The Distributional Impacts of Real-Time Pricing in the Spanish Residential Electricity Market

Research Seminars

Joint Seminar ZEW and MISES

While the benefits of Real-Time Pricing (RTP) of electricity are well known, less is known about their distributional impacts. In the paper presented in this Research Seminar, the authors examine the distributional impacts of RTP by leveraging on a country-wide field experiment: starting in 2015, RTP has become the default option for most Spanish households. Access to hourly consumption data during more than a year for over 4M households allows us to compute the bill impacts of the switch from flat rates to RTP. By examining the households' sociodemographic characteristics, they document who wins and who loses from RTP. The paper proposes a method to infer consumers' unobserved income combining highly granular data with information of the distribution of income at the zip code level. The results suggest that the distributional impacts of RTP were quite small and, if anything, slightly progressive.



Junior Research Associate
Nikolas Wölfing
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