During the winter of 1973-74, Los Angeles adopted an emergency curtailment ordinance requiring percentage reductions in all uses of electricity to deal with an acute shortage of generating fuels. Since nonstandard regulatory responses are increasingly being considered by legislatures and regulatory bodies around the country, an analysis of this experience should be useful in the evaluation of alternative policies. Three approaches are taken in examining the customer response to the ordinance, including comparison of actual utilization with predicted levels using a regression model which controls for price, weather, economic activity, and minutes of daylight. No matter which analytic approach is taken, the conclusion is that the response to the ordinance was rapid and substantial. The effect on the pattern of consumption appears to be lasting, and it is unlikely that a price change alone would have achieved such a significant reduction in the short run.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.