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An Application of the Expenditure Function in Electricity Pricing: Optimal Residential Time-of-Use Rate Option

Chi-Keung Woo

Year: 1985
Volume: Volume 6
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol6-No2-7
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Abstract:
Caves et al. (1983) recently reported that mandatory time-of-use (TOU) pricing for residential customers served by four Illinois electric utilities fails to pass the cost-benefit test. Gains in economic efficiency are outweighed by the relatively high TOU meter costs. An obvious alternative is to offer a TOU rate option for which customer participation is voluntary (see, for example, Woo et al. [1983, Section D] and Malko and Faruqui [1980, pp. 161-62]). The problem of optimal pricing under self-selection has been analyzed by Faulhaber and Panzar (1977), Panzar and Sibley (1978), and Mirman and Sibley (1980). Following these studies, this paper derives the optimal electricity prices when a customer can choose between paying the TOU rates and the full incremental costs of a TOU meter and remaining on a flat rate schedule. My approach departs from the earlier studies in using the expenditure function to characterize the optimization problem as described by Diamond and McFadden (1974).



A Welfare Measure of a New Type of Energy Assistance Program

Kenneth W. Costello

Year: 1988
Volume: Volume 9
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol9-No3-6
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Abstract:
The sharp increase in utility rates since the 1970s has inflicted great hardship on low-income households. For many, paying their utility bills means sacrificing the purchase of other commodities essential to their economic well-being.' Another symptom of this problem is exhibited by the increased number of low-income people whose utility service has been cut off. Energy assistance programs have been instituted to cope with this serious problem. The major objectives of these programs are: (a) to make energy more affordable to the poor, thereby reducing the number of service disconnections, and (b) to limit how much the poor must pay for energy so that more funds are available for purchasing other essential commodities.





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