Public Seminar: Understanding Electricity Demand – behavioral aspects and policy interventions

Curbing greenhouse gas emissions in order to fight climate change is imperative and one can think of two way to do that. First, a decrease in electricity consumption would decrease the need to burn fossil fuels. Second, a change in electricity generation technologies using renewable energy sources would also decrease emissions. For both strategies to be successful, the electricity demand of households must decrease and/or needs to become more flexible.
However, the determinants of this demand and their effect is not easy to understand. Electricity is a very peculiar good such that many behavioral frictions affect the households’ consumption choice. Households usually lack information concerning the production technology of energy services and is compounded by the billing structure of electricity.

With hyperbolic discounting households’ behavior exhibits a present bias, which also affects their technology choice(s). In this research, Dr Joerg Lingens will discuss the likely effects of these behavioral issues on electricity demand and about possible policy options that nudge households to lower electricity usage.
Dr David Byrne, University of Melbourne, will chair the seminar and David Blowers, Grattan Institute, will be a discussant.

The seminar is brought to University of Melbourne courtesy of the European Union Centre on Shared Complex Challenges.


Biography – Dr Joerg Lingens

Since 2007, Dr Joerg Lingens is a lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Muenster where he is primarily concerned with doing research in applied economic theory and teaching various classes centred on microeconomics. He worked as a post-doc from 2003 to 2007 at Regensburg University.
He has published research on various microeconomic topics in journals such as The Economic Journal, Labour Economics and JITE. Currently he is part of a research team at the University of Muenster that focuses on the effects of ‘soft’ interventions on energy demand.