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Consumer preferences and soft load control on the Swedish electricity market
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Center for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5187-4280
2017 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of the present report is to present the results of the project "The electricity customer, a new power on the electricity market?" The main purpose of the project is to estimate lost values due to various restrictions on household electricity consumption, which gives us "prices" of schematic reductions in power through behavioral adaptations among Swedish households. Another purpose is to estimate households' costs for short power outages, which gives a "price" of a targeted disconnection of electricity. The willingness of households to adjust their electricity consumption is governed by several factors - both economic and non-economic. An additional objective is therefore to analyze the extent to which households are willing to adapt for non-economic reasons, for example, to facilitate the integration of renewable electricity production such as solar and wind power.

To achieve the objectives of the project, we analyze household habits and preferences for electricity usage in connection with daily demand peaks during winter time in Sweden. We have chosen an empirical approach where households are subjected to choose between hypothetical electricity contracts where different types of restrictions in the use of large-scale household appliances are included. The different characteristics of the agreements or contracts relate to (1) maximum power usage in watts, (2) the duration of the restriction, (3) number of occasions of restriction and (4) the ability to change the selection of which electrical appliances to be used during the restriction.

In addition to the above-mentioned approach, we also study how this relates to other electricity usage (e.g. heating, lighting, TV, etc.). This is done by asking households for compensation requirements to accept full power outages, i.e. black-outs. By studying the difference in compensation requirements between the "soft" limitation and the black-outs, the value of different loads can be estimated.

The results reveal that households on average require a compensation of SEK 2000 - 3700 depending on the severity of electricity consumption constraint. Depending on how we define the potential loss in potential electricity usage for different scenarios, the results can be translated to be between SEK 20 and 40 per kWh. In the case of total power outages, the valuation is significantly higher and corresponds to SEK 3000 to 4600. This can in turn be translated to the equivalent of SEK 400 - 600 per kWh. The results thus indicate a significant difference between the value of the load in a soft control DSM program, and the remaining load (e.g. heating, lighting and TV). Compared to previous literature on the value of lost load, VOLL, our estimates fall in the higher range, especially compared to Swedish studies. We believe this is in line with the context outlined in the present study with rather many occasions of disruptions at the peak demand hour.

The results also show that a pro-environmental cheap talk make people more likely to opt into a DSM program with load controlled at many occasions. It did not, however, make people see more lenient on hard load controls in general.

An immediate policy implication from the results is that specific policies aiming at stimulating behavioral changes probably are very ineffective and/or costly. As a result, policies to affect demand response should focus on automatization and passive response. A related policy implication is that it is far from obvious that demand response is always more cost effective than supply response, i.e., increasing production of electricity. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Series
CERE working paper ; 2017:9
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143019DiVA, id: diva2:1166178
Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2018-06-09

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Persson, Lars

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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