How may a customer exploit the Bonneville Power Administration's new pricing scheme?

Doug Allen*, Ira Horowitz, Chi-Keung WOO

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    For more than half a century, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has marketed electricity produced by the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) to its 'preference' customers in the Pacific Northwest. It has historically met the growing needs of its preference customers by augmenting the power provided by the FCRPS with market purchases and recovering its costs through its cost-based rates. The BPA, however, is preparing to implement a new pricing scheme intended to balance its historical commitment to supply its customers with low-cost power from the FCRPS with the need to signal that growing demands are met with increasingly expensive generation resources. This paper describes an opportunity that may exist for customers to exploit the scheme to obtain a larger share of low-cost federal power going forward. We show that when all customers take advantage of the opportunity, they find themselves in a form of the prisoner's dilemma whose outcome is a lose-lose Nash equilibrium, and discuss its managerial implications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)80-93
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Applied Decision Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Strategy and Management
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Information Systems and Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Bonneville Power Administration
    • BPA
    • Decision sciences
    • Electricity pricing
    • Prisoner's dilemma


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