The effects of revenue decoupling on state-level gains in demand-side energy efficiency
Anders, Robert Scott.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Revenue decoupling is not a new policy tool but it is a controversial one. Beginning in California in the early 1980s, policymakers attempted to separate an electric utility's revenue from the amount of electricity it sold. The goal of the policy was to remove a utility's disincentive to support initiatives that reduce electricity demand and increase consumer energy efficiency. The history of decoupling has been wrought with compelling success stories and dismal failures, which have caused many states to question whether revenue decoupling is truly a useful policy. This research attempts to help state-level policymakers understand the empirical correlation between the use of revenue decoupling and a state's gains in energy efficiency.; The basic analytical framework includes two models. The first model shows the effects of decoupling on energy efficiency gains as an annual rate (in megawatt hours) and the second model shows the effects on the single most intense hour of electricity production in a given year (in megawatts). The variables controlled for in the OLS regression reflect categories of production, consumption, demand-side management and state-level policies. The panel dataset includes twenty states--10 with decoupling and 10 without--over a period of two years.; The results indicate that revenue decoupling has a statistically significant effect on a given state's gains in energy efficiency during peak level demand, and a very strong effect on gains in the annual rate of energy efficiency.
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