Ohio State University

To evaluate the economic and distributional impacts of retail electricity market deregulation in Ohio and Pennsylvania

  • Amount $499,821
  • City Columbus, OH
  • Investigator Noah Dormady
  • Year 2022
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Energy and Environment

This grant funds a research project by a team of scholars led by Noah Dormady, Associate Professor of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, to better understand the economic, equity, and justice impacts of consumer electricity rate selection in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The academic research team includes Abdollah Shafieezadeh, Associate Professor Civil Engineering at The Ohio State University, and Alberto Lamadrid, Associate Professor of Economics from Lehigh University. They will examine the practice of consumers being offered and selecting above-market or predatory electricity rates using a number of qualitative and quantitative research approaches. His team has assembled a robust electricity market rate database for Ohio, which contains millions of entries on both default standard service offer (SSO) electricity rates and competitive retail electric service (CRES) retail rates offered to consumers. After constructing a similar CRES rate database for Pennsylvania, the team will survey consumers in both states to better understand household electricity rate selection and the distributional impacts of such retail rates among different populations, paying particular attention to engaging low-income and historically underrepresented racial and ethnic populations.The survey will be administered in the Columbus and Cleveland-Youngstown metro areas of Ohio and in the Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, Poconos, and Harrisburg areas of Pennsylvania. The team will then partner with local community organizations in both states to engage underrepresented households in the study. In Ohio, the team will work with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective (MOFC), a large food bank, and the Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership (MYCAP), a nonprofit that helps administer the Home Energy Assistance Program, and plan to partner with similar local organizations in Pennsylvania.Outputs from this project are expected to include economics and public policy articles reporting on the project’s findings in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. The team will also produce a detailed database containing daily electricity market data for both Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as a separate database containing residential survey data. All data and code used for the statistical modeling and machine learning activities will also be made public. The team plans to leverage their extensive network of partnerships in government and the private sector to ensure broad dissemination of results to germane consumer protection, industrial, and regulatory communities. Numerous graduate students and undergraduate students will be trained in this project.

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