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The elasticity of demand is about occupancy, not prices: building European demand curves based on occupancy elasticity

Torriti, J. ORCID: (2011) The elasticity of demand is about occupancy, not prices: building European demand curves based on occupancy elasticity. In: UKERC 1st Conference of Energy and People, 20-21 Sept 2011, Oxford.

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The peak congestion of the European grid may create significant impacts on system costs because of the need for higher marginal cost generation, higher cost system balancing and increasing grid reinforcement investment. The use of time of use rates, incentives, real time pricing and other programmes, usually defined as Demand Side Management (DSM), could bring about significant reductions in prices, limit carbon emissions from dirty power plants, and improve the integration of renewable sources of energy. Unlike previous studies on elasticity of residential electricity demand under flat tariffs, the aim of this study is not to investigate the known relatively inelastic relationship between demand and prices. Rather, the aim is to assess how occupancy levels vary in different European countries. This reflects the reality of demand loads, which are predominantly determined by the timing of human activities (e.g. travelling to work, taking children to school) rather than prices. To this end, two types of occupancy elasticity are estimated: baseline occupancy elasticity and peak occupancy elasticity. These represent the intrinsic elasticity associated with human activities of single residential end-users in 15 European countries. This study makes use of occupancy time-series data from the Harmonised European Time Use Survey database to build European occupancy curves; identify peak occupancy periods; draw time use demand curves for video and TV watching activity; and estimate national occupancy elasticity levels of single-occupant households. Findings on occupancy elasticities provide an indication of possible DSM strategies based on occupancy levels and not prices.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:23570

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