Consumers’ Willingness to Accept Time-of-Use Tariffs for Shifting Electricity Demand

Time-of-use (TOU) electricity tariffs represent an instrument for demand side management. By reducing energy demand during peak times, less investments in otherwise necessary, costly, and CO2 intensive redispatch would be required. We use a choice experiment (CE) to analyze private consumers’ acceptance of TOU tariffs in Germany. In our CE, respondents choose between a fixed rate tariff and two TOU tariffs that differ by peak time scheme and by a control of appliances’ electricity consumption during that time. We use a mixed logit model to account for taste heterogeneity. Moreover, investigating decision strategies, we identify three different strategies that shed light on drivers of unobserved taste heterogeneity: (1) Always choosing the status quo, (2) always choosing the maximum discount, and (3) choosing a TOU tariff but not always going for the maximum discount. Overall, about 70% of our 1398 respondents would choose a TOU tariff and shift their electricity demand, leading to a decline in energy demand during peak times. Rough estimates indicate that this would lead to significant savings in electricity generation, avoiding up to a mid to large-sized fossil-fuel power plant.


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