Measuring price and income elasticities of residential electricity demand: findings from aggregated and disaggregated data
AuthorPuett, Atlana D.
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Published estimates of the price elasticity of residential electricity demand range from -0.29 to -0.70, for analyses based on household level data; however, the area level estimates from range from -0.02 to -0.15. A similar pattern has been reported for estimates of the income elasticity of residential demand for electricity. Each published study relied on one type of data set (aggregated or disaggregated) and these datasets cover different time periods and locations. This raises the question: does the pattern generated by the published results reflect systematic differences generated by the use of aggregated vs. disaggregated data, or does the pattern reflect random variations in the study settings? In this research the hypothesis has been tested that the pattern generated by the published results reflects the use of aggregated vs. disaggregated data, by constructing both an individual-level dataset and a county-level dataset for one state (State of Nevada) covering the period from 2005 to 2011. Both datasets have been used to estimate household and utility level price and income elasticities of residential demand for electricity. This research shows the same pattern reported in the published studies: the magnitude of the estimated price elasticity generated by the disaggregated data exceeds the magnitude of the estimate generated by the disaggregated data. However, the magnitudes of the two income elasticities do not follow the same pattern.