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Split Incentives in Residential Energy Consumption

Kenneth Gillingham, Matthew Harding, and David Rapson

Year: 2012
Volume: Volume 33
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.33.2.3
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Abstract:
We explore two split incentive issues between owners and occupants of residential dwellings: heating or cooling incentives are suboptimal when the occupant does not pay for energy use, and insulation incentives are suboptimal when the occupant cannot perfectly observe the owner's insulation choice. We empirically quantify the effect of these two market failures and how they affect behavior in California. We find that those who pay are 16 percent more likely to change the heating setting at night and owner-occupied dwellings are 20 percent more likely to be insulated in the attic or ceiling. However, in contrast to common conception, we find that only small overall energy savings may be possible from policy interventions aimed at correcting the split incentive issues. Keywords: Principal-agent, Asymmetric information, CO2 emissions



Cross-product Manipulation in Electricity Markets, Microstructure Models and Asymmetric Information

Chiara Lo Prete, William W. Hogan, Bingyuan Liu, and Jia Wang

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 5
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.5.cpre
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Abstract:
Electricity market manipulation enforcement actions have moved from conventional analysis of generator market power in real-time physical markets to materialallegations of sustained cross-product price manipulation in forward financial markets. A major challenge is to develop and apply forward market analyticalframeworks and models. This task is more difficult than for the real-time market. An adaptation of cross-product manipulation models from cash-settled financialmarkets provides an existence demonstration under uncertainty and asymmetric information. The implications of this analysis include strong empirical predictionsabout necessary randomized strategies that are not likely to be observed or sustainable in electricity markets. Absent these randomized strategies and othermarket imperfections, the means for achieving sustained forward market price manipulation remains unexplained.



Demand Response: Smart Market Designs for Smart Consumers

Nicolas Astier and Thomas-Olivier Léautier

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.3.nast
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Abstract:
We study Peak-Time-Rebates (PTR) contracts in day-ahead electricity markets. Such contracts reward customers for reducing their consumption when wholesale prices are high. We start by pointing out that these market designs create arbitrage opportunities which, under asymmetric information, incentivize strategic consumers to inflate their baseline. We then show that an incentive compatible PTR design is equivalent to a variable Critical-Peak-Pricing design (vCPP), in which customers have to purchase their peak consumption at the spot price. Under asymmetric information, a relevant question is thus to design vCPP contracts optimally in order to achieve high enrollment rates under voluntary opt-in. This problem has different solutions depending on whether policy-makers choose to maintain existing cross-subsidies or not.



Asymmetric Information on the Market for Energy Efficiency: Insights from the Credence Goods Literature

Bruno Lanz and Evert Reins

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.4.blan
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Abstract:
Asymmetric information is an important barrier to the adoption of energy efficient technologies. In this paper, we study supply-side implications of the associated incentive structure. We build on existing evidence that, in some settings, energy efficiency owns a credence component, whereby the supply side of the market has more information about what technology is best for consumers. The literature on credence goods markets suggests that an information advantage by expert-sellers leads to market inefficiencies, including low trade volume. We start by developing a simple framework to study supply-side incentives related to the provision of energy efficient technologies. We then document inefficiencies and potential remedies by discussing linkages between an empirical literature on credence goods and that on the market for energy efficiency. Doing so, we identify implications for the design of policies promoting the adoption of energy-efficient technologies.



Energy Performance Certificates and the Capitalization of Utility Costs in Rents: The Potential Role of Asymmetric Information and Uncertainty

Aras Khazal and Ole Jakob Sonstebo

Year: 2023
Volume: Volume 44
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.45.1.akha
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Abstract:
This paper is the first to investigate the relationship between the energy efficiency of dwellings, measured by the energy performance certificate (EPC), and utility cost inclusion in rental prices. First, we investigate potential drivers behind the decision to include utility costs in rents. We find that labeled dwellings are more likely to include utility costs and that this likelihood is higher among energy-efficient dwellings than among inefficient dwellings. Next, we surprisingly find that utility costs seem to be under-capitalized in energy-inefficient dwellings. These results are confirmed with the counterfactual decomposition approach. Overall, the findings indicate that the EPC labeling policy may be important for both landlord and tenant decision-making and may enhance market efficiency.





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