Regulation reform in the electricity industry has become a topic of interest for economists and policy analysts alike as more and more jurisdictions seek to restructure their energy sectors. While stakeholders continue to debate the effects of such reforms on the price of electricity, the research presented here forth seeks to determine the effects of regulation reform in the electricity on energy efficiency in the residential sector. Such a question is important, for the literature has shown energy efficiency to be an excellent tool in alleviating financial hardship to the residential consumer.
We have selected three regions for study: Argentina, California and Alberta. The studies are confined to five main areas. These are:
• Price – We examine the effects of regulation reform on the price of electricity in the residential sector.
• Demand – We examine the effects of regulation reform the demand for electricity in the residential sector.
• Nature of Programs – We offer a qualitative analysis of energy efficiency programs in the residential sector and examine the effects of regulation reform on such programs.
• Expenditures – We offer a quantitative analysis of expenditures on energy efficiency programs and examine the effects of regulation reform on such programs.
• Energy Savings – We offer a quantitative analysis of the energy savings associated to energy efficiency programs and examine the effects of regulation reform on such savings.
Our findings are divided into a series of four conclusions and subsequent recommendations. To summarize:
1) The effects of regulation reform in the electricity industry are uncertain. There exists no universal model for regulation reform. The findings from our case study are non transferable, the evidence place specific. We recommend the development of endemic strategies that account for local geography, demography, economy and culture.
2) There is a considerable lack of data on energy efficiency. Data is rarely segregated into categories such as residential. Regulation reform in Alberta, and to a lesser extent California, is a rather recent occurrence and so the comprehensiveness of our analysis in these regions is somewhat limited. We recommend that our client advocate for more stringent reporting mechanisms.
3) The uses for electricity are countless and so the effects of its regulation are widespread. We recommended that comparisons to other network utilities be avoided.
4) While the
effects of regulation reform on energy efficiency are uncertain, strong public
policy remains crucial in assuring energy efficiency. We recommend that our
client continue to advocate for strong public policy encouraging the efficient
use of energy regardless of the present regulatory status in their area of
|© 2002 McGill School
3534 University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2A7