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Load Shifting Under Voluntary Residential Time-of-Use Rates

By Douglas W. Caves, Joseph A. Herriges and Kathleen A. Kuester

Abstract

Time-of-use (TOU) pricing has emerged in recent years as a popular rate program, offering utilities both a more efficient pricing mechanism and a tool for load management. Initial experiments with TOUpricing were generally designed to provide evidence on customer response to mandatory TOU rates, while residential TOU rates are currently being applied on a voluntary basis. In this paper evidence is provided on customer response in Pacific Gas and Electric's voluntary TOUrate experiment. Comparing the results to those obtained in earlier mandatory experiments, volunteers are found to have a greater ability to shift usage in response to TOUrates than comparable customers on mandatory rates.

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