February 1, 2023

Understanding the Behavioral Aspects of Rate Design


Consumer demand for electricity has often been though of as homogenous and inelastic. However, consumers may have preferences for their electricity consumption that they have been unable to realize due to the structures of electricity rates, and historic methods of regulation. As ratemaking becomes more dynamic, consumers will have a newfound ability to realize these preferences. This paper conducts a review of this issue through the lenses of utility regulation, neoclassical economics, and behavioral economics. It surveys what aspects of consumer preferences and behavior have been well established for the electricity sector and identifies gaps that could be filled by future research. This analysis has implications for stakeholders looking to understand how households will function in transactive and real time pricing environments.

Published: February 1, 2023


Boff D.S., S. Ganguli, and A. Somani. 2022. Understanding the Behavioral Aspects of Rate Design Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.