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Willingness-to-Pay for Quality of Service: An Application to Efficiency Analysis of the UK Electricity Distribution Utilities

William Yu, Tooraj Jamasb, Michael Pollitt

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No4-1
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Efficiency analysis of electricity distribution networks is often limited to technical or cost efficiency measures. However, some important non-tradable aspects of their service such as quality of service and network energy losses are often not part of the analysis. Moreover, technical or cost efficiency should not be achieved at the expense of allocative and economic efficiency. Valuation of service quality for regulatory models is particularly difficult. This paper presents an empirical approach to measure and incorporate service quality and energy losses into the analysis of technical and allocative efficiency of the utilities. We apply our method to the case of the distribution networks in the UK between 1990/91 and 2003/04 using the data envelopment analysis technique. We find that the efficiency of the utilities improved during the first and second five-year distribution price control reviews but exhibited a slight decline during the third review period. We find relatively low allocative efficiency � i.e. a mismatch in allocating resources among expenditures, service quality, and network energy losses. The results suggest that currently the utilities may not be correctly incentivised to achieve socially optimal trade-offs between these.

Germany’s Energiewende: A Tale of Increasing Costs and Decreasing Willingness-To-Pay

Mark A. Andor, Manuel Frondel, and Colin Vance

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: KAPSARC Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.mand
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This paper presents evidence that the accumulating cost of Germany's ambitious plan to transform its system of energy provision - the so-called Energiewende - is butting up against consumers' willingness-to-pay (WTP) for it. Following a descriptive presentation that traces the German promotion of renewable energy technologies since 2000, we draw on two stated-preference surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015 that elicit the households' WTP for green electricity. Two models are estimated, one based on a closed-ended question framed around Germany's target of 35% renewable energy in electricity provision by 2020, and the other on an open-ended format that captures changes in WTP over time. To deal with the bias that typifies hypothetical responses, the models distinguish respondents according to whether they express definite certainty in their reported WTP. The results from both models reveal a strong contrast between the households' general acceptance of supporting renewable energy technologies and their own WTP for green electricity.

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