NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Perverse Impact of Calling for Energy Conservation

J. Scott Holladay, Michael K. Price, Marianne Wanamaker

NBER Working Paper No. 20706
Issued in November 2014
NBER Program(s):   EEE

In periods of high energy demand, utilities frequently issue "emergency" appeals for conservation over peak hours to reduce brownout risk. We estimate the impact of such appeals using high-frequency data on actual and forecasted electricity generation, pollutant emission measures, and real-time prices. Our results suggest a perverse impact; while there is no significant reduction in grid stress over superpeak hours, such calls lead to increased off -peak generation, CO2 emissions, and price volatility. We postulate that consumer attempts at load shifting lead to this result.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20706

Published: Holladay, J. Scott & Price, Michael K. & Wanamaker, Marianne, 2015. "The perverse impact of calling for energy conservation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 1-18. citation courtesy of

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