Billions of Bills: Simulating Climate Change Impacts on Electricity Consumption

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 220B (San Jose Convention Center)
Maximilian Auffhammer, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Increased demand for cooling and decreased demand for heating in the built environment is one of the main anticipated modes of adaptation to higher temperatures due to climate change. California's residential sector uses relatively little electricity for heating. It is therefore expected that the demand for electricity will increase at the intensive margin as households operate existing air conditioners more frequently. Further, in many regions there will be an additional extensive margin adjustment as households will install air conditioners where there currently are few. Using the majority of California's residential electricity bills this paper provides reduced form estimates of the projected consumption impacts from the intensive and extensive margins separately using a two-stage method. It shows that accounting for capital investment leads to signicantly higher projections of electricity consumption.