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Evaluation of a Community-Based Electricity Load Management Program

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energy, Volume 8, Number 3, p.235-244 (1983)



cost benefit analysis, electric power transmission, Energy conservation, government programs


During the summer of 198.; Davis (CA) undertook a program to encourage residents to reduce peak electricity use. The program was initiated by the local utility company and carried a collective financial incentive: for every 1% reduction in peak electricity use, the utility would reward the city $1.;000 up to a maximum of $10.;000. This paper discusses the program and evaluates its effects during the first experimental summer of operation. Most of the strategies developed in Davis to reduce peak load also indirectly encouraged conservation during off-peak hours, and the program evolved, in effect, as a conservation program. Total electricity use for the Davis residential sector, adjusted for weather and prices, was reduced by about 7% and the reduction of peak load was somewhat greater. The program was economically rewarding to residents, the city and the utility. In addition, the program had other, intangible impacts on general energy consciousness and community spirit.