Smart meters help consumers avoid wasting money on energy efficiency

Analysis of a randomised-controlled trial on a sample of almost 2500 Irish households revealed one surprising result: compared to the control group, households provided with a smart meter, detailed feedback on usage, and time-of-use pricing reduced investment in energy efficiency projects. While this unexpected development appears treated by the researchers as an embarrassment to be overcome, the result should… More Smart meters help consumers avoid wasting money on energy efficiency

Can regulated rates be designed to mimic competition?

Rather than attempting to “mimic competition,” Giberson suggested simply “to allow competition.” Cost-of-service rate regulation cannot be designed to mimic competition. If you want competitive results, then allow competition. At least that was my claim reported in a Megawatt Daily story, “Texas wires rate study draws mixed reactions.” (From Monday, June 27, 2106; articles are not… More Can regulated rates be designed to mimic competition?

Texas PUC continues look at “gaming the rankings” problem on state website. Here’s my solution.

Last week the commissioners of the Texas Public Utility Commission once again complained about retail power suppliers who gamed the ranking system on the state’s retail electric power shopping website http://www.powertochoose.org. This post summarizes the problem and then offers a simple solution. From the Houston Chronicle: Texas’ utility commissioners complained Thursday about confusing or misleading… More Texas PUC continues look at “gaming the rankings” problem on state website. Here’s my solution.

PJM report says the regional power market works, doesn’t always give regulators what they want

PJM has issued a report that, no surprise, finds the regional power promotes efficiency in operation and offers the right incentives for market entry and exit. The report does a few things, but none perhaps as useful as reminding policymakers that transparent, well-functioning markets do not always deliver the outcomes they wish for. From the… More PJM report says the regional power market works, doesn’t always give regulators what they want

Does bad regulatory policy sow the seeds of better regulatory policy?

Severin Borenstein asks whether growth of distributed energy is mostly an uneconomic response to regulatory dysfunction, and raises the question of whether uneconomic responses might lead to regulatory improvements. He doesn’t quite frame the issues quite like that, his post is somewhat exploratory in form, but I think this is the question he is aiming at.… More Does bad regulatory policy sow the seeds of better regulatory policy?

My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Institutional persistence creates some of the thorniest problems in public policy, including electricity policy. Institutions change more slowly than technology and markets, because of both  design and status quo bias, which means that dynamic processes of economic and technological change can make regulatory institutions outdated. This mismatch is showing up right now in the electricity… More My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution

The Adam Smith Institute has published a research report I wrote for them, Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution. From the press release: The report … argues that new technologies such as smart grids and distributed energy production can revolutionise old models of energy distribution and pricing, in the… More Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution