Impacts of Electricity Quality Improvements: Experimental Evidence on Infrastructure Investments

Abstract

Hundreds of millions of households depend on electricity grid connections providing low quality and unreliable services, which is a barrier to development. We investigate the impacts of and residential consumer response to electricity quality improvements in Kyrgyzstan through the randomized installation of smart meters, which utilities can install to improve service quality. Voltage fluctuations were nearly eliminated among the treated households. Billed electricity consumption increased during peak months post-intervention. Consistent with this, treated households, particularly renters, significantly increased electric heating. Treated households made significantly more energy efficiency investments, potentially mitigating their electricity increases post-intervention. Consumer welfare gains were approximately 8 USD per household per year.

Publication
Under Review
Zhenxuan Wang
Zhenxuan Wang
Ph.D. Candidate

My research interests lie at the intersection of environmental and energy economics, climate policy, and industrial organization.