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Impact of tiered pricing system on China's urban residential electricity consumption: Survey evidences from 14 cities in Guangxi Province

Zhang, Shanshan, Lin, Boqiang
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.170 pp. 1404-1412
attitudes and opinions, cities, electric energy consumption, electricity, energy, energy conservation, income, issues and policy, literacy, prices, surveys, China
The Chinese government has highlighted the crucial role of energy conservation in its 2014–2020 energy strategy plan, where the residential sector inevitably takes great responsibility. One big move was the implementation of the tiered-electricity pricing (TEP) system, which intends to motivate electricity saving behavior and address cross-subsidization issue. This paper therefore attempts to investigate the effectiveness of the TEP, i.e., whether the TEP has attained its anticipated electricity conservation outcome. The empirical study was carried out in 14 cities in China's Guangxi Province using a survey method. The survey data demonstrated that there were more than half of the respondents (52.8%) affirmed that the TEP had encouraged them to save electricity. Regression results show that the TEP performance was significantly associated with respondents' electricity expenditures and their income levels. Moreover, respondents' electricity-saving attitudes, awareness and literacy were also found to be the critical driving forces to improve the effectiveness of TEP. The key drawn policy implication is that the TEP price magnitudes should be increased further, while the adjustment of the magnitudes should not neglect residents' income levels.