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Consumers’ Attitudes towards Surcharges on Distributed Renewable Energy Generation and Energy Efficiency Programs

Description

Increasing penetration of energy efficiency programs and distributed renewable energy generation has imposed significant challenges for utilities to recoup their large upfront costs. There is a heated debate on what

Increasing penetration of energy efficiency programs and distributed renewable energy generation has imposed significant challenges for utilities to recoup their large upfront costs. There is a heated debate on what surcharges should be implemented to help the utilities recover their fixed costs; however, very few studies focus on consumers’ attitudes regarding this topic. This study surveys about 190 residential consumers throughout the United States in November 2015, investigating their preferences and attitudes towards extra demand charges and volumetric energy price increases. We apply probit models and regress consumers’ attitudes on selected socio-demographic and behavioral variables. The results indicate the homeowners are more likely to prefer demand charges when compared to renters. The demographic and behavioral factors impact consumers’ perception of bill savings from energy efficiency programs or solar panel installation and also influence how consumers perceive the fairness of utilities recovering revenue losses by increasing volumetric energy price. In this paper, we demonstrate there is preference heterogeneity among consumers and that policy makers should be aware of such preference heterogeneity and apply policy targeting based on the identified demographics and behavioral factors impacting consumer preferences.

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Date Created
  • 2017-08-19

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Anonymous social networks versus peer networks in restaurant choice

Description

I compare the effect of anonymous social network ratings (Yelp.com) and peer group recommendations on restaurant demand. I conduct a two-stage choice experiment in which restaurant visits in the first

I compare the effect of anonymous social network ratings (Yelp.com) and peer group recommendations on restaurant demand. I conduct a two-stage choice experiment in which restaurant visits in the first stage are informed by online social network reviews from Yelp.com, and visits in the second stage by peer network reviews. I find that anonymous reviewers have a stronger effect on restaurant preference than peers. I also compare the power of negative reviews with that of positive reviews. I found that negative reviews are more powerful compared to the positive reviews on restaurant preference. More generally, I find that in an environment of high attribute uncertainty, information gained from anonymous experts through social media is likely to be more influential than information obtained from peers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Profitability and environmental benefit of providing renewable energy for electric vehicle charging

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This study evaluates the potential profitability and environmental benefit available by providing renewable energy from solar- or wind-generated sources to electric vehicle drivers at public charging stations, also known as

This study evaluates the potential profitability and environmental benefit available by providing renewable energy from solar- or wind-generated sources to electric vehicle drivers at public charging stations, also known as electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE), in the U.S. Past studies have shown above-average interest in renewable energy by drivers of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), though no study has evaluated the profitability and environmental benefit of selling renewable energy to PEV drivers at public EVSE. Through an online survey of 203 U.S.-wide PEV owners and lessees, information was collected on (1) current PEV and EVSE usage, (2) potential willingness to pay (WTP) for upgrading their charge event to renewable energy, and (3) usage of public EVSE if renewable energy was offered. The choice experiment survey method was used to avoid bias known to occur when directly asking for WTP. Sixty percent of the participants purchased their PEVs due to environmental concerns. The survey results indicate a 506% increase in the usage of public pay-per-use EVSE if renewable energy was offered and a mean WTP to upgrade to renewable energy of $0.61 per hour for alternating current (AC) Level 2 EVSE and $1.82 for Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers (DCFC). Based on data from the 2013 second quarter (2Q) report of The EV Project, which uses the Blink public EVSE network, this usage translates directly to an annual gross income increase of 668% from the original $1.45 million to $11.1 million. Blink would see an annual cost of $16,005 per year for the acquisition of the required renewable energy as renewable energy credits (RECs). Excluding any profit seen purely from the raise in usage, $3.8 million in profits would be gained directly from the sale of renewable energy. Relative to a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine passenger vehicle, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are 42% less for the U.S. average blend grid electricity-powered electric vehicle and 99.997% less when wind energy is used. Powering all Blink network charge events with wind energy would reduce the annualized 2Q 2013 GHG emissions of 1,589 metric tons CO2 / yr to 125 kg CO2 / yr, which is the equivalent of removing 334 average U.S. gasoline passenger cars from the road. At the increased usage, 8,031 metric tons CO2 / yr would be prevented per year or the equivalent of the elimination of 1,691 average U.S. passenger cars. These economic and environmental benefits will increase as PEV ownership increases over time.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014