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Is Mandating "Smart Meters" Smart?

Thomas-Olivier Leautier

Year: 2014
Volume: Volume 35
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.4.6
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Abstract:
The advent of "smart meters" will make possible Real Time Pricing (RTP) of electricity: customers will face and react to wholesale spot prices, thus consumption of electric power will be aligned with its opportunity cost. This article determines the marginal value of a fraction of demand (or a consumer) switching to RTP, conditional on smart meters installation. First, it establishes sufficient conditions for the marginal value of RTP to be decreasing as the fraction of customers on RTP increases. Second, it derives this marginal value for a simple yet realistic specification of demand. Finally, using data from the French power market, it estimates that, for the vast majority of residential customers whose peak demand is lower than 6 kVA, the net surplus from switching to RTP is lower than 1 €/year for low demand elasticity, 4 €/year for high demand elasticity. This finding casts a doubt on the economic value of rolling out smart meters to all residential customers, for both policy makers and power suppliers.



Money for Nothing? Why FERC Order 745 Should have Died

Xu Chen and Andrew N. Kleit

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.2.xche
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Abstract:
Customer baseline load (CBL) measurement is designed to represent participants' expected usage in a number of electricity demand response (DR) programs. Our empirical results, however, show that CBLs can be systematically higher than DR participants' estimated load, especially for those experienced in DR activities, likely due to manipulation behaviors. Thus, the integrity of CBL may degrade over time. With an inflated CBL, the impact of DR programs may therefore be highly exaggerated, and consumers can be paid money when they are not actually reducing their demand. In particular, we design a manipulation-indicating variable "seemingly unattractive free-money opportunity" (SUFO) and discover system-wide manipulative behaviors that increase with time and are widely adopted by experienced DR participants. We suggest that policy makers in FERC, RTOs, and states regulatory agencies consider the threat of manipulation when modifying DR market rules following the Supreme Court's recent upholding of FERC Order 745.



Price Responsiveness in Electricity Markets: Implications for Demand Response in the Midwest

Derya Eryilmaz, Timothy M. Smith, and Frances R. Homans

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.1.dery
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Abstract:
This paper provides an empirical analysis of price responsiveness in retail and wholesale markets in the Midcontinent ISO electricity markets. In the retail market, consumers do not often observe real-time price changes and pay a pre-determined flat rate, but are able to respond to price over longer time periods. In the wholesale electricity market, buyers are able to adjust their electricity purchases based on real-time price changes. Our findings show that retail industrial customers respond differently in different across states in the Midwest. We also find differences in real-time wholesale price elasticities between sub-regional pricing hubs in the MISO footprint. Results suggest that the observed differences in price responsiveness of demand across market levels and sub-regions are associated with demand response program adoption.



Ensuring Capacity Adequacy in Liberalised Electricity Markets

Nicolas Astier and Xavier Lambin

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.3.nast
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Abstract:
This paper studies wholesale electricity markets where an exogenous price cap is enforced, compromising both short- and long-term incentives. To guarantee capacity adequacy, policy-makers may provide support for generation through a capacity remuneration mechanism (CRM) and/or encourage demand response (DR). Such mechanisms are formalised within a common simple analytical framework, clarifying how these mechanisms relate to each other. We then divide them into two categories, depending on whether their implementation requires transactions to be made based explicitly on spot prices higher than the price cap. While mechanisms that keep implicit these high marginal costs are likely to be preferred from a political perspective, they also appear to be less efficient. If they are to be implemented nonetheless, we suggest that the price cap should be set higher than the marginal cost of the most expensive plant, and highlight that challenges for demand-response integration in CRMs remain.



Consumer Savings, Price, and Emissions Impacts of increasing Demand Response in the Midcontinent Electricity Market

Steve Dahlke and Matt Prorok

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.3.sdah
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Abstract:
This paper estimates consumer savings, CO2 emissions reductions, and price effects from increasing demand response (DR) dispatch in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) electricity market. To quantify market effects, we develop a dynamic supply and demand model to explore a range of DR deployment scenarios. The study is motivated by the existence of regulatory and market rule barriers to market-based deployment of DR resources in the MISO region. We show annual consumer savings from increased market-based DR can vary from $1.3 million to $17.6 million under typical peak operating conditions, depending on the amount of DR resources available for market dispatch and the frequency of deployment. Consumer savings and other market effects increase exponentially during atypical periods with tight supply and high prices. Additionally, we find that DR deployment often reduces CO2 emissions, but the magnitude of emissions reductions varies depending on the emissions content of marginal generation at the time and location of deployment. The results of this study suggest regulators and other stakeholders should focus policy efforts to reducing regulatory barriers to DR deployment in wholesale markets, particularly in locations that experience high price spikes, to improve market efficiency and achieve cost savings for consumers.



Utility Customer Supply of Demand Response Capacity

James I. Stewart

Year: 2020
Volume: Volume 41
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.4.jste
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Abstract:
This research investigates utility customer supply of demand response capacity to electric utilities. Using panel data on annual utility demand response capacity and capacity payments between 2010 and 2016, I estimate the long-run price elasticity of supply of demand response capacity from residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The supply of demand response capacity was price-inelastic, with elasticities of 0.5 for residential customers, 0.6 for commercial customers, and 0.4 for industrial customers. These estimates are long-run supply elasticities because utility customers could enter or exit demand response markets. Also, residential customer supply of demand response capacity was heterogeneous, affected by characteristics such as customer education, urban residency, and home space heating fuel. These findings will be of interest to regulators, utility resource planners, and program administrators who want to increase demand response capacity.



Peak Load Habits for Sale? Soft Load Control and Consumer Preferences on the Electricity Market

Thomas Broberg, Runar Brännlund, and Lars Persson

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.1.tbro
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Abstract:
The main purpose of this paper is to estimate lost consumer values due to various restrictions on household electricity use involving behavior adaptation. To do this, we conduct a choice experiment where households choose between hypothetical electricity contracts including various restrictions on the use of high-power household appliances. In addition, we use a contingent valuation question related to complete blackouts to study a restriction on other types of electricity usage (heating, lighting, TV, etc.). The results indicate a significant difference between the value lost due to the soft control, and the blackouts. Furthermore, policies aiming at stimulating behavioral changes are costly and it is far from obvious that demand response requiring behavioral adaptation is more cost effective than supply response (i.e., increased production of electricity).



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.





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